Bachelor of Social Work

The main objective of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is to provide graduates with a generic practice framework so that they are prepared to deliver services to various client constituencies at a level of competence suitable for beginning practice. The School of Social Work at St. Thomas places major emphasis on understanding the structural roots of social problems in Canadian society. The cause of much of the suffering and inequality in society is seen to be rooted in our social and economic order, and not in the individual, the family, or the subculture. All interventions are seen within the context of this understanding and, although much of social work practice is concerned with the immediate needs of individuals, the resolution of social problems is seen as necessarily involving interventions in our major social institutions.

 

Prerequisites

1. A minimum of 60 credit hours in liberal arts with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, or a minimum GPA of 3.0 on the most recent 30 credit hours.

 

2. A minimum grade of “B” in SCWK 2013 Introduction to Social Welfare and a minimum  grade of “B” in SCWK 2023 Introduction to Social Work*.


Note: Applicants who do not satisfy these minimum academic requirements are not considered further in the selection process.

 

3. A critical awareness of the interaction among the individual and the social, political, and economic aspects of society and a demonstrated recognition that for structural social  workers the main focus for change is the structure of society rather than the individual.

 

4. Evidence of familiarity with, and commitment to, the profession of social work, as well as the capacity to learn from experience.

 

*Students without the mandatory social work courses will be required to participate in an interview process weighted at 30% (replacing the weight given to the grades of two mandatory courses).

Practicum Conditions

The BSW Program includes a minimum of 700 hours of field practice, as required by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education Standards for Accreditation. The first practicum commences during the Winter Semester of the 3rd year (250 hours). The second practicum occurs during the Winter Semester of 4th year (450 hours) in a block format, four days a week.

Application Deadline

April 30 of each year. All application materials and supporting documents must be received by the Admissions Office on or before the deadline.

Educational Equity Admissions Policy

The School of Social Work has adopted an Educational Equity Admissions Policy for those applicants who have been disadvantaged and/or marginalized by some form of oppression. The policy recognizes that some students may have experienced structural barriers due to identification with a specific group, or because of labels imposed upon them by society. Students wishing to be considered under the Educational Equity Admission Policy must indicate their request on the application form and by identifying which form of oppression has impacted their life through marginalisation or barriers that have limited their access to social institutions. Educational Equity Statements are considered during the second stage of the admission process only for applicants who meet the minimum academic requirements outlined above in "Prerequisites," subsections 1 and 2.

Admission Criteria

CGPA on program or most recent 30 credit hours (minimum 3.0) 15%

*SCWK 2013 Grade 15%

*SCWK 2023 Grade 15%

Personal Statement 15%

Experience (work, volunteer, life and learning from experience) 20%

Two references 20%

 

*Students without the prerequisite second year social work courses will be required to participate in an interview process weighted at 30% (replacing the weight given to the grades of two mandatory courses).

Application Procedures 

The deadline for applications is April 30. The application, including supporting documents, must be received by the Admissions Office on or before the April 30 deadline. The required application and documents include the following:

 

1. a completed general application form for admission found at stu.ca/ApplyNow

 

2. non-refundable application fee of $55 ($40 for applicants from New Brunswick)

 

3. personal statement in which you discuss your interest in becoming a social worker; experiences (personal, volunteer, professional, employment) that have influenced both  your understanding of Social Work and your decision to apply; insights, knowledge, and skills that you have gained from these experiences and that have relevance to social work; and your professional/learning goals as well as any relevant vocational plans. See Personal Statement Instructions below.

 

4. a detailed résumé including volunteer and paid employment

 

5. two reference letters which assess your readiness for the Social Work profession; one academic and a second related to community experience, volunteer work, or paid  employment. Please refer your references to the Guidelines for Referees section below.

 

6. official transcripts of marks from all post-secondary institutions you have attended.  Please note, if you have a STU transcript, you will not need to submit it, as our Admissions Office has access to it.

 

For further information, please contact the Admissions Office at (506) 452-0532 or email admissions@stu.ca.

 

Personal Statement Instructions

Your personal statement is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of social work, how your experiences have influenced this understanding and your decision to apply to the social work program at St. Thomas. In addressing the areas below, you are encouraged to refer to your life experiences as well as your volunteer, professional and/or employment experiences. We are interested not only in what you have done but also in what you have learned about social work, yourself as a potential social worker, and how you have developed.


In writing your personal statement, please make sure that you address the following areas. You do not have to work your way through each of the areas in the order they appear below, but you do need to address these areas at some point.

We are interested in:

  • What you have done in terms of life, volunteer, professional and employment experience and what you have learned from this. You need to indicate what you have learned about yourself, others and society. You should provide concrete examples. So, for example, rather than say, ‘I have learned communication skills’ refer to which skills, in what contexts and to what effect.

  • Why you are applying specifically to St. Thomas, in what ways you hope to benefit from being in the program and what you think you can contribute to the program. Again, please provide concrete examples. For instance, rather than say, ‘I hope to be a better social worker’, you should think about how the program at St. Thomas will help you become a better social worker.
  • How you see the social work program fitting in with your future plans. Why you are making the application at this point in your life, and where you see yourself going once you have completed the program.

  • Your understanding of society, privilege, marginalisation and discrimination. You may choose to reflect on your personal experiences in the light of these concepts and link these to wider social issues. 
  • What you think is the role of social work, in the light of your understanding in the previous bullet point.


Your personal statement should be approximately 1000-1500 words (3 – 4 pages), typed, double-spaced in a standard 12 point font.

Please attach an up-to-date résumé which includes education, work and volunteer history.

Your personal statement and your résumé must be emailed directly to the Admissions Office at admissions@stu.ca 


Guidelines for Referees

Thank you for agreeing to provide a reference for an applicant to St. Thomas University’s Bachelor of Social Work degree program. Your comments will be considered carefully by our admissions committee. Professional suitability is weighted heavily in our selection process.

You can be of help to the applicant by sharing observations on his/her professional and academic suitability. Because of the nature of the program and the profession, it is critical that persons with suitable personal qualities be selected. Your comments on the candidate’s qualities that will affect their performance as a social worker are of particular interest to us.


Below is a list of some of the things you might consider when commenting on the qualities of a potential candidate:

1. Does the candidate demonstrate a strong commitment to a career in social work?

2. Can you offer first-hand observations about the quality of the person’s interactions with people?

3. Does the person function well as a member of a cohesive group?

4. Have you observed leadership qualities in the person? In what context?

5. How well does the person organize his/her work and follow through with responsibilities?

6. How well does she/he accept and use constructive criticism?

7. How well does the person cope with frustration, conflict, and pressure in personal and professional relationships?

8. Are you aware of any personal qualities which may hinder this person’s development or performance as an effective social worker?

9. Why might you want this person to be a social worker in your community?


Please Note:

  • Your letter of reference should include your full contact information (i.e., telephone and fax numbers, including appropriate area code, as well as your e-mail address) for reference verification.
  • Please ensure that you identify the applicant by both first and last names, as well as indicating the nature of your association with them. 
  • Reference letters must be sent directly from the referee by email to the Admissions Office at admissions@stu.ca

The application deadline is April 30.  If these guidelines are not followed, your reference letter may not be considered. Thank you again for your assistance. Please be assured that your comments will be treated confidentially.


For further information, please contact the Admissions Office at (506) 452-0532 or email admissions@stu.ca