Mi'kmaq Maliseet Program

The Mi’kmaq/Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work Program is an accredited social work program that provides First Nation individuals with an opportunity to receive social work education within a flexible and culturally relevant framework. 

The program is directed toward First Nation peoples in New Brunswick, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces who wish to become social workers in their communities.

Distinctive Features

  • There is recognition that First Nation peoples have been historically disadvantaged in educational and other systems.
  • The program design respects that First Nation students are typically employed and have family commitments. In recognition of these commitments, courses are offered one week per month (fall, winter, spring semesters) over a three year period.
  • There is recognition of First Nation systems of knowledge, practice and ways of learning.
  • There is a culturally-relevant curriculum that reflects First Nation’s holistic world view.
  • The program is overseen by a committee of members from St. Thomas University, First Nations Child and Family Agencies, and student representatives from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have completed a minimum of 60ch in liberal arts courses as a prerequisite for admission. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 (which may be based on the most recent 15ch) is required for admission to the MMBSW program. 

Application Process

Stage 1

The application deadline for the post-degree MMBSW program is January 31. The application, including supporting documents, must be received by the Admissions Office on or before the January 31 deadline. The required application and documents include the following: 

  1. a completed application for admission found here, including the $55.00 non-refundable application fee ($40.00 for New Brunswick applicants)*
  2. personal statement on which you outline your reason(s) for applying to a professional program of social work studies, and identify your professional/learning goals and any relevant vocational plans. You are encouraged to refer to personal, volunteer, professional and/or employment experiences that have influenced your understanding of social work and your decision to apply. The Selection Committee advises applicants to include in their personal statements what they have learned from their experiences that has relevance for social work. You are also welcome to provide any other information that you believe will be relevant to the Social Work Department and the University in selecting candidates for the social work program.
  3. detailed résumé on your education, work, and volunteer history.
  4. two reference forms (from diverse sources such as academic, professional, personal) Reference forms for distribution to your referees can be found here: MMBSW Reference Form. Please refer your references to the MMBSW Reference Guidelines and advise them of the January 31 deadline for the program.
  5. official transcripts 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.

 *Please submit an online application for admission here. Click "Sign Up" and follow the instructions to sign-in to the online application portal. Once you are signed in, click "Start a New Application," followed by "Start Application" under the Post-Degree Program section. Select the Mi’kmaq/Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work program, your anticipated enrolment status (Full-time or Part-time) and the Fall (Sept- Apr) 2020 term. You will be prompted to pay the application fee at the end of the application. All other supplementary documents (personal statement, personal current résumé) can be emailed to the Admissions Office at admissions@stu.ca.

For further information, please see our MMBSW Application Instructions 2020-2023. Please also refer to the Application checklist on your applicant portal (once your application for admission has been submitted) to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. As your documents are received by the Admissions Office, they will be marked as received on your checklist.

Stage 2

As part of the application process, all eligible candidates will be contacted to attend a group interview with two social work faculty members and complete a written social issue analysis.

All applicants will receive a letter indicating the status of their application. The letter will be mailed to the address entered on the online application form.

For further information, please contact:

Sandra Germain
MMBSW Program Coordinator
sgermain@nbnet.nb.ca or sgermain.listuguj@gmail.com 



Admission Requirements to the 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.


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 a program or most recent 30 credit hours
(minimum 3.0)
*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