New Bachelor of Arts Entry Point to Master of Social Work Degree

A student wearing a graduation robe and a green and gold MSW hood

St. Thomas University’s School of Social Work has created a new entry point for applicants with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the social sciences to apply for a two-year Master of Social Work degree. The new full-time two-year MSW is comprised of a foundational year of social work studies followed by one year of advanced course work in the Master of Social Work program.


“As modern social work requires the knowledge of advanced practice, the MSW is increasingly an important credential for entry and advancement. This new degree pathway creates opportunities for those interested in a social work career and responds to provincial labour market needs. It provides a flexible opportunity that has potential to help the province,” said School of Social Work Director Dr. Marilyn Dupre.  


A new survey and report from the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers found that it is essential to start work now to avoid a future crisis in the recruitment and retention of social workers. The report found that there is an existing shortage of social workers presently and more vacancies are projected in the coming years. 


St. Thomas University is the only university in New Brunswick offering masters and undergraduate social work degrees in English.  


Dupre noted that the MSW is capped at 16 students thereby creating an optimal student-to-faculty ratio and ensures that students receive exceptional support and guidance.  Added to this, excellent relationships with government and non-profit agencies throughout the Maritime Provinces gives STU the capacity to match students with field practicums that meet their individualized learning objectives. Each student is provided with one-to-one direct support from faculty throughout their field placement.


Program Structure – Foundational Classroom and Field Instruction  


The 30-credit hours foundation year of studies includes the following curriculum: 
Semester 1 – Fall Term 
SCWK 5116 Generalist Social Work Practice Skills (6 cr) 
SCWK 5036 Theory for Social Work Practice (6 cr)  
Semester 2 – Winter Term 
SCWK 5313 Social Policy in the Canadian Context (3 cr) 
SCWK 5943 Social Work Values and Ethics (3 cr) 
SCWK 5013 Group Work Theory & Design (3 cr) 
Semester 3 – Spring Semester 
SCWK 5059 Field Instruction (9 cr/450 hours) 
Application Deadline January 30  
Applicants must satisfy the following minimum requirements:


  1. A completed undergraduate university degree (120 hours) in the social sciences from a recognized university with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or better on the most recent 60 undergraduate credit hours is required. Please note: applicants may be given provisional acceptance pending completion of the degree requirements by May 30 of the year of entry to the MSW.  

  2. Successful completion of two introductory social work courses, SCWK 2013-Introduction to Social Welfare and SCWK 2023-Introduction to Social Work, or evidence of completing equivalent course work.

  3. Applicants who do not satisfy these minimum requirements are not considered further in the selection process.
  4. Preference will be given to applicants with a minimum of 1,500 hours of one-year, full-time equivalent of social work-related experience. This may be paid or volunteer work, but must not include field placements, practicums, co-op, or internship work. Experience must be clearly demonstrated through the submission of a curriculum vitae.  

Students in the first or foundational year of the program must successfully complete all course work with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to proceed to the second year of MSW studies. Applicants will be assessed on academic and professional readiness. Satisfying the minimum requirements will not guarantee admission.  
Admission Criteria 

Personal Statement 40%
Curriculum Vitae 25%
References 15%
GPA 10%
Grade SCWK-2013 5%
Grade SCWK-2023 5%

The application deadline is January 30.  For complete information, see