Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding the Bachelor of Social Work Program. If you require further information, please contact

Is the BSW offered online?
No, our BSW is not typically offered online, although due to the COVID-19 pandemic courses are being offered virtually during the 2020-21 academic year. BSW students are welcome to complete any of their elective requirements online.

Is the BSW offered on a part-time basis?
Yes, but please be aware that when you are a part-time student you will need to arrange your social work course sequencing according to specific requirements that are outlined in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Are the admission criteria different for part-time applicants?
No, the BSW admission criteria are the same whether you plan on attending full-time or part-time.

Can I apply for entry into the BSW in the Winter or Summer terms?
No, the fall term is the only term of admission.

Do you accept late applications for the BSW?
No. These application deadlines are rigid to ensure fairness for all. Late applications are not accepted by the School of Social Work.  Please ensure you respect the deadlines for application.

Can I ask someone at the School of Social Work to review my Supplementary Application before I submit it?
No, we do not offer pre-submission review of Supplementary Applications.

What type of experience is considered relevant with regards to the human service/social change experience that is mentioned in Part III of the Supplementary Application Form?
Think social work, human work, social service, change work, community engagement, volunteer work. The closer your experiences are to the broad field of social work, the better. We ask all applicants to use their own judgement for this section of the application.

I have a college diploma or university degree. How many transfer credits will I receive, and how long will it take to complete the BSW?
This depends on the type of diploma or degree, but in general, college graduates are admitted into the 2nd year of our BSW, while those with previous degrees are usually admitted into the 3rd year of our program. It will take those students approximately 2 or 3 years to complete the degree if they attend full-time. Please refer to Transfer Credit Information on Carleton’s Admissions website.

Can you tell me how many transfer credits I will be awarded before I apply?
A transfer credit assessment is only done once an applicant has been admitted. Your best source of information is Transfer Credit Information on Carleton’s Admissions website.

How competitive is admission to the BSW?
Each year, far more people apply for admission to The School of Social Work than we can accommodate. All of our programs have limited enrollment, making admission to the BSW quite competitive.

What if I am unable to secure an academic reference for my Supplementary Application?
An academic reference is preferred, but if you cannot secure one you will need to include a short note that explains why with your Supplementary Application. Usually, in these circumstances, a second reference from a referee who can comment on your human service/social change experience will certainly help.

Does everyone who applies to the BSW and meets the admission criteria get an offer of admission?
No. Unfortunately, each year there are several qualified applicants who will not be offered admission to our program since we have limited spaces. We accept applications to the first, second, or third year of the program and encourage those who remain interested to consider re-applying in another year.

If I don’t get an offer of admission, can I appeal the decision? Or can someone at the School make suggestions for improving my application for the following year?
There is no appeal process at the School of Social Work. But rest assured, all applications are given full consideration by the program’s Admissions Committee. They thoroughly review and discuss each one before their final and irrevocable decisions are made.

As for suggesting improvements, the BSW Admissions Committee is not able to do this. Instead, the members of the committee recommend that unsuccessful applicants compare their applications with the guidelines contained in the Supplementary Application Form and reflect on where there might be room for improvement before applying the following year.

Can I take Social Work courses even though I am not a Bachelor of Social Work student?
Students who are not in the BSW program or who are registered as Special Students can take SOWK 1001, SOWK 1002, SOWK 2301, SOWK 3001 and SOWK 3002, subject to availability. Please submit a Course Registration Override Request in Carleton Central if you receive a registration error when attempting to sign up for one of these courses.

Occasionally, spaces are available in SOWK 3206 or 3207 (these courses would count as Free Electives in the BSW), but SOWK 1001 & 1002 are the recommended prerequisites. With the exception of courses required by a student’s minor, all other BSW courses are restricted to Social Work students.

How much will it cost to attend the BSW?
Carleton University has a helpful estimator device for this. Here’s the link: