Master of Social Work Admissions

Our next admission cycle will be for the Fall of 2022 with an application completion deadline of December 1, 2021.  All applications will be reviewed after December 1.

MSW Admissions Information Sessions (Zoom)
Monday, Oct 25 5-7 pm EST via zoom.
We have a Zoom Recording from October 2020 Admissions Information Session available for viewing.  It was specifically advertised to our Two-Year MSW applicants (no BSW), but the information is also relevant to those applying with a BSW for the One-Year MSW.
Please note Professor Susan Braedley is no longer our Graduate Supervisor, and not available to answer any admissions questions. Our Graduate Programs Supervisor for 2021-2022 is Professor Patricia McGuire.  Please review our MSW FAQs and General Application FAQs before sending further questions to

Please review the Essential Requirements for the MSW program.

Application Deadline:

December 1 (the year before the program begins in September)
This is the date by which your application must be submitted and all documents must be uploaded to your online application including Referee Appraisals/Letters of Reference. Complete and pay your application fee before the December 1st deadline to give your referees plenty of time to receive, complete and submit the form by the deadline. We will not accept late applications and the only intake term is the Fall term.

How to Apply

The application process to graduate studies at Carleton for all prospective students is the same and must be completed online. For complete information regarding the application process please visit the Graduate Admissions website.

Admission Decisions

We will not be confirming receipt of your completed application. To check on your application, enter Carleton Central to see what documents have been uploaded (yours and your referees). Successful applicants will be notified by email from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs. You can check your application status in Carleton Central.

The School of Social Work will submit admission decisions by the end of February.

If an applicant is Not Recommended for Assessment and therefore not offered admission into the program, there is no appeal process available. Please note that this communication from the School, or from one of its faculty or staff, does not constitute approval for admission.

Upon receiving an Offer of Admission, you will have 21 days to indicate acceptance. An offer of admission may include conditions that must be met before you will be admitted to the graduate program. The conditions must be met before you will be able to register for courses. You will be responsible for meeting the conditions and any late registration fees applied due to delays.

MSW Application Required Document Details

Electronic versions of all your post-secondary transcripts with grading scale/legend need to be uploaded to the system (including Carleton students).

MSW Letters of Reference:
Three (3) letters are required for your application.

  • Two Academic References:
    Two are preferred but you must have at least one. Even though it may have been some time since you were last in school, we encourage you to contact previous instructors/professors with a reminder of the class you took, when you took it, any specific assignments or presentations you did, and your final grade. This may help them to write a strong reference for you. If you need to use a TA for an academic reference, that is fine although professors are preferred.
  • One Professional Reference:
    At least one referee must be provided who can comment on your work-related experience in Social Work. Ensure you give your referees plenty of time to complete the form by the December 1st deadline.

*** If you really cannot secure an academic reference, include a detailed rationale to the admissions committee with your statement document, and add an additional professional reference.

MSW Statement of Intent:
One (1) is required. It should be no longer than 1,500 words and answers the specific questions below. Applicants are welcome to answer the questions under separate headings or combine them all into an admission essay.

  1. How have your life, work and educational experiences contributed to your understanding of yourself and others in relation to the society in which we live? (You may wish to reflect on various aspects of your identity such as gender and sexual orientation, economic/class status, life as an Indigenous person, racial or cultural background, or abilities or disabilities.)
  2. Identify a social problem that you might want to address as a social worker. Discuss the factors that contribute to or cause this problem. What role would you like to play in resolving this problem?
  3. What interests you about structural approaches to social work? How does studying social work at Carleton fit with your career goals?

MSW CV/Resumé:
One (1) is required. Please provide a detailed CV/Resume, organized chronologically beginning with your most recent experience. Please use your CV to describe the work you list in the Portfolio-Work Summary Document.

MSW Portfolio (Work Hours Summary Document):
One (1) is required. Prepare a document containing all work-related hours of experience in 3 separate tables in Social Work:

Paid Work Experience, Volunteer Work Experience, and Placement/Co-op Experience (if applicable).

Use your CV to describe your experience. Total the number of hours in each table, and provide a sum of all hours after the last table. Only use hours completed up to the time of your application in the tables.

Convert the document to a reduced size pdf and upload it under the portfolio area.

*** Please Note***
If you feel you have something important to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee that is not addressed in the rest of the application (e.g. reason for low or failed grade/year, absence of academic or work reference etc.), then include a brief letter to the Admissions Committee identifying this. Include it with your CV or Statement of Intent document.

Please refer to the Application FAQs webpage if you have an issue with your application.

Further information can be found on the required documents page.

Financial Support

Consideration for funding and financial support including teaching assistantships is made at the time of admission to a full-time program. A separate application is not required. In order to be considered for funding, you must submit a completed application (including all required documents) before the December 1 deadline. Current and prospective graduate students are encouraged to apply for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) scholarships and Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS), which are awarded annually to outstanding students by the federal and provincial governments. Please note that we are unable to fund International Students. International students must secure prior external funding. For more information on awards and funding, visit the Graduate Admissions website.