The Master of Social Work program is based on an analytical and critical approach to social work practice, and to knowledge related to practice. The program examines the structural context of personal and social problems, and of social work practice. The structural context refers to the interaction between individuals and the social, political, and economic aspects of society. The program focuses on the development of forms of practice predicated on this notion, seeking to intervene to change the nature of the interaction between people and their structural contexts.

Admission Requirements: Master of Social Work

Advanced Year Entry (1-year to complete)

  • Bachelor of Social Work degree
  • B+ (77%) average in the last two years of study
  • B (73%) average overall
  • Specific university-level courses in either:
    • One full-credit (1.0 credits*) in Research and Statistics (Qualitative and Quantitative) with a grade of B (73%). This course must cover 0.5 credit of statistics and 0.5 credit of research methods; OR
    • Two half-credit courses (0.5 credits* each). One in Research Methods, the other in Statistics  with a grade of B (73%) in both courses.
  • Minimum 1,500 hours of Social Work related work experience (paid and/or volunteer). Field Practicum/Placement or Co-op work should not be included in these hours.

Foundation Year Entry (2-years to complete)

  • 4-year (honours) undergraduate degree or better
    • Note: an honours equivalent  is equal to:  4 year program / 120 credit hours / 20 full university credits)
  • B+ (77%) average in the last two years of study
  • B (73%) average overall
  • Specific university-level courses in either:
    • One full-credit (1.0 credits*)/ course in Research and Statistics (Qualitative and Quantitative) with a grade of B (73%); This course must equally cover 0.5 credit of statistics and 0.5 credit of research methods; OR
    • Two half-credit courses (0.5 credits* each). One in Research Methods, the other in Statistics,  with a grade of B (73%) in both courses.
  • Minimum 3,500 hours of Social Work related work experience (paid and/or volunteer).

*Credit values are based on Carleton University’s course credit system.

The 2017 MSW Admission cycle is closed. The next admission cycle will be for the Fall of 2018, and the system will open for applications by July 19, 2017.

 2017 MSW Admission Information & FAQs

General Admissions Related FAQs

Required Documents

After you have submitted your online application and your application fee has been processed, you will be instructed on how to upload your required documents in Carleton Central. For complete information regarding required documents, please visit the Graduate Admissions website. Our program requires:

Document/Forms  Details
Transcript(s) All post-secondary transcripts are required.  Applicants who have attended Carleton University must upload their Carleton Transcripts.  Applicants should upload University legends (grading scale) along with their transcripts.
Letters of Reference Three (3) are required. One must be an academic reference and one must be a professional reference.  Give your referees plenty of time to complete and upload the form by the December 1st deadline.
Statement of Intent One (1) is required. It should be no longer than 1,500 words and answer specific questions.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 Aboriginal 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 applying to a structural school of social work?  How does studying social work at Carleton fit with your career goals?
CV/Resumé One (1) is required. It should include all previous work experience including non-Social Work experience.  Feel free to attach a brief letter to the Admissions Committee identifying anything you feel is important to bring to their attention 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.).
MSW Preference Form One (1) is required. This form is available in the online application under “Supplementary Forms”.
Portfolio (Work Hour Summary Form) One (1) is required. All Social Work related work experience (paid and/or volunteer must be recorded. This form is available in the online application under “Supplementary Forms”.
Language Proficiency (ESL Test Scores) Required, if applicable. For Carleton’s ESL requirements and policies, please visit the ESL Requirements website.

Click on the appropriate document for more specific  information regarding what is required. You can check Carleton Central to see what documents have been uploaded to ensure a completed application. Additional information can be found on the  the Graduate Admissions website.

Application Deadlines

Fall Term (September):

  • December 1 (year before the term begins)

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 OUAC application fee before the December 1st deadline to give your referees plenty of time to receive , complete and upload the form by the deadline. We will not accept late applications and the only intake term is the Fall term. Please note that the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) generally shuts down the application system in early October for regular maintenance. Applicants who start the application process before this date and who do not pay the application fee will be required to start again by requesting a new application account once the system is available.

How to Apply

Application Website ButtonThe 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

When an application is complete (all required documents have been uploaded) we will begin to assess the application. 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.

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 at 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.

Financial Support

Consideration for funding and financial support including teaching and research assistantships is made at the time of admission. 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.

More Information

For complete and detailed information about the Master of Social Work program, please consult the official Graduate Calendar.