The next admission cycle will be for the Fall of 2021 with an application completion deadline of December 1, 2020.
The application system will open September 2020.

MSW Admission Requirements for Advanced Year Entry (5.0 credit/1 Year MSW program)

  • Bachelor of Social Work degree (accredited BSW only – SSW diplomas are not equivalent)
  • B+ (77%) average in the last two years of study at university (or equivalent amount of courses)
  • B (73%) average overall
  • Specific university-level course in one of the following:
    • Research Methods (Qualitative Studies) OR
    • Statistics (Quantitative Studies)
  • Competitive applicants usually have around 1500 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.

MSW Admission Requirements for Foundation Year Entry (11.0 credit/2 Year MSW program)

  • 4-year (honours) undergraduate degree or better  (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 (or equivalent amount of courses)
  • B (73%) average overall
  • Specific university-level course in one of the following:
    • Research Methods (Qualitative Studies) OR
    • Statistics (Quantitative Studies)
  • Competitive applicants usually have around 3500 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.
MSW Application Required Document/Forms 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.
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.
Professional Reference: At least one referee must be provided who can comment on your Social Work related work experience.  Ensure you give your referees plenty of time to complete the form by the December 1st deadline.
MSW Statement of Intent:
One (1) is required. It should be no longer than 1,500 words and answer specific questions.  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 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 structural approaches to social work?  How does studying social work at Carleton fit with your career goals?
MSW CV/Resumé:
One (1) is required. It should include all previous work experience including non-social work experience.  Please use your CV to list the details of your work, volunteer, and placement/co-op experience as you will use the MSW Portfolio to list your hours.
MSW Portfolio (Work Hours):
One (1) is required. All Social Work related hours of experience to be listed on this form.  It contains three tables – paid work experience; volunteer work experience; and placement/co-op work experience.  This form is located on the Instructions page in Carleton 360 MSW application towards the bottom of the page, under “Portfolio-Work Hour Summary  Form”.  It is titled “Social Work PDF” in red.
*If you have any trouble with the form, you are welcome to recreate it and upload a pdf copy.
*** 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 review the Essential Requirements for the MSW document.

Having an issue with your application?
Please refer to the Application FAQs webpage – 

Do you need further information on Required Documents?
Please refer to the Required Document webpage –

Application Deadline

  • 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 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 CentralThe 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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions