Advanced MSW Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

How many students will be accepted into the Advanced MSW program? How does the School decide who to accept?

The School admits approximately 35 students per year. Although all applicants must meet the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ minimum academic requirements (B+ average for 300 and 400 level courses), the admission process is multi-faceted and also considers factors such as the Learning Plan, social work experience and letters of recommendation.
Since the MSW is a professional qualification, relevant social work experience is a major consideration.

Can an exception be made if I don’t meet the minimum grade requirements?

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies sets the minimum requirements for all graduate programs. If an applicant is slightly below the 76% minimum (e.g., 75.5%), and has exceptional experience and letters of recommendation, the School may make a “low GPA recommendation for admission.” In all cases, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies makes the final decision. Normally, preference is given to clearly qualified applicants and it is relatively rare for the School to make “low GPA recommendations.”

Applicants with a significantly lower GPA are not accepted, regardless of experience or letters.

Is a part-time program available?

Most courses are offered on-campus and during the day. Therefore, the program does not lend itself to students working full-time during the day. It is possible to extend the normal twelve-month length of the program and thus pay tuition on a “part-time schedule,” but this refers to the schedule of payments and not to the type of program.

Can I do my MSW by distance education?

Under non-pandemic circumstances, our program is mostly day-time and campus-based. Normally, only a few graduate courses are web-based or offered during the evening.

How long does it take to complete the degree?

The Advanced MSW program takes a minimum of 8 months to complete (i.e., September through April), although typically it takes 10-12 months.

What financial support is available?

The School has limited financial resources so most students are self-supporting and finance their studies through part-time work and student loans. Students on the part-time payment schedule are NOT eligible for the scholarships/support mentioned below.

Full-time MSW students may be considered for UBC general bursaries. Eligibility requirements, details and deadlines are available here.

Top-ranked applicants will be considered automatically for a few small scholarships. Most of these scholarships will be awarded in the late summer/early fall of each year.

There is a small number of Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships available. In general, preference is given to applicants who have extensive knowledge of social work. The TA application form is available on the School’s website under Administration and Forms – Students.

Students interested in Research Assistantships should contact relevant faculty members directly to inquire about opportunities.

How much is tuition?

You can find more details here about tuition and miscellaneous student fees.

Note that authorized student fees are added to tuition (see link).