BSW Admission Requirements

Admissions Information

The UBC School of Social Work delivers a single, integrated Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program, which can be completed in two years on a full-time basis. The curriculum includes courses on theory, policy research and practice. It is complemented by integrative seminars, electives and two field practicums. The two field practicums are comprised of a two-day per week practicum in the third year (running over two terms), and a four-day per week practicum in the fourth year (running over one term).

In-Progress Courses and Transcripts

Courses that are required for admission may be completed up until late April.

Proof of enrolment (i.e., official transcripts showing registration) in any pre-requisites courses must be submitted to UBC Undergraduate Admissions Office by the January 15* deadline, even if the courses will not be completed until April 30. Failure to submit this proof may result in the application being cancelled.

Applicants who are completing the introductory social work requirements elsewhere, including through Thompson River University’s open learning program, must submit final transcripts to UBC Undergraduate Admissions Office by mid-May. We do not give extensions nor do we make exceptions to this date.


Admissions Requirements

Admission to the BSW program is open both to applicants with:

  • A bachelor’s degree, or
  • A minimum of 60 credits from Arts, Science, or Education courses which are transferable to UBC.

All applicants are responsible for checking the transferability of their courses at the BC Transfer Guide.

UBC gives full credits for academic courses from Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria.

Applicants with a social services diploma should note that a significant number of diploma courses will not transfer to UBC, so satisfying two-year diploma requirements alone, without additional university-transfer courses, will not qualify them for BSW admission.

All courses must be completed no later than April 30 of each year.  There will be no exceptions or extensions.

Required Courses and Background

All applicants must have the following:

1. Completion of both UBC’s SOWK 200 (Introduction to Social Welfare) and UBC’s SOWK 201 (Introduction to Social Work Practice), or equivalents, with a minimum grade of “B” obtained in each course. Please check the  BC Transfer Guide for the list of transferable equivalents.  Online equivalents are offered through Thompson Rivers University.

2.  3 credits of ASTU 100, ASTU 101, ASTU 150, Arts One, ENGL 100, WRDS 150, WRDS 350, or transferable equivalents.  Applicants are exempt if they have a previous degree from an institution where English was the language of instruction.  Successful completion of the Arts One Program or the Co-ordinated Arts Program (CAP) will also fulfill the School’s English requirement.

3. At least 18 credits of course work in the social sciences and humanities (i.e., Arts). Suggested subject areas include, but are not limited to,  Anthropology, Canadian History, Economics, Family Studies, Gender Studies, Indigenous Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
For applicants currently attending UBC, we recommend NURS 180 and FNIS 100 as electives.

4. A GPA of at least 2.67 (68%) on the most recent 30 credits completed preceding application, calculated on grades from transcripts received with the application.

5. Proven suitability for a career in social work as demonstrated by a minimum of 100 hours of relevant employment and/or volunteer history. The experience should focus on social service or health-related activities and have direct and ongoing contact with vulnerable or disadvantaged members of society. Examples of relevant experience would include working on a crisis line, working in battered women’s support services, helping residents of a long-term care facility, or working with disabled children.

6. If an applicant’s language of prior study is not English, an official test of English is required. The applicant would need either:

  • TOEFL, with a score of at least 580/237/93, or
  • Academic (not general) IELTS, with a minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no other component less than 6.0.

Exemptions are listed in the UBC Calendar.

Please note that applications that do not fulfill the above requirements will not be considered. Admission to the program is competitive and meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The School reserves the right of selection of all students for admission and readmission to the School.

Criminal Record Check

UBC is subject to the requirements of the Criminal Records Review Act (CRRA), which means that all students who are enrolled in programs that include a practicum component involving work with children or vulnerable adults will have to undergo a criminal record check before they will be permitted to register in the practicum. If you are found to present a risk of physical or sexual abuse to children, or physical, sexual, or financial abuse to vulnerable adults, as a result of the CRRA Check, you will not be permitted to register in the practicum. Because a practicum is required for your program, this means that you may not be able to complete the program and you may not graduate. Therefore you should consider this requirement carefully before applying to, or continuing in, this program.

After admission, the criminal record check will be completed through the School of Social Work. Newly admitted students will be sent instructions about the CRC process.

More information:

UBC’s University Counsel FAQs on the CRRA
Relevant and Specified Offences