Guide To Study MSW Courses in Canada

updated on 17 February 2024
Guide To Study MSW Courses in Canada
Guide To Study MSW Courses in Canada

This article is Guide To Study MSW Courses in Canada

One of the noblest occupations is that of a social worker. Social workers are individuals that have been professionally trained to provide humanitarian and other essential services to the needy. Social workers typically need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work to enter the field of social change. If you intend to acquire further professional training via an MSW degree, then one Country you should not hesitate to select is Canada, a highly developed and multicultural setting that will provide you with a globally respected degree certificate and offer you endless career prospects after your education.

Social Work Master’s Degree MSW is a professional postgraduate degree program in Canada developed for students who are passionate about learning more about social work. MSW incorporates theories from various domains, including medicine, sociology, philosophy, economics, and politics. MSW program curriculum varies by university, coursework, field placement training, and research opportunities are all essential components of the MSW program in Canada.

Over 15 Canadian universities offer the Masters of Social Work course. Keep on reading this article, to know more about MSW Courses in Canada!

Why Study MSW Courses in Canada?

  • The hourly pay rate for professionals with MSW degrees in Canada is between CAD 20 per hour to CAD 50 per hour.
  • GRE Scores are waived off by many Canadian Universities for this program.
  • The permanent residency prospect is pretty great for MSW Students.
  • Safe environment with a conducive climate.
  • Accounts for over two dozen of the top 100 universities in the current QS rankings.
  • High wages and a low unemployment rate
  • Increased opportunities for Internships and jobs after graduation
  • Since there is a shortage of social workers in Canada, the demand for the occupation is currently skyrocketing. Some of the cities and provinces of Canada which are experiencing a high demand for social workers are British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Therefore, MSW in Canada is considered extremely fruitful in terms of career development as well as personal growth.

Top 8  Universities To Study MSW in Canada with QS Ranking 2023 

  • University of Toronto -      =34
  • McGill University  - 31
  • University of British Columbia - 47
  • McMaster University - 152
  • University of Waterloo - 154
  • Western University- 172
  • University of Calgary -  242
  • Dalhousie University - 308

Study MSW In Canada -  Eligibility Criteria

  • In Canada, each university has its own admissions requirements for Masters in Social Work MSW programs. However, the following is a general criterion for pursuing MSW in Canada:
  • A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) or any other subject is required.
  • Different universities have different GPA requirements, however, for MSW, a minimum of 3.0 is necessary.
  • Work or volunteer experience may be required by some universities
  • International students must submit IELTS or TOEFL scores as confirmation of English proficiency.

Study MSW In Canada - Documents Requirement

Official certificates of bachelor's level including transcript, character, and provisional certificate. 

Intermediate-level documents including character, provisional, and transcripts. 

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

2-3 Letters of Recommendation depending upon the University


Application fees

Valid English Proficiency test results

GRE Scores (Not always mandatory)

Work experience if asked

Additional essays

MSW Scope in Canada

In 2021, social workers were one of the top 20 most in-demand jobs in Canada, and they remain so today. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of social workers around the world is expected to grow by 15% from 2016 to 2026. Masters of Social Work professionals are most often employed in middle-level positions in, governmental and non-governmental organizations both in Canada and internationally. In Canada, MSW graduates can work in the following fields:

  • Hospitals
  • Health clinics in the community
  • Clinics for mental health
  • Schools and the welfare of children
  • Family Courts and Family Service
  • Departments in charge of social housing
  • Departments of government
  • Private counseling and consultation services are available.

MSW Course in Canada - Top Recruiters

  • The Salvation Army
  • Save the Children
  • Mercy
  • World Health Organization
  • YMCA
  • International Justice Mission
  • Volunteers of America
  • Danish Refugee Council
  • AccentCare
  • Women for Women International
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Oxfam International Secretariat
  • Sutter Health
  • HelpAge International
  • SSM Health

MSW Course in Canada - Fees

According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), 96% of the international student population recommends Canada as their favorite study destination. This may be the result of the fact that Canada offers higher education at much lower costs than other countries such as the USA, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The cost of an MSW course varies by the university in Canada. However, the average cost of studying MSW at some of Canada’s leading universities will range between 10,000 CAD to 40,000CAD (6 lakhs- 24 lakhs). 

MSW Course in Canada -  Scholarships Offered

Joan Cummings Memorial Award: Offered by Dalhousie University, the scholarship is awarded to students with disabilities. The scholarship amount varies

Lawrence T. Hancock Scholarship: Offered by Dalhousie University, Lawrence T. Hancock Scholarship is offered annually to students who are enrolled in the Master of Social Work program and achieve high academic standing, and show promise of leadership and service.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: Provides financial assistance to highly qualified students from across the country and abroad. Prospective students are evaluated on three main criteria, Academic Excellence, Research Potential, and Leadership. The program offers 50,000 CAD per year for three years during their studies.

MSW Course in Canada - Online

Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are the two universities in Canada offering MSW Course Online.

Wilfrid Laurier University

The University offers an online MSW program and is the only online program of its kind in Canada available to students without a BSW degree. The course duration is 2 years.  

University of Waterloo

The University offers a partial online MSW program and is Canada’s first health-focused Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The online MSW program offers in-person Summer Institutes, which comprise one week at the beginning of the program, and one at the end.

MSW Course in Canada - Job Profile

Social Worker (MSW) - CAD62,343 (35-40 lakhs)

Executive Director, Non-Profit Organisation - CAD84,475 (50-55 lakhs)

School Social Worker - CAD60,360 (35-40 lakhs)

Program Manager, Non-Profit Organisation-  CAD61,472 (up to 40 lakhs)

Medical Social Worker - CAD69,586 (40-42 lakhs)

Average salaries for Social Worker Jobs in Canada - As per Location

Alberta -  $72,072 (55-60 lakhs)

New Brunswick- $65,747 (55-60 lakhs)

Nova Scotia- $72,262 (60-62 lakhs)

Ontario- $70,644 (58-60 lakhs)

Prince Edward Island - $58,825 (48-50 lakhs)

Saskatchewan - $71,732 (58-60 lakhs)


Master of Social Work in Canada is a 1 to 3-year course that opens doors for you in a number of areas. Masters in Social Work is available in 15+ universities in Canada, including top universities like McGill, UBC, McMaster, etc. The cost of studying MS Social Work in Canada is 30,000 CAD per year, on average (18 lakhs INR). The program is an excellent choice for students even from an ROI perspective.

So, in this Guide to Study MSW Courses in Canada we have tried to provide relevant information on MSW Courses in Canada. We hope you like this article! If you have any queries feel free to reach out to Alpha Edu Abroad for advice!

Looking to explore co-op courses in Canada? Discover top colleges offering co-op programs, learn about eligibility criteria, and uncover exciting job opportunities in various fields. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility criteria for pursuing an MSW in Canada?

Eligibility criteria can vary among universities, but generally, a bachelor's degree in social work or a related field is required. Some programs may also require relevant work experience and a competitive GPA. Additionally, international students may need to demonstrate proficiency in English or French through standardized tests like IELTS or TOEFL.

How long does it take to complete an MSW program in Canada?

Typically, a Master of Social Work (MSW) program in Canada takes about two years of full-time study to complete. However, some universities may offer accelerated or part-time options which can vary in duration.

Are there specific areas of specialization within MSW programs in Canada?

Yes, many MSW programs in Canada offer specializations or concentrations such as clinical social work, community development, policy analysis, or social justice. Prospective students should research the offerings of each university to find the specialization that aligns with their career goals.

What are the career prospects after completing an MSW program in Canada?

Graduates of MSW programs in Canada can pursue various career paths in social work, including roles in healthcare, education, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private practice. Common job titles include clinical social worker, community outreach coordinator, school social worker, policy analyst, and therapist.

Do international students require a work permit to gain practical experience during or after their MSW studies in Canada?

Yes, international students in Canada typically require a valid study permit that may include authorization to work part-time during their studies and full-time during scheduled breaks. After completing their program, they may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) which allows them to gain valuable work experience in Canada. It's essential for students to familiarize themselves with immigration regulations to ensure compliance.

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