Top 5 Colleges for Masters of Social Work in Canada: Eligibility & Process

The Masters of Social Work in Canada courses are specifically designed to train students in intricate aspects of this field. Students will learn and nurture special skills required to better their thought process, ability to make decisions, manage tasks, and much more. A Masters of Social Work in Canada course means you are looking to spend 10 to 24 months to achieve the degree or certificate, depending on the institution you have chosen. In general, the course curriculum includes field placement training, research, supervision, understanding the theoretical frameworks, and empirical concepts related to the field of work. Today, we will find the best institutions to pursue a masters of social work in Canada.

Top Institutions for Masters of Social Work in Canada

A degree in social work means you will gain the knowledge and some practical experience to help people in need and contribute to improving their quality of life in one aspect or another. Your target groups will be people from the minorities, the homeless and disease-stricken populations, malnourished children, and many other disadvantaged people. As a student in this field, you will learn to find ways to solve their problems and empower them to learn and build a better life for themselves. However, this work requires several qualities, including empathy and patience. While these are the inherent skills, a MSW program will teach you to become academically apt to help them. So, here are the best institutions for Masters of Social Work in Canada.

Top 10 Universities In Canada

1. University of Toronto: Ranked in the 26th position globally, the University of Toronto in Ontario must be your first choice for this course. The Masters of Social Work program here is provided at a dedicated school of social work, which is recognized nationally and internationally. The course is meant for students who have already shown competency to become specialized expert in this field and want to learn the complexities of the entire system. The applicants can choose from;

  1. Two-year advanced program
  2. Advanced standing program
  3. Indigenous trauma and resiliency
  4. Combined degree programs

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Besides these mainstream courses, the university also offers collaborative specializations in different fields to improve the course’s scope and potential. 2. University of British Columbia: This university has achieved the 46th spot in the latest rankings. The Masters of Social Work (MSW) course here runs for 24 months and is provided at the university’s Okanagan campus. Students in the program will learn the skills for social work practices with different target groups. The course curriculum incorporates critical theory along with practical skill nurturing. Throughout the course, the faculty members will help students learn to respect and recognize global diversity and promote resilience while strengthening their internal capacity to help solve issues. During the two-year course, students are required to complete 450 hours of field education every year. 3. McGill University: McGill University has taken the 27th spot in world university rankings and is regarded as one of the top institutions for Masters of Social Work in Canada. Here, a student can choose from three different master’s degree courses:

  • MSW Non-Thesis
  • MSW Thesis
  • MSW Joint Degree

In all three graduate programs, the students are trained to develop an advanced understanding of the research work required in social work practice. Plus, it provides a critical understanding of social theory and social problems while helping the students find ways to figure out solutions. The MSW degree curriculum also includes lessons on understanding the needs of different populations, institutional structures, and policy initiatives. 4. McMaster University: McMaster University has obtained the 140th rank in the global rankings. Here, the Masters of Social Work Canada course has a thesis-based study curriculum imparting advanced knowledge in critical analysis of social work and its related themes. Students will learn to identify new ways of knowing more about social work education, its overall structure, and the possibilities they can create in this field. The course helps reorient aspirants’ thinking to build a deeper understanding of social work and justice. At McMaster University, you can choose from two courses, Master of Social Work Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities and Master of Social Work Critical Analysis. 5. University of Waterloo: Being placed at the 149th position in the 2022 world university rankings, the University of Waterloo enjoys a good reputation in Canada and worldwide. The university offers Canada’s first health-oriented master’s course in social work. In this course, students will learn health-related aspects and practice areas that include community, mental health, addiction, mental health, and clinical health promotion. The course also teaches about advocacy and policy evaluation of the program while helping to build an advanced understanding of the structural aspects of individual and community health.

These are the five best universities you must consider for masters of social work Canada courses. Besides these, other institutions you may consider are;

  • Western University
  • University of Calgary
  • Dalhousie University
  • Lakehead University
  • Fanshawe College
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Windsor

While applying to any of these institutions’ Master of Social Work program, you also need to tick all the boxes in the eligibility criteria. Read the following sections to know the eligibility criteria and the admissions process to get into MSW courses in Canadian universities.

Eligibility Criteria for Masters of Social Work in Canada

Getting into a Canadian university as a student from India, Australia, China, and other countries means you need to fulfil additional conditions than a student from the US or Canada. First and foremost, there are minimum academic requirements to be considered by graduate students for a Masters of Social Work program:

  • To gain admission into a Master’s of Social Work course, you must have completed a bachelor’s or undergraduate degree in social work (BSW). The results of this degree course must be known before the 1st of July in the relevant year.
  • The minimum score for a student in a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) course is 75% in average GPA.
  • In some universities, the student might also be asked to have completed a university-level course in research methods.
  • Also, some universities might ask for an equivalent of two years of full-time paid professional practice or volunteer work in this field.

In addition to the academic criteria of the accredited program, there are minimum requirements on English language proficiency tests are mandated for international applicants. The minimum IELTS score for a master’s degree in Canada ranges from 6.5 to 8.0. According to our list of universities, McGill University requires a benchmark band score of 8.0, and the University of British Columbia requires 6.5 bands for admission. In TOEFL, the minimum score required is between 93 and 100.

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Admissions Process for Masters of Social Work in Canada

For an international student, the admission requirements to get into Canadian universities are numerous and can be confusing. So make sure to prepare every document before the time of application and apply promptly.

  • Start by gathering all the documents required for the admissions process registration. These are;
  • Transcripts of the previous courses or degrees required by the university you apply to. In general, you need the mark sheets and the degree certificate.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume or CV
  • Proof of work experience (required for universities that have asked for the same)
  • Evidence of financial support to pay for the tuition fees and other expenses
  • Some universities might also ask you to write one or two essays on the given topics
  • Copy of passport
  • Once the documents are ready, submit them online and complete the application form. Check out the admissions schedule of all the universities and submit the application before the deadline.
  • The admissions committee will review your documents and reply to the email provided.
  • If accepted, you will be given time to pay the course fees and receive the acceptance letter.
  • With this letter, you can apply for a study permit visa for Canada.

With Canada being one of the best countries in the world to study and build a better life, ensure that your paperwork is correct and that the references, SOP, and essays are up to the mark for a smooth application process.


Studying in Canada may become one of your best achievements, but reaching there can be challenging. With several conditions and criteria set for international students, your preparation counts, and that’s why you need to make everything right. From the first step of selecting the right institution to the last step of applying for a visa, everything counts. A degree in a Master’s of Social Work from Canada provides learnings in advanced social work practice. After completing the course, you can work with different organizations depending on your area of specialization, especially NGOs or government organizations, as a social worker or in a related role. If your purpose is to make an impact in society and earn money while doing so, social work can be one of the ways to do so. For more information on the different types of courses you can pursue in Canada.