Bachelor of Social Work
Admission Requirements to the Bachelor of Social Work
The main objective of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is to provide graduates with a generic practice framework so that they are prepared to deliver services to various client constituencies at a level of competence suitable for beginning practice. The School of Social Work at St. Thomas places major emphasis on understanding the structural roots of social problems in Canadian society. The cause of much of the suffering and inequality in society is seen to be rooted in our social and economic order, and not in the individual, the family, or the subculture. All interventions are seen within the context of this understanding and, although much of social work practice is concerned with the immediate needs of individuals, the resolution of social problems is seen as necessarily involving interventions in our major social institutions.
1. A minimum of 60 credit hours in liberal arts with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, or a minimum GPA of 3.0 on the most recent 30 credit hours.
2. A minimum grade of “B” in SCWK 2013 Introduction to Social Welfare and a minimum grade of “B” in SCWK 2023 Introduction to Social Work*.
Note: Applicants who do not satisfy these minimum academic requirements are not considered further in the selection process.
3. A critical awareness of the interaction among the individual and the social, political, and economic aspects of society and a demonstrated recognition that for structural social workers the main focus for change is the structure of society rather than the individual.
4. Evidence of familiarity with, and commitment to, the profession of social work, as well as the capacity to learn from experience.
*Students without the mandatory social work courses will be required to participate in an interview process weighted at 30% (replacing the weight given to the grades of two mandatory courses).
The BSW Program includes a minimum of 700 hours of field practice, as required by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education Standards for Accreditation. The first practicum commences during the Winter Semester of the 3rd year (250 hours). The second practicum occurs during the Winter Semester of 4th year (450 hours) in a block format, four days a week.
All application materials and supporting documents must be received by the Admissions Office on or before the deadline of April 30.
Educational Equity Admissions Policy
The School of Social Work recognizes that some applicants may experience structural barriers to education opportunities due to identification with a specific group, including stereotypical assumptions and structural disadvantages that privilege some groups over others. St. Thomas University and the School of Social Work are committed to the principles and practices supporting educational equity. The School affirms the principle that individuals from all marginalized groups should have the opportunity to learn and contribute to a more inclusive profession of social work that better reflects the diversity of Canadian society.
For the purpose of this policy, persons eligible to apply using the Equity Policy include:
- Canadian Indigenous Peoples including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
- Visible minority persons other than Canadian Indigenous Peoples, who because of their colour are a visible minority in Canada.
- Immigrants who are Permanent Residents and who do not record Canadian Citizenship by birth.
- Refugees that have been accepted for residence in Canada, and that left their country of origin because of persecution for belonging in a particular social, cultural, religious and/or national group or for holding particular political beliefs.
- Persons with disabilities who consider themselves as disadvantaged by reason of any physical, mental, intellectual, sensory or learning impairment.
- 2SLGBTQ+ persons that self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transexual, two-spirited, queer or intersex.
Applicants must meet the minimum academic requirements and self-identify in the online application. Each applicant is considered individually on the basis of their qualifications, rather than in relation to other applicants.
|CGPA on a program or most recent 30 credit hours
|*SCWK 2013 grade||15%|
|*SCWK 2023 grade||15%|
|Experience (work, volunteer, life and learning from experience)||20%|
*Students without the prerequisite second year social work courses will be required to participate in an interview process weighted at 30% (replacing the weight given to the grades of two mandatory courses).
The deadline for applications is April 30. The application, including supporting documents, must be received by the Admissions Office on or before the April 30 deadline. The required application and documents include the following:
- a completed general application form for admission found at STU.ca/applynow. When completing your application for admission, you will be prompted to upload the following supporting application materials:
A) a non-refundable application fee of $55 ($40 for applicants from New Brunswick);
B) a personal statement in which you discuss your interest in becoming a social worker; experiences (personal, volunteer, professional, employment) that have influenced both your understanding of Social Work and your decision to apply; insights, knowledge, and skills that you have gained from these experiences and that have relevance to social work; and your professional/learning goals as well as any relevant vocational plans. See Personal Statement Instructions below; and
C) a detailed résumé including volunteer and paid employment.
two online references: one academic and a second related to community experience, volunteer work, or paid employment, which speak to your readiness for the social work profession. When completing your application for the Bachelor of Social Work program, you will be asked to indicate information about who will provide your references, including their names and contact information. Please refer your references to the Guidelines for Referees section below. When you submit your application, your referees will receive an automated email from firstname.lastname@example.org notifying them of your reference request. Please note that reference request emails may filter to an "other" or "junk" folder. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all reference documents are submitted by the deadline.
- official transcripts of marks from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. Please note, if you have a STU transcript, you will not need to submit it, as our Admissions Office has access to it.
International applicants: a WES evaluation of your previous university-level studies completed outside of Canada. Applicants whose primary language is not English must submit an official English language proficiency score. For minimum score requirements for this program, please contact the Admissions Office at email@example.com.
For further information, please contact the Admissions Office at (506) 452-0532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal Statement Instructions
Your personal statement is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of social work, how your experiences have influenced this understanding and your decision to apply to the social work program at St. Thomas. In addressing the areas below, you are encouraged to refer to your life experiences as well as your volunteer, professional and/or employment experiences. We are interested not only in what you have done but also in what you have learned about social work, yourself as a potential social worker, and how you have developed.
In writing your personal statement, please make sure that you address the following areas. You do not have to work your way through each of the areas in the order they appear below, but you do need to address these areas at some point.
We are interested in:
- What you have done in terms of life, volunteer, professional and employment experience and what you have learned from this. You need to indicate what you have learned about yourself, others and society. You should provide concrete examples. So, for example, rather than say, ‘I have learned communication skills’ refer to which skills, in what contexts and to what effect.
- Why you are applying specifically to St. Thomas, in what ways you hope to benefit from being in the program and what you think you can contribute to the program. Again, please provide concrete examples. For instance, rather than say, ‘I hope to be a better social worker’, you should think about how the program at St. Thomas will help you become a better social worker.
- How you see the social work program fitting in with your future plans. Why you are making the application at this point in your life, and where you see yourself going once you have completed the program.
- Your understanding of society, privilege, marginalisation and discrimination. You may choose to reflect on your personal experiences in the light of these concepts and link these to wider social issues.
- What you think is the role of social work, in the light of your understanding in the previous bullet point.
Your personal statement should be approximately 1000-1500 words (3 – 4 pages), typed, double-spaced in a standard 12 point font. You will be prompted to upload your personal statement to your application for the Bachelor of Social Work program.
When completing your application for the Bachelor of Social Work program, you will be prompted to upload a résumé. Please attach an up-to-date résumé, which includes your education, work, and volunteer history.
Guidelines for Referees
Thank you for agreeing to provide a reference for an applicant to St. Thomas University’s Bachelor of Social Work degree program. Your comments will be considered carefully by our admissions committee. Professional suitability is weighted heavily in our selection process.
You can be of help to the applicant by sharing observations on his/her professional and academic suitability. Because of the nature of the program and the profession, it is critical that persons with suitable personal qualities be selected. Your comments on the candidate’s qualities that will affect their performance as a social worker are of particular interest to us.
Referees will receive an automated email from email@example.com notifying them of a reference request when the applicant submits their application. Please note that reference request emails may filter to an "other" or "junk" folder.
The application deadline is April 30. If these guidelines are not followed, your reference may not be considered. Thank you again for your assistance. Please be assured that your comments will be treated confidentially.
For further information, please contact the Admissions Office at (506) 452-0532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.