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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 31, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - Admissions



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - Admissions
 
Admission Contact Information

After reviewing the information posted on the FSW Admissions website and in the Admissions Viewbook, if you require further assistance, please send an email to the confidential FSW Admissions email address:  socialwork@wlu.ca

 
How do I APPLY?

Applying to one of our MSW programs is a two part process.

PART ONE:  THE ONLINE APPLICATION.  Complete the online application through the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) by the applicable MSW program deadline date.  A $125.00 application fee is required when the online application is completed.

PART TWO:  THE MSW APPLICATION CHECKLIST.  Assemble and mail the additional application material located in the MSW application checklist to the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work by the applicable MSW program deadline date.

 
Where do I find the Online Application?

Please use the following link: Apply for Admission

 
Where do I find the MSW Application Checklist?

Please use the following link:  Apply for Admission

 
What if the application deadline date is on the weekend?

**The online portion of the application process (Step 1) will be due on the deadline date no matter when it occurs.**

If the application package (Step 2) is being dropped off it is due the following business day (Monday) during regular business hours, 8:30am-4:30pm.

If the application package (Step 2) is being mailed, it must be clearly post-marked the following business day (Monday).

THIS ONLY APPLIES TO MSW and/or PhD PROGRAM DEADLINE DATES THAT OCCUR ON THE WEEKEND.

 
What MAILING ADDRESS do I use?

Please use the following mailing address:  Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, 120 Duke St., W., Kitchener, ON  N2H 3W8, Attn: ADMISSIONS

NOTE:   Mailed application packages do not need to be in the office on the deadline date but they must be clearly post-marked on or before the deadline date of the program an applicant is applying too.  Mailed application packages received after the deadline date will be checked for a post mark.  Application packages post marked AFTER the deadline date will be returned.

**Do not put your application in a binder, duotang, portfolio or page protector. 

 
Where do I DROP OFF my application package?

Application packages can be dropped off at the FSW Reception area located on the 1st floor at the Kitchener campus during office hours.

Address:  Faculty of Social Work, 120 Duke St., W., Kitchener, ON  N2H 3W8

Office Hours:  Monday-Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Please note: There is NO outside drop box at the Faculty of Social Work

**Do not put your application in a binder, duotang, portfolio or page protectors.

 
Can I check the status of my application online?

Applicants are not able to check the status of their application online.  A confirmation email will be sent within two weeks after the deadline date to confirm the receipt of the application package.  Please review when decisions will be made at the following link:  When will decisions on Offers of Admission be made?

 
Will you CONFIRM MY APPLICATION has been received?

We will acknowledge receipt of your application package using the email address provided, within two weeks after the deadline date.  Note, e-mail is the primary form of communication during the file reading process, be sure to check it regularly.

We recommend you make copies of all application materials for yourself and obtain a tracking number if you are mailing documents. 

 
What are the REAPPLICATION PROCEDURES?

If you have applied to our MSW program within the last year, you must complete the application in its entirety with the exception of transcripts. However, if your degree was in process or you have completed additional course work, an updated transcript/s is required. The application fee is also required. 

Please note:  The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has moved to online reference form submission through the online application.  Therefore, new references are now required when reapplying.

 
Can I apply to more than one MSW program?

Applicants can apply to more than one MSW program by the program deadline date.  An application fee will be required for each program application; however, only one set of transcripts and references will be required.  Students are not permitted to transfer from one program to another.  In order to be considered for admission to a program you must apply to that program.  No late applications will be accepted for any MSW program.

 
Can I change my Area of Specialization(Field of Study)/Thesis?

Absolutely, Laurier does not admit students based on "Area of Specialization" (Field of Study) choice as there are no specified quotas.  Two year full-time students will have until mid-October to finalize their choice.  Advanced standing students must finalize their choice during the placement planning process prior to commencing the program.  Therefore, select one option and should you receive an Offer of Admission, changes can be made during the Fall term.

 
What are your reference requirements?

We require three references: one (1) academic reference and two (2) professional references.  A professional reference is someone who can speak to your work and/or volunteer experience in human services.  The online application system facilitates the online submission of reference forms.  Detailed instructions are provided within the system.  

An additional academic reference can be submitted as one of the professional references (eg. two (2) academic, one (1) professional).  Although not required, a practicum/placement supervisor is considered an excellent professional reference.

Do not include personal references from family, friends or anyone associated with you in a client/patient based relationship.

 
Where do I find the Reference Form?

The online application system facilitates the online submission of reference letters.  Detailed instructions are provided within the system.  You will be asked to provide contact information for your referees, including a vaild email address.  A valid institutional/organizational email address is preferred, however generic email address will be accepted. 

Once you confirm your application by proceeding to payment, the system will send an email to each of your referees using their valid email address, inviting them to submit the completed form directly to the application database using a secure interface.  The email will include reference instructions and the reference form.

 
What does my referee need to include in the reference form?

Referee's need to respond to the questions provided in the Reference Form template sent to them directly by the online application system once you have confirmed your application by proceeding to payment.  Where is the Reference Form located?

 
What if I have been out of school for awhile?

If you have not attended university in the last five years, we do not require an academic reference; however, you will need to include a third professional reference.

 
What if my referee is no longer at the organization/institution?

Occasionally, referee's are no longer at the institution/company/organization for which they are providing your reference or they have retired.  The referee will still be considered a suitable reference.  We ask that they provide a brief explanation when completing the online reference form.

 
How do I send in the Reference Form?

The online application system facilitates the online submission of the reference form.  Detailed instructions are provided within the system.  You will be asked to complete detailed contact information, including a valid email address for each referee.

Once you confirm your application by proceeding to payment, the system will send an email to each of your referees, who have a valid email address, inviting them to submit the completed form directly to the application database using a secure interfaces.  The email will include reference instructions and the reference form.

It is important to communicate with your referees well in advance of submitting your online application for admission to confirm contact information and ensure they are willing and able to provide a reference by the deadline date.

 
Can my referee submit their reference via email?

The online application system facilitates the online submission of reference form.  The system will send an email to your referee using the valid email address provide in the online application, inviting them to submit the completed form directly to the application database using a secure interface. 

 
What if my referee can not provide an organizational email?

We ask that if at all possible, an institutional/organization/company email address be used.  If this is not possible, a personal email account can be provided.

 
Can my reference form/s be late?

We ask that you plan ahead, and communicate with your referees well in advance of submitting your online application to confirm contact information AND ensure they are willing and able to submit the completed reference by the deadline date. 

 
How do I submit my transcript/s?

We require only ONE (1) copy of your transcript from each institution attended. Transcript requests can be made: 

1.  Through the OUAC online portion of the application process for an additional fee.  If choosing this option, the electronic transcript will come automatically to the FSW Admissions Office.  OR

2.  Request a transcript directly from each institution attended.  You can request your transcript/s to be mailed back to you in a sealed envelope and include with your application package.  If choosing this option you need to ensure sufficient time as the application package must be mailed on or before the application deadline date.  OR, you can have the transcript/s be mailed directly to:  Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, 120 Duke St., W., Kitchener, ON  N2H 3W8  Attn: ADMISSIONS

 
Can my transcript/s be late?

If a transcript is going to be late, submit your application by the deadline with a note explaining that a transcript from (university) will be forwarded as soon as it is received. Please note: A late transcript must be received by our office within two weeks after the deadline date for the program you are applying to, in order for your application to be considered.

 
Do I submit my transcripts from a Community College?

Yes.  Full academic disclosure is required.  Although we can only consider grades from a recognized university or degree program, you are to submit transcripts from a Community College for any certificates or diplomas.  This information is to be provided in the academic history section of the application.

 
How can I be sure I am eligible to apply or raise my GPA?

Eligibility is determined on the basis of your last completed academic year (equivalent to 10 half-year courses) at the time of application.  A minimum B (73%) standing in the final academic year is required, however a competitive applicant will have a strong B+ (79%) or higher final year GPA. These calculations are not restricted to course work in your major. For more information click here

 
What is a SOCIAL SCIENCE?

Social sciences would include, but not limited to; anthropology, child/youth/family studies, criminology, economics, environmental studies, global studies, history, political science, psychology, social justice and peace, sociology, thanatology, women’s studies, etc.  We will also accept your university’s definition of a social science. There are many new programs and courses that would fall under the category of social science even though it may not be listed. 

 
Why is self-identifying information collected?

It is a priority of the Faculty of Social Work to encourage applicants who are committed to equity and social justice issues and who may also reflect the diversity of our community.  We believe that this will enrich the educational climate of the entire program of graduate studies in social work.   To this end, we are asking applicants to provide information pertaining to personal identity and professional experience with diverse populations.  There are two distinct ways this information is used.  For details, visit Valuing Diversity at Laurier.

 
When are decisions about Offer of Admissions made?

Admission decisions will be made using the following time frame:

  • Full-time Advanced Standing Program: last two weeks of February
  • Part-time Advanced Standing Program (alternate year):  end of April
  • 2 year Full-time Program:  first two weeks of April
  • 4 year Part-time Program (alternate year):  early July
  • Full- / Part-time PhD Program:  mid March

Please note:  The time frames listed above are approximate.

 
Do you defer offers of admission?

The Faculty of Graduate Studies will defer offers of admission in exceptional circumstances only.  Deferral of an Offer of Admission

 
Why will some applicants receive conditional offers?

Offers of admission will be conditional for applicants who have coursework currently in progress, all of the conditions that must be satisfied will be printed directly on the offer of admission.

 
Will I be considered for an Entrance Scholarship?

All applicants who receive an offer of admission who are full-time graduate students will automatically be evaluated for eligibility for an Entrance Scholarship.  Entrance Scholarships are awarded with an offer of admission or shortly thereafter.

 
Do you interview candidates for the program?

Personal interviews are not required for the admissions process with the exception of the Aboriginal field of study. However we may ask to meet informally with an applicant if we require clarification of the application material.

 
What if I am a student with a disability?

The accessible Learning Centre is committed to assisting students with disabilities in reaching their full academic potential.  Visit Accessible Learning Centre for information regarding its services and resources.  

 
Advanced Standing Program Information

In 2014, we had approximately 160 applications for 28 full-time positions.  Most successful applicants had a solid A- average in the last completed academic year, as well as the equivalent of over three years experience in human service organizations.  All applicants will be notified of decision by the end of February.  There are approximately 30 offers of wait list positions.  The wait list is not ranked initially, and although there is normally some movement from the wait list, we cannot predict your chances of an offer.

 
Aboriginal Field of Study Program Information

A class of 20 students will be admitted to the MSW Aboriginal field of study for both the full-time and part-time cohorts. Admission requirements to this program include an admissions interview. All applicants to the Aboriginal program will be notified of a final decision no later than July 1st.   A number of wait list positions will be offered; however, we cannot predict the possibility of an offer from the wait list.

 
Two-Year Full-Time Program Information

In 2014, we had approximately 600 applicants for 90 full-time positions.   Most successful applicants had a solid A- average in their last completed academic year, as well as the equivalent of over 3500 hours paid and/or volunteer experience in human service organizations (one year = 1750 hrs).  All applicants will be notified of a decision on or before April 30th.  There are approximately 40 offers of wait list positions. The wait list is not ranked initially, and although there is normally some movement from the wait list, we cannot predict your chances of an offer.

 
Part-Time Program Information

The FSW receives approx 60 applications for 25 positions in the part-time program.  The program is very structured in design.  Attention to program regulations and employment-based practicum criteria is important.  If you are unable to participate in an employment-based practicum do not secure your own placement.  Once in the program, you will work with the practicum office to make these arrangements.  All applicants to part-time studies will be notified of a final decision no later than June 30th.  There will be a number of wait list positions offered; however, we cannot predict your chances of an offer from the wait list.

 
Where Can I Find Information about the Practicum?

FSW Practicum Website

 
Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance

 
Do I have to be eligible at the time of application?

When calculating GPA, we use the last ten half credits on your transcript at the time of application.  Your degree does not have to be complete when applying.  You must have a minimum B average at the time of application in order to be eligible.

You can also apply if you are missing some social science courses or your research method.  If you were to receive an offer it would be conditional upon completion of these courses by the time you begin our program.

 
Is the MSW program offered via distance education?

  We do not at this time offer any of our courses via distance education.  We do, however, offer a part-time program with courses offered in the evening. 

 
What if I have an "F" in my final year of study?

If you have a questionable mark on your transcript, which is affecting your final year GPA score, you must petititon to your University to have the mark removed.  Our policy indicates that if it is in your transcript, then it must be included in our GPA calculation.

 
Do I need a workplace practicum to apply to the PT program?

Historically the part-time programs were designed to help people who were already working in the human services/social work field to advance their training. Therefore, the workplace placement is offered as a way to help people continue working while getting advanced education.

Having said that, yes, students can elect to request a placement in an agency other than their workplace if that plan suits them educationally, professionally and financially. One idea however is to consider working on special teams etc in your agency whereby you would advance your skills.  Doing that has allowed some students to get paid while doing placement. In a non-workplace placement student are not allowed to be paid.

The Practicum office shares a Student Guidebook with all incoming students that outlines all procedures related to your practicum. Your placement interests in particular agencies would be considered along with all students in the full time and part-time programs. Students are not allowed to find their own placements or contact agencies to inquire about placements.

 
Can you tell me about the joint MSW/MDiv program?

The joint Seminary and FSW program at Laurier: the MDiv-MSW degree is offered for those seeking ordination but can also be taken by those who are not seeking ordination.  Please contact the Seminary for further details in regards to the MDiv program requirements.

Students in the joint program take courses from both departments (the Seminary on WLU main campus and the FSW building downtown Kitchener) each term, including through Spring terms, until the degrees are completed.  Therefore the degrees are completed concurrently.  Our joint program students relay that they enjoy the variety of taking courses from different departments, but note that it requires exceptional organizing skills, and the ability to handle a very heavy load, as the joint program is completed full-time only.  (The degrees can each be completed part-time if done individually).  It's an exciting program for those with aptitudes in both social work and theology, and want to create either a career that will combine both interests, or a career in one field only, with the other field studied for personal interest only.