FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - Admissions
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Please use the following link: Apply for Admission
**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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
If you have applied to our MSW program within the last year, you must complete the application in its entirety with the exception of references and transcripts. Your previous references will be pulled forward however, it is required that you submit one new reference form and letter. When completing the online portion of the application, list the new referee along with two referee's previously submitted. We require that you provide any up-to-date, official academic transcript(s). The application fee is also required.
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.
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.
We require three letters of reference: 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. Reference forms are to be returned to you in a sealed envelope, signed across the flap by the referee.
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.
The Reference Form is located in the "Add Referee" section of the OUAC online portion of the application process. When the referee data is completed, click on the "Print Confidential Assessment Forms" link. It is your responsibility to print these forms and forward them to your referees for completion.
Referee's need to respond to the questions on their organization's/company's/institution's letterhead found on page 2 of the Reference Form. Where is the Reference Form located?
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.
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 in the letter of reference.
Referee's can mail the completed reference form and letter back to an applicant in a sealed envelope with their signature across the back flap. An applicant can then include the envelope in their application package to be sent to FSW Admissions. Please note: If choosing this option you need to ensure there is sufficient time as the application package must be mailed on or before the application deadline. What if my reference form/letter is late?
OR, a referee can mail the completed reference form and letter directly to the FSW Admissions office. Please ensure you provide your referee with the correct mailing address: Mailing Address
We do not the accept a reference form/letter via email. Original copies must be either sent to you the applicant to include in your application package, or mailed directly to us at FSW Admissions.
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 they provide a brief explantion and if possible, include a business card.
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.
We ask that you plan ahead, distribute the reference form well in advance of the deadline so that they may be returned in time. If a reference form and letter or transcript is going to be late, submit your application by the deadline with a note explaining that a reference from (name) or a transcript from (university) will be forwarded as soon as it is received. Please note: A late reference/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.
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.
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
Although we can only consider grades from a recognized university or degree program, we encourage you to submit transcripts for any certificates or diplomas or even extra courses you have taken as it may enhance your application. You may include this information in the academic history section of the application.
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. These calculations are not restricted to course work in your major. If you are not academically eligible to apply, you may have to complete a course of study to establish eligibility. For more information click here
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.
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.
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: early March
Please note: The time frames listed above are approximate.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies will defer offers of admission in exceptional circumstances only. Deferral of an Offer of Admission
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2013, we had approximately 120 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.
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.
In 2013, 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 two years 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.
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.
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.
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. If you are interested in our part-time studies, please visit the MSW Programs website.
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.
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.
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.