Social Work

Pursue a graduate degree that will give you skills to help individuals, families, groups and communities enhance their individual and collective well-being.

Vanessa Bergeron
UBC Okanagan Master of Social Work students gain clinical social work skills and experience through direct service placements in our Interprofessional Mental Health Clinic.

What You Need to Know

Why study Social Work at UBC’s Okanagan campus?

Graduate Social Work: Build a broad foundation for career potential with our program’s skill-building courses and unique field education opportunities.

Career Demand: Satisfy the growing demand for Masters level social work professionals. Our graduates find opportunities nationally and internationally in mental health and addictions treatment, family service agencies, public health and health care settings, research, social welfare administration, schools and universities, professional organizations, regulatory agencies, federal and provincial governments.

Career Flexibility: Few occupations can match social work, which offers countless interesting workplaces and a wide variety of occupations. Social Workers are educators, therapists, leaders, managers, and researchers.

Community Engagement: Build your own collaborative network with regional community partners throughout the Okanagan.

Opportunities to make a difference: Work on teams of health care professionals to improve child welfare, or further the inclusion and full citizenship of people with intellectual disabilities—these are just some of the topics renowned faculty researchers in Social Work are exploring.

Program Details

Complete your UBC degree in Masters of Social Work to prepare for a leadership role in clinical and direct practice organizations. The School of Social Work has developed a unique graduate program which incorporates critical theory into social work assessment and intervention.

Develop a deeper understanding of the integration of the individual, relational, structural and global factors that respect diversity, promote resilience, and strengthen capacity.

Choose one of two tracks to complete your Masters of Social Work based on your undergraduate studies. Both Masters of Social Work tracks are designed to expand your knowledge, and help you develop the professional competencies that advance your career.

Advanced One-Year Track or Foundational Two-Year Track?

The Advanced One-Year Track is designed for those who currently hold a B.S.W. degree (or its international equivalent) from a recognized university and wish to gain Masters designation while advancing their theoretical understanding and practice skills with individuals, families and groups. The Foundational Two-Year Track is designed for those who hold a degree outside of social work and wish to develop a Masters of Social Work designation while gaining theoretical understanding and practice skills with individuals, families and groups.


UBC Okanagan’s Social Work program emphasizes clinical knowledge in the study of social work. The curriculum gives students a common foundational knowledge, as well as the opportunity to complement this with courses of personal interest.

Sample courses

  • SOCW 513- Assessment Skills for Clinical Social Work (core 1st year course in Foundational Track)
  • SOCW 519- Integrative Seminar for Field Education(core 1st year course Foundational Track)
  • SOCW 552- Community, Place and Policy in Clinical Social Work (core course in Advanced and 2nd year Foundational Tracks)
  • SOCW 551 – Advanced Clinical Social Work Theory and Practice (core course in Advanced and 2nd year Foundational Track)

Click here to browse Social Work(SOCW) courses and descriptions.

Degree Options

The Master of Social Work (MSW) Advanced One-Year Track requires the completion of 33 credits including one 6-credit practicum; and the The Master of Social Work (MSW) Foundational Two-Year Track requires a completion of 60 credits including two 6-credit practica.


In addition to the two tracks of study available, the School of Social Work offers individualized programs of study leading to a Masters or PhD in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS).

Admission Requirements for the Master of Social Work Foundational Two-Year Track

  • a minimum grade average of B+ (76-79%) in the third-year or higher levels of their undergraduate degree program;
  • a minimum score of 600 on the TOEFL, for students whose undergraduate degree was not completed in English; (refer to the College of Graduate Studies for more information).
  • completed a 3-credit course in statistics*; Approved Courses
  • completed a 3-credit course in research methods*; Approved Courses
  • completed a proposed Statement of Purpose; FAQ.
  • provided three letters of reference; FAQ and,
  • submitted a current resume or curriculum vitae.
    Preference will be given to applicants who meet the above criteria and have related paid or volunteer social work experience.

Admission Requirements for Master of Social Work Advanced One-Year Track

  • a minimum grade average of B+ (76–79%) in the third-year and higher levels of their B.S.W. program;
  • a minimum score of 600 on the TOEFL, for students whose undergraduate degree was not completed in English; (refer to the College of Graduate Studies for more information).
  • completed a 3-credit course in statistics*; Approved Courses
  • post- BSW social work experience; FAQ
  • completed a proposed Statement of Purpose; FAQ
    provided three letters of reference; FAQ and,
  • submitted a current resume or curriculum vitae.
* Courses required for admission DO NOT need to be completed before applying to the M.S.W. program. However, if accepted for admission, the student must submit an official transcript for the course(s) to the College of Graduate Studies by their deadline, which is normally at least two months prior to the start of the M.S.W. program.

For current official admission requirements, see the Academic Calendar.

For suggestions on how to make a strong application: How to Write Grad School Application Materials

Visit additional resources and further program information

Deadlines and Fees

Application deadlines
The Master of Social Work application period will close on January 31, 2017 for September 2017 admission. Please note that the College of Graduate Studies forwards applications to the School of Social Work once they are complete. Thus, it is important for applicants to review their online application checklist to ensure all supporting documentation is submitted well before the deadline.

Tuition Fees
Master’s degree program fees can be found here.

How to Apply

1) Review the steps to Apply Online

2) Apply now

Do you have questions about your application?
Be sure to visit our frequently asked questions. Still looking for an answer? Please contact the College of Graduate Studies at


Your Career Options

Find opportunities in private enterprise, health care and government with an graduate degree in social work. A UBC degree is respected by employers around the globe.Graduates with a Master of Social Work are employed in a range of jobs including case manager, field worker, and counsellor.



  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Personal counsellor
  • Family therapist
  • Specialty therapist
  • Case manager/Case work consultant
  • Child and family social worker
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Hospital/medical social worker
  • Community development worker
  • Youth worker
  • Policy analyst
  • Social researcher
  • Probation officer
  • Clinical mental health social worker
  • Group home worker
  • Crisis intervention counsellor
  • Non-profit coordinator
  • Volunteer services director
  • Community facilitator
  • Career guidance counsellor
  • Immigration counsellor

Potential Employers

  • Hospitals and primary health care settings
  • Child protection agencies
  • Post-secondary education institutions
  • Regional health authorities
  • Rehabilitation health departments
  • International relief agencies
  • Governmental departments and organizations
  • Community, social, and correctional services
  • Non-profit organizations related to advocacy
  • Human resources, and research organizations
  • Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
  • Hospice
  • Community outreach programs in mental and physical health
  • Court systems
  • Immigration Services
  • Research Services


Gain Valuable Experience

Your learning experiences take flight outside of the classroom. Join like-minded students, conduct meaningful research, and work alongside community partners.

Beyond the Classroom

    • Field education is the cornerstone of our clinical social work curriculum. Field Education formally integrates a student’s academic studies with supervised practice in a wide range of agencies and organizations or in the School’s own Interprofessional Mental Health Clinic.
    • Apply your knowledge, enhance your experience, and strengthen your understanding of specific aspects of social work practice.
    • Whether you’re working with active, clinical, or other populations, a field experience or direct practice can enhance your degree and experience.

Research Opportunities

  • The thesis-based option enables students in the School of Social Work to gain research experience.
  • Collaborate with one of our renowned faculty members to investigate your own interesting research question, while building a valuable skill set in research.

Campus Engagement


Meet Your Peers and Profs

Find out what students, faculty, and alumni have to say about UBC Okanagan’s Master of Social Work program program:

Jewelles Smith

Interdisciplinary graduate student shares about life as a UBC PhD student

Edward Taylor

Edward Taylor, Professor

Researcher Ed Taylor says its time to stop blaming families for mental illness

Vanessa Bergeron

Vanessa Bergeron, Alum

Vanessa’s quest for a MSW in the Okanagan revealed adventure and opportunity


Welcome to UBC’s Okanagan Campus

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the Social Work program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.

UBC Okanagan

Tour the Campus

  • Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at
  • Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
  • Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.

Day One: What to Expect

On the first day of university, faculties offer “Meet the Dean” sessions where you can get to know the Dean, professors, and the staff who provide student support. It’s all part of UBC Okanagan’s new student orientation: CREATE.

Attend an orientation tailored to your needs as an aboriginal student, domestic student, international student, or student living in residence. You can even register your parents for an orientation that includes a workshop and campus tour.

Academic Support

  • Peer mentors are a great resource — ask questions and learn from students who’ve been there, done that.
  • Familiarize yourself with campus resources designed to help you succeed. Student Services offers a variety of academic supports, from study sessions to tutoring and writing workshops.


Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and nationally ranked varsity athletics.

Clubs and Associations

Living in Residence

Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support. UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails. One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.

Find out more about living in residence at

The Okanagan: What to Expect

UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.

A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at


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Apply to UBC today

If you have questions, please contact Marilyn Gayle, Student Education Coordinator:, or ph.250.807.8038