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Frequently Asked Questions

Regarding Admission Requirements...

What disciplines count as social sciences?

The following disciplines count as Social Sciences:

We require the equivalent of three full credit courses in the social sciences, equivalent to six half-credit courses , to include a half-credit course in research methodology. The following disciplines count as Social Sciences:




Family Relations and Human Development

Political Science



Social Development Studies

Social Work

Social Sciences

Plus any course designated as a Social Science by the university in which you completed your undergraduate degree.

I don’t know if the course I have completed meets the half-credit course research requirement?

Please review the listing of acceptable courses posted on our website at:

Acceptable Research Courses

I completed a course in research methodology; however, it is not listed on the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work website’s approved listing. How can I find out if the course will be acceptable?

You can submit an electronic version of the course outline and required reading list to: The course information will be reviewed by the Associate Dean, Academic.

I will complete all courses in Summer and the convocation ceremony is in the Fall. Can I still apply for September admission?

As long as all degree requirements are completed by August 16th, you can still apply for September admissions. If admitted, the offer would be conditional on the completion of your final year of full-time study with a mid-B standing and confirmation of degree conferral.

I am in my final year and am looking to apply to the program. I have a couple of courses this year that are at the 200 level in order to fill needed requirements to graduate. Will these courses not be counted in the total?

If you are applying for the two-year MSW Program, the GPA would be based on a full-course load of senior level credits, typically four or five full credits or equivalent, leading up to the awarding of your undergraduate degree. If it is necessary to go back to an earlier session, the Committee will review all the courses at the senior level in that particular session. If you are applying for the MSW Program with Advanced Standing, the GPA will be based on your final year of full-time study or equivalent.

Regarding the Application Process…

How many reference letters need to be submitted for the MSW program? Can I submit more than the required number?

The Admissions Committee will only review three references, of which at least one must be ACADEMIC (university course instructor), and at least one must be from your WORK or VOLUNTEER SETTING. Personal references are not appropriate (e.g., relatives, friends). Please review the detailed reference instructions at:

Will the committee consider a letter that was written over two years ago?

All references submitted must be current.

Does an academic reference have to be specifically from a professor or can it be from someone that I do academic work for (researching, analysing, writing manuscripts by deadlines, etc.)?

The academic reference should be from a professor who is able to comment on your academic ability. You should review our current reference form with the professor you are working with, and if they can comment on most of the areas, the reference should be acceptable. If not, we would recommend asking a former professor from your undergraduate program.

The MSW application process requires three references, including one academic from a university course instructor. I have been out of university for just over two years, and the majority of my professors have moved on to other teaching/research opportunities or do not remember me. Can I substitute the academic reference with a professional reference within the social work field who are quite familiar with the knowledge and skills set it takes to effectively practice social work?

If you feel strongly that you cannot submit an academic reference, it is recommended that you include a cover letter with your Resume, explaining your choice of referees.

My referee cannot submit the reference by the application deadline specified. Can they still submit a reference?

Yes: Referees will be permitted to upload the completed reference via the SGS online portal.

I did not complete a full course load in my final year. How will my GPA be calculated?

As an example, if you are only taking three courses from Sept – April, we will count back and include any summer courses you may have taken, and/or the previous Winter. In terms of how many credits – it must be the equivalent of a full-course load – minimum of four full credits at the senior level.

I missed the MSW Application Deadline Date. Can I still apply?

We do not accept late applications.

When will decisions be mailed out regarding the MSW Program?

Admission offer letters will be sent out from mid-February to mid-April. As decisions are mailed out, your status on the On-line application will be changed to Decision made. By mid-April all decisions will be sent out.

I plan to apply and I’m currently in my final year of my bachelor’s program. I will send in the transcripts by the November 1st recommended deadline date, however, I am taking a number of half-term courses and grades will be available in late January. Can I send in an updated transcript at that time? Where do I send the transcript?

You may upload an unofficial transcript directly onto the SGS online portal, under the document: Updated transcript.

I received an offer of admission. May I request a deferral?

Deferrals of admission are only permitted for extenuating circumstances.

A referee I want doesn’t have an institution or organization email address – what should I do?

A valid institution or organization email address is necessary for a referee to upload their letter. Email addresses that are shared, anonymous, generic or not linked to an institution, organization or business are not acceptable (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo!).  We strongly suggest you choose a referee who has a valid institution or organization email address. If an individual doesn’t have a valid email address, look at designating a different referee. If (despite your best effort) absolutely no alternative referee with a valid institution or organization email address is possible, you can enter a non-institution or non-organization email address in the online admissions application (it’s not necessary to contact us). Be aware this may delay review of your application as we must verify the authenticity of reference letters received in this manner. For every referee, enter a telephone number where they can be reached for our verification purposes.

Questions? Ask an ambassador!