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Canadian MSW Applicants 2021


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On 12/14/2020 at 3:26 PM, Anon313 said:

Thank youūüė≠ūüė≠ I‚Äôm trying to stay positive and patient as hard as it can be but¬†I truly hope you get in as well! I‚Äôll keep y‚Äôall updated

Hey!!! We discussed back in December  being on the waitlist at U Windsor advanced standing! I just wanted to let you know I got off the waitlist and have been admitted into the program! 
 

any change in your application? :) Fingers crossed! 

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Just to paint a picture of what’s happening (also to feel less alone haha) could everyone who hasn’t heard from U of T yet like this post? 

Yes same here. I feel physically sick waiting all day. It is crazy making. Who here is waiting on U of T? (Show with a like)

This must be some kind of social experiment 

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11 hours ago, kmswyay said:

Hey!!! We discussed back in December  being on the waitlist at U Windsor advanced standing! I just wanted to let you know I got off the waitlist and have been admitted into the program! 
 

any change in your application? :) Fingers crossed! 

Hey its the same person I just forgot my password lool! its been a while congrats I'm happy for you I know how stressed you were! I haven't heard back I've kind of lost hope tbh because so many of my friends are on the waitlist too but who knows! I'll 

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Does anyone have an opinion they could share on the MSW for working professional program at UWindsor (Peel) and the MSW part-time online at Laurier? Debating my options and would love to hear anyones opinion! Does one have more of a clinical focus?

Thanks!

Katie 

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Hey all, 

Congratulations to everyone who's been accepted to their programs! 

 

I am looking into applying either this or next year to MSW programs. I was hoping to get some advice from you all, about whether I should even bother applying or if I can somehow improve. 

 

I am graduating this year with BA in Psych. I've started my degree quite some time ago, didn't do amazing for the first few years, and ended up stopping after about 2.5 years to work and to deal with my own mental health. After about 3 years hiatus, I went back and finished my degree. I have a high GPA from York, with 8.5/9 and all in the A's and A+. I also got an A+ in my undergrad stats and A+ in both research methods and writing in psychology courses. I did not do my degree full-course load, as I was working, and have a family, and in general I was trying to get through it with having ADD and other related issues (which by the end of it I feel that I've got completely under control). My last few courses in undergrad were not very good, with some C's and B's, so if taking those courses into consideration my GPA might be slightly lower for the senior year. 

In addition, I've done some volunteering. I volunteered for a few years in CAMH, getting about 500 hours. I've also been writing articles for a medical newspaper online for 3 years now, basically surveying scientific literature on mental health and psychology. I've done about 100 articles to this day, which would be about 1000-1500 hours. 

I'm taking a year off now, trying to improve my CV. I've started training for a crisis line and for hospice  support, which I hope to do as much as I can until next year's deadline. I'm also looking for work in the field, but not sure if I'll be able to find anything relevant. 

I've secured some referees with my profs, and would be getting references from my volunteering placements too. I'm not sure how good the references from my prof will be, as I've not done any research in undergrad so there are no close relationships per se. However, I am very confident about references from the volunteer positions.

 

Would you guys say I have any chance of getting into an MSW program? I will also be applying to BSW post-degree programs, although there aren't too many. 

 

I've spoken to York's SW department, and was told I should apply this year to both the BSW and the MSW, but I really don't feel confident about that, seeing as I have no work experience in the field at all, having worked in kitchens and restaurants all through my life to get by. 

 

I would really appreciate any advice you guys could give, 

 

All the best and stay safe!

 

 

 

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I received an acceptance to Windsor's Regualr Track MSW For Working Professionals at 2:46pm today! I submitted my application April 8th so it was processed pretty quickly!

I have seen a Facebook group for the regular 2 year MSW program - has one been made for the MSWwp?

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44 minutes ago, IWantMSW said:

Hey all, 

Congratulations to everyone who's been accepted to their programs! 

 

I am looking into applying either this or next year to MSW programs. I was hoping to get some advice from you all, about whether I should even bother applying or if I can somehow improve. 

 

I am graduating this year with BA in Psych. I've started my degree quite some time ago, didn't do amazing for the first few years, and ended up stopping after about 2.5 years to work and to deal with my own mental health. After about 3 years hiatus, I went back and finished my degree. I have a high GPA from York, with 8.5/9 and all in the A's and A+. I also got an A+ in my undergrad stats and A+ in both research methods and writing in psychology courses. I did not do my degree full-course load, as I was working, and have a family, and in general I was trying to get through it with having ADD and other related issues (which by the end of it I feel that I've got completely under control). My last few courses in undergrad were not very good, with some C's and B's, so if taking those courses into consideration my GPA might be slightly lower for the senior year. 

In addition, I've done some volunteering. I volunteered for a few years in CAMH, getting about 500 hours. I've also been writing articles for a medical newspaper online for 3 years now, basically surveying scientific literature on mental health and psychology. I've done about 100 articles to this day, which would be about 1000-1500 hours. 

I'm taking a year off now, trying to improve my CV. I've started training for a crisis line and for hospice  support, which I hope to do as much as I can until next year's deadline. I'm also looking for work in the field, but not sure if I'll be able to find anything relevant. 

I've secured some referees with my profs, and would be getting references from my volunteering placements too. I'm not sure how good the references from my prof will be, as I've not done any research in undergrad so there are no close relationships per se. However, I am very confident about references from the volunteer positions.

 

Would you guys say I have any chance of getting into an MSW program? I will also be applying to BSW post-degree programs, although there aren't too many. 

 

I've spoken to York's SW department, and was told I should apply this year to both the BSW and the MSW, but I really don't feel confident about that, seeing as I have no work experience in the field at all, having worked in kitchens and restaurants all through my life to get by. 

 

I would really appreciate any advice you guys could give, 

 

All the best and stay safe!

 

 

 

You say you've had no relevant work experience, but what you've listed is almost all relevant. Different schools evaluate differently, but if you can justify how the work or volunteer experience ties in on your resume, then you've already got a lot going for you.

The truth is, different schools evaluate this kind of thing differently. Some want lots of paid work experience, but others are more flexible about paid vs volunteer. You'll want to really highlight the intensiveness of the volunteer experience; the reason paid work is often more valued is that volunteer positions could be as simple as handing out pamphlets. If you can demonstrate that your volunteer work was not only field-relevant but required real skills and dedication, you'll get a lot more credit for it when your application is evaluated. Don't just write down your job duties! Really think about what you did in that position that matters to social work, and tell them about those parts.

I don't have much to offer when it comes to your grades, except to say that you might think about how to present information in your personal statement to flesh out the picture of your education. This might take some time and planning. I would look up the schools that you want to apply to and look at this past year's requirements for the personal statement. Every school is going to ask for different information, so you'll be best prepared if you start formulating a response based on the information available. Schools might change the questions a little, but in my experience they rarely have a drastic change from one year to the next. I know some people on here mentioned that they applied last minute and got waitlisted/accepted, but don't let that freak you out. I got rejected last year and spent the next six months rethinking and redrafting my personal statement, bit by bit. You don't have to do it all overnight! A well-constructed personal statement goes a long way.

I think you should definitely apply to both BSW and MSW. A BSW would give you a chance to improve your grades and/or develop closer prof relationships, as well as qualifying you for MSW advanced standing tracks. My backup plan this year actually involved an SSW, because I didn't have the right course pre-reqs for a BSW and an SSW would give me the qualifications for jobs that would definitely strengthen my experience profile. An SSW probably wouldn't be counted for grades (since they aren't university courses), but this might be something you could also consider.

At the end of the day, any application-- even successful ones-- could be improved. It's important to know that some element of the application process has to do with the person reading your application and the other people applying the same year. Sometimes you may be more competitive, other times less so. Make sure to find out what the school is really looking for in their candidates and, if possible, if they are more holistic in their evaluation or more focused on specific resume items. This will save you effort and money as you rule out the ones that absolutely will not be a fit for you at this time, and let you focus your attention on the ones where you've got a better chance.

I hope some of this helps! I know the competition can be quite intimidating, but don't undervalue what you've got to bring to the table. You're doing fine.

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8 hours ago, MSWAPP2021 said:

Does anyone have an opinion they could share on the MSW for working professional program at UWindsor (Peel) and the MSW part-time online at Laurier? Debating my options and would love to hear anyones opinion! Does one have more of a clinical focus?

Thanks!

Katie 

Hi Katie,

I can’t speak for all the nuances that come with enrolling into either online program, but of the two universities you mentioned, Laurier slightly edges out Windsor when it comes to courses that specialize in clinical practice. 

Windsor offers an Advanced Generalist program which means that you’re required to take a mix of courses that address both macro and micro-level social work practice. While you can definitely pursue a career in clinical social work after finishing this program, it is not something that this university specializes in. 

Laurier doesn’t have that same rigidity when it comes to degree requirements as Windsor does. You can tailor your electives towards either macro-level community practice or micro-level clinical practice. You can also check out this post made two years ago from someone who was accepted into Laurier's MSW program. 

Hope this helps with making your decision!

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9 hours ago, FrostyMoon said:

Hi Katie,

I can’t speak for all the nuances that come with enrolling into either online program, but of the two universities you mentioned, Laurier slightly edges out Windsor when it comes to courses that specialize in clinical practice. 

Windsor offers an Advanced Generalist program which means that you’re required to take a mix of courses that address both macro and micro-level social work practice. While you can definitely pursue a career in clinical social work after finishing this program, it is not something that this university specializes in. 

Laurier doesn’t have that same rigidity when it comes to degree requirements as Windsor does. You can tailor your electives towards either macro-level community practice or micro-level clinical practice. You can also check out this post made two years ago from someone who was accepted into Laurier's MSW program. 

Hope this helps with making your decision!

Thanks for tagging that post from 2019! I have been trying to decide if I actually want to go to Laurier, as I was really set on getting accepted to U of T but didn't get accepted, so I am wondering if I would like the Laurier program or if I should keep trying to get into U of T! The more information I can find about Laurier's 2 year MSW program, the better.

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13 hours ago, IWantMSW said:

Hey all, 

Congratulations to everyone who's been accepted to their programs! 

 

I am looking into applying either this or next year to MSW programs. I was hoping to get some advice from you all, about whether I should even bother applying or if I can somehow improve. 

 

I am graduating this year with BA in Psych. I've started my degree quite some time ago, didn't do amazing for the first few years, and ended up stopping after about 2.5 years to work and to deal with my own mental health. After about 3 years hiatus, I went back and finished my degree. I have a high GPA from York, with 8.5/9 and all in the A's and A+. I also got an A+ in my undergrad stats and A+ in both research methods and writing in psychology courses. I did not do my degree full-course load, as I was working, and have a family, and in general I was trying to get through it with having ADD and other related issues (which by the end of it I feel that I've got completely under control). My last few courses in undergrad were not very good, with some C's and B's, so if taking those courses into consideration my GPA might be slightly lower for the senior year. 

In addition, I've done some volunteering. I volunteered for a few years in CAMH, getting about 500 hours. I've also been writing articles for a medical newspaper online for 3 years now, basically surveying scientific literature on mental health and psychology. I've done about 100 articles to this day, which would be about 1000-1500 hours. 

I'm taking a year off now, trying to improve my CV. I've started training for a crisis line and for hospice  support, which I hope to do as much as I can until next year's deadline. I'm also looking for work in the field, but not sure if I'll be able to find anything relevant. 

I've secured some referees with my profs, and would be getting references from my volunteering placements too. I'm not sure how good the references from my prof will be, as I've not done any research in undergrad so there are no close relationships per se. However, I am very confident about references from the volunteer positions.

 

Would you guys say I have any chance of getting into an MSW program? I will also be applying to BSW post-degree programs, although there aren't too many. 

 

I've spoken to York's SW department, and was told I should apply this year to both the BSW and the MSW, but I really don't feel confident about that, seeing as I have no work experience in the field at all, having worked in kitchens and restaurants all through my life to get by. 

 

I would really appreciate any advice you guys could give, 

 

All the best and stay safe!

 

 

 

 

12 hours ago, KnitFlamingo said:

You say you've had no relevant work experience, but what you've listed is almost all relevant. Different schools evaluate differently, but if you can justify how the work or volunteer experience ties in on your resume, then you've already got a lot going for you.

The truth is, different schools evaluate this kind of thing differently. Some want lots of paid work experience, but others are more flexible about paid vs volunteer. You'll want to really highlight the intensiveness of the volunteer experience; the reason paid work is often more valued is that volunteer positions could be as simple as handing out pamphlets. If you can demonstrate that your volunteer work was not only field-relevant but required real skills and dedication, you'll get a lot more credit for it when your application is evaluated. Don't just write down your job duties! Really think about what you did in that position that matters to social work, and tell them about those parts.

I don't have much to offer when it comes to your grades, except to say that you might think about how to present information in your personal statement to flesh out the picture of your education. This might take some time and planning. I would look up the schools that you want to apply to and look at this past year's requirements for the personal statement. Every school is going to ask for different information, so you'll be best prepared if you start formulating a response based on the information available. Schools might change the questions a little, but in my experience they rarely have a drastic change from one year to the next. I know some people on here mentioned that they applied last minute and got waitlisted/accepted, but don't let that freak you out. I got rejected last year and spent the next six months rethinking and redrafting my personal statement, bit by bit. You don't have to do it all overnight! A well-constructed personal statement goes a long way.

I think you should definitely apply to both BSW and MSW. A BSW would give you a chance to improve your grades and/or develop closer prof relationships, as well as qualifying you for MSW advanced standing tracks. My backup plan this year actually involved an SSW, because I didn't have the right course pre-reqs for a BSW and an SSW would give me the qualifications for jobs that would definitely strengthen my experience profile. An SSW probably wouldn't be counted for grades (since they aren't university courses), but this might be something you could also consider.

At the end of the day, any application-- even successful ones-- could be improved. It's important to know that some element of the application process has to do with the person reading your application and the other people applying the same year. Sometimes you may be more competitive, other times less so. Make sure to find out what the school is really looking for in their candidates and, if possible, if they are more holistic in their evaluation or more focused on specific resume items. This will save you effort and money as you rule out the ones that absolutely will not be a fit for you at this time, and let you focus your attention on the ones where you've got a better chance.

I hope some of this helps! I know the competition can be quite intimidating, but don't undervalue what you've got to bring to the table. You're doing fine.

I totally agree with KnitFlamingo and just wanted to add/emphasize - if you're worried about work experience being an issue, I'd look broadly at other schools too and not just York BSW/MSW. I actually didn't bother applying to York because I didn't have the minimum work experience, but I did get into UofT. Different programs weight the components of the application differently!

Also, most programs tend to look at your last couple of years, but I don't think it matters if you were PT or FT (I was part-time for most of my last 2y). If you have the opportunity, it might make sense for you to take a couple of non-degree courses over the summer or fall to boost your final years gpa. Just keep in mind that some programs require you to have the courses done in time for the application (like Laurier) and some will let you send an updated transcript after fall grades are out.

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14 hours ago, KnitFlamingo said:

You say you've had no relevant work experience, but what you've listed is almost all relevant. Different schools evaluate differently, but if you can justify how the work or volunteer experience ties in on your resume, then you've already got a lot going for you.

The truth is, different schools evaluate this kind of thing differently. Some want lots of paid work experience, but others are more flexible about paid vs volunteer. You'll want to really highlight the intensiveness of the volunteer experience; the reason paid work is often more valued is that volunteer positions could be as simple as handing out pamphlets. If you can demonstrate that your volunteer work was not only field-relevant but required real skills and dedication, you'll get a lot more credit for it when your application is evaluated. Don't just write down your job duties! Really think about what you did in that position that matters to social work, and tell them about those parts.

I don't have much to offer when it comes to your grades, except to say that you might think about how to present information in your personal statement to flesh out the picture of your education. This might take some time and planning. I would look up the schools that you want to apply to and look at this past year's requirements for the personal statement. Every school is going to ask for different information, so you'll be best prepared if you start formulating a response based on the information available. Schools might change the questions a little, but in my experience they rarely have a drastic change from one year to the next. I know some people on here mentioned that they applied last minute and got waitlisted/accepted, but don't let that freak you out. I got rejected last year and spent the next six months rethinking and redrafting my personal statement, bit by bit. You don't have to do it all overnight! A well-constructed personal statement goes a long way.

I think you should definitely apply to both BSW and MSW. A BSW would give you a chance to improve your grades and/or develop closer prof relationships, as well as qualifying you for MSW advanced standing tracks. My backup plan this year actually involved an SSW, because I didn't have the right course pre-reqs for a BSW and an SSW would give me the qualifications for jobs that would definitely strengthen my experience profile. An SSW probably wouldn't be counted for grades (since they aren't university courses), but this might be something you could also consider.

At the end of the day, any application-- even successful ones-- could be improved. It's important to know that some element of the application process has to do with the person reading your application and the other people applying the same year. Sometimes you may be more competitive, other times less so. Make sure to find out what the school is really looking for in their candidates and, if possible, if they are more holistic in their evaluation or more focused on specific resume items. This will save you effort and money as you rule out the ones that absolutely will not be a fit for you at this time, and let you focus your attention on the ones where you've got a better chance.

I hope some of this helps! I know the competition can be quite intimidating, but don't undervalue what you've got to bring to the table. You're doing fine.

Thank you very much for your kind words, it is very helpful.

I am wondering if I could ask you a couple more questions about what you said:

Would you mind explaining what you mean when you say "present information in your personal statement to flesh out the picture of your education"? How would I go about explaining that I was a terrible student some years ago because of personal issues, without also making myself sound like I'm not suitable for grad school?

Also, and this may be a bit of a silly question, but how do I go about finding out what schools look for in their candidates? Or if they are holistic? And what they would focus on in terms of the student, as well as the focus of the school in general?

1 hour ago, Waiting4AdmissionDecisions said:

 

I totally agree with KnitFlamingo and just wanted to add/emphasize - if you're worried about work experience being an issue, I'd look broadly at other schools too and not just York BSW/MSW. I actually didn't bother applying to York because I didn't have the minimum work experience, but I did get into UofT. Different programs weight the components of the application differently!

Also, most programs tend to look at your last couple of years, but I don't think it matters if you were PT or FT (I was part-time for most of my last 2y). If you have the opportunity, it might make sense for you to take a couple of non-degree courses over the summer or fall to boost your final years gpa. Just keep in mind that some programs require you to have the courses done in time for the application (like Laurier) and some will let you send an updated transcript after fall grades are out.

Thanks so much for that!

I do think that UofT would be a better fit for me, given that I would like to focus on the clinical aspect more. 

In terms of my grades, it's really weird. I don't know how they would calculate the GPA. I mean, if they want the last 10 semester-courses in the 3rd or 4th year level, they would have to go back into my previous transcript. Then, it's really a question of which courses they look at in my last session. Major-related ones would be in the 75ish, which would bring my average down a bit. Other non-major courses, I actually have two 3rd year courses that I got a 90 and 100 in. So it's really hard for me to even say if it's worth it. One thing I got from York, after talking to their department, is that since I finished the rest of my degree in York they said they would only look at my GPA in York, not in any previous sessions... 

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2 minutes ago, IWantMSW said:

Thank you very much for your kind words, it is very helpful.

I am wondering if I could ask you a couple more questions about what you said:

Would you mind explaining what you mean when you say "present information in your personal statement to flesh out the picture of your education"? How would I go about explaining that I was a terrible student some years ago because of personal issues, without also making myself sound like I'm not suitable for grad school?

Also, and this may be a bit of a silly question, but how do I go about finding out what schools look for in their candidates? Or if they are holistic? And what they would focus on in terms of the student, as well as the focus of the school in general?

Thanks so much for that!

I do think that UofT would be a better fit for me, given that I would like to focus on the clinical aspect more. 

In terms of my grades, it's really weird. I don't know how they would calculate the GPA. I mean, if they want the last 10 semester-courses in the 3rd or 4th year level, they would have to go back into my previous transcript. Then, it's really a question of which courses they look at in my last session. Major-related ones would be in the 75ish, which would bring my average down a bit. Other non-major courses, I actually have two 3rd year courses that I got a 90 and 100 in. So it's really hard for me to even say if it's worth it. One thing I got from York, after talking to their department, is that since I finished the rest of my degree in York they said they would only look at my GPA in York, not in any previous sessions... 

When I say "flesh out the picture of your education", I mean including some details that would make your grades make sense. You don't have to come right out and tell them your entire story (that would take too many words anyway), but you can find a place to slip in your lived experience with mental health and ADD challenges. You can frame it as part of your journey and how you overcame those challenges to earn high marks in the later part of your studies. Of course, you'll have to think about the best way to incorporate this information within the answers to the questions they have for you, but it's not impossible. If you're worried about honesty hurting you, just know that I included personal information about my extremely conservative and bigoted upbringing, and how I had to unlearn all of that as an adult-- and I still got accepted to a social justice-oriented program. It's less about admitting to a less-than-perfect past and more about showing your own growth.

Your second question isn't silly at all! This can take a bit of digging and there's no one place to find it. One way to do this is to go to their info sessions in the fall. At Laurier's info session, they flat out told us that they "look at a holistic picture of the candidate" and take everything into account: grades, experience, resume, and a lot of weight on the personal statement. Info sessions are probably the most direct way to find out exactly what the school wants, but the drawback is that you'll have to wait until about September/October before the schools host them.

You could also compare the information that different programs offer on their websites. You can get a sense of what a program values by looking at the way they describe their curriculum and the requirements they expect of applicants. You may still be able to click on the links for last year's personal statement requirements. Looking over those questions can give you an idea of what the school values in their candidates. If they want you to talk a lot about specific kinds of experience, if they ask about research experience, if they ask you to talk about social justice issues, or if they ask you for reflexive information about yourself, it conveys something about what's important to them.

You sound like a busy person, so I'm not going to seriously suggest you devote a lot of time to this next suggestion, but you can also find out a lot about programs by looking through GradCafe threads and what past applicants have said about what they found out via various means (talking to other students, talking to admissions, attending info sessions). For example: part of the reason I didn't pursue UofT is that I have read that UofT is less personal and that the professors are very involved in their own research, to the point that it's difficult to build relationships with them. I'm a very relationships-oriented person, so that wouldn't be a fit for me even though UofT offers a lot of clinical experience/opportunity. 

I know you were having the grades conversation with someone else, but you can always ask York what their policy is in a case where they have to reach back to another transcript for a full 10 courses. You can also just ask other schools that you might apply to how they calculate the GPA of their applicants.

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On 4/22/2021 at 7:59 PM, mriley26 said:

I received an acceptance to Windsor's Regualr Track MSW For Working Professionals at 2:46pm today! I submitted my application April 8th so it was processed pretty quickly!

I have seen a Facebook group for the regular 2 year MSW program - has one been made for the MSWwp?

Oh wow that's a fast turnaround. Congratulations!!! Is this for a Jan 2022 start?

Also, if you're comfortable, do you mind sharing your average/experience?

Edited by MSW2022
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