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Canadian Universities MSW. The waiting game 2014 admissions


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Hey :) I can totally feel everything you are saying lol I've been having nightmares for the past week about missing something or not meeting the grade cut off.

As for when to give up hope (because I have thought of the possibility of rejection in great detail), I agree with DanielEPS if this is something you really really want to do then don't give up. I've also heard if you get rejected you can call and ask what was missing from your application and try to fix it for the following year. 

 

Best of luck!

I have heard the same from Laurier representatives at their info session. If you don't get accepted you can always go in for an interview to discuss what you could augment in your application for the future.

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I want to be clear that I wasn't saying that experience or volunteer work doesn't matter - everything you can do enriches you as a person, and as a candidate for an MSW.  What I was trying to convey i

I was accepted off of Windsor's wait list today!!!! My status on my windsor account changed this afternoon. I'm soooo happy! I was very worried! 

Hi everyone!   I have been following this thread and others similar to it for the past couple of years, but this is my first post. This is my third year applying to 2-year MSW programs. For the past

Hey :) I can totally feel everything you are saying lol I've been having nightmares for the past week about missing something or not meeting the grade cut off.

As for when to give up hope (because I have thought of the possibility of rejection in great detail), I agree with DanielEPS if this is something you really really want to do then don't give up. I've also heard if you get rejected you can call and ask what was missing from your application and try to fix it for the following year. 

 

Best of luck!

 

 

Last year I did push for a call with the Director of Admissions. If you are waitlisted you have to wait until the list closes and it did take time as she is very busy.  She was very nice, didn't say a lot, but she did give me some advice on improving my references (she cannot speak to the letters).  What is hard is she said I had a great application and am a contender, it's just when they have so many strong applicants it is just a numbers game really.  I did exactly what she said and I'm hoping I get in this year, but it does seem like the competition is steep so who knows.  

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Did any of you who applied for the 2 year programs apply for the OGS scholarship as well? I want to get an idea of how competitive the scholarship is.

 

I didn't, and best of luck!

 

And again, it's great that this is such an encouraging place - as we're getting down to the wire, I feel like we need it.

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Hi Everyone, 

 

I'm hoping someone can help me out because I had a conversation today with a friend at school who applied to the 2 year MSW last year. She's a straight A student and in the same program so we have research experience from our classes but she was not accepted. She told me when she called later to find out what she was lacking it was her volunteer experience, they told her they prefer around the ballpark of 700 hours for UofT.

 

Needless to say my jaw nearly dropped (I have about 300) and now of course I am feeling really really discouraged about my application/chances of getting in. 

Any words of encouragement or stories of people getting in with less would be very appreciated right now lol  

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700 is actually the lowest requirement I've ever heard of for an MSW.  I think it will depend on the rest of your application and also your entrance essays.

 

For what it's worth I got accepted to the advanced standing and I have approximately 2800 hours of experience.

 

Hi Everyone, 

 

I'm hoping someone can help me out because I had a conversation today with a friend at school who applied to the 2 year MSW last year. She's a straight A student and in the same program so we have research experience from our classes but she was not accepted. She told me when she called later to find out what she was lacking it was her volunteer experience, they told her they prefer around the ballpark of 700 hours for UofT.

 

Needless to say my jaw nearly dropped (I have about 300) and now of course I am feeling really really discouraged about my application/chances of getting in. 

Any words of encouragement or stories of people getting in with less would be very appreciated right now lol  

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Hi Everyone, 

 

I'm hoping someone can help me out because I had a conversation today with a friend at school who applied to the 2 year MSW last year. She's a straight A student and in the same program so we have research experience from our classes but she was not accepted. She told me when she called later to find out what she was lacking it was her volunteer experience, they told her they prefer around the ballpark of 700 hours for UofT.

 

Needless to say my jaw nearly dropped (I have about 300) and now of course I am feeling really really discouraged about my application/chances of getting in. 

Any words of encouragement or stories of people getting in with less would be very appreciated right now lol  

That is one thing that concerns me too. Laurier's website states they want at least 2 years volunteer experience. I had >5 years volunteer experience when I applied. However, when you look closely at the Laurier website it states a year is equivalent to 1750 hours. So they are looking for 3500 hours of volunteer experience. I certainly do not have anywhere near that number. Accumulating those hours would be much easier if you had a full-time job that could add to those though, so I'm sure they consider that. We will just have to wait and see.

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Hi Everyone, 

 

I'm hoping someone can help me out because I had a conversation today with a friend at school who applied to the 2 year MSW last year. She's a straight A student and in the same program so we have research experience from our classes but she was not accepted. She told me when she called later to find out what she was lacking it was her volunteer experience, they told her they prefer around the ballpark of 700 hours for UofT.

 

Needless to say my jaw nearly dropped (I have about 300) and now of course I am feeling really really discouraged about my application/chances of getting in. 

Any words of encouragement or stories of people getting in with less would be very appreciated right now lol  

 

Wow, that is pretty discouraging. This is my second year applying and I'm sure I have less than 200 hours of volunteer work. I was wait-listed last year but I explained why I could not volunteer much, which may have helped. Unfortunately I took that out of my written statement this year. Chances of getting in this year seem slim again! But my point is, I think it's dependent on a number of factors.

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Would anyone who has been accepted into U of T be interested in me creating a Facebook group for us all to connect with one another on there, and throughout the academic year? I did it for my BSW classmates and we all found it very helpful in resource sharing, collaborating and exchanging info etc. 

 

I think that would be a lovely idea - I would definitely be interested.

 

As an extra note, I also received an acceptance email from the University of Calgary today - I've already accepted U of T, so that will open up at least one from the wait list at Calgary

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I think that would be a lovely idea - I would definitely be interested.

 

As an extra note, I also received an acceptance email from the University of Calgary today - I've already accepted U of T, so that will open up at least one from the wait list at Calgary

 

I have been waiting to hear from the University of Calgary and haven't heard anything yet! Did you apply for the two year or one year program? 

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Wow, that is pretty discouraging. This is my second year applying and I'm sure I have less than 200 hours of volunteer work. I was wait-listed last year but I explained why I could not volunteer much, which may have helped. Unfortunately I took that out of my written statement this year. Chances of getting in this year seem slim again! But my point is, I think it's dependent on a number of factors.

 

Thanks for the response, glad to see your story definitely helped me calm down a bit. I know they say they look at it as a whole package so I'm hoping that the rest of my application will speak for itself. Plus there is the stuff that they can't really talk about like what references said, so there could be additional factors that affected her chances.  

Anyways it's out of my hands now I just can't help internally judging my chances lol 

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I've been following this thread for awhile now! I also applied for the 2-year MSW program, and reading about the number of volunteer hours required is concerning! However, if I combine both my work and volunteer hours it comes close to 3,000 hours worth of experience. I am sure they consider both work and volunteer, as well as your letter of intent and references! So lets not try to worry too much :)

Fingers crossed guys, and good luck to you all!

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Wow, that is pretty discouraging. This is my second year applying and I'm sure I have less than 200 hours of volunteer work. I was wait-listed last year but I explained why I could not volunteer much, which may have helped. Unfortunately I took that out of my written statement this year. Chances of getting in this year seem slim again! But my point is, I think it's dependent on a number of factors.

 

 

Hi Everyone, 

 

I'm hoping someone can help me out because I had a conversation today with a friend at school who applied to the 2 year MSW last year. She's a straight A student and in the same program so we have research experience from our classes but she was not accepted. She told me when she called later to find out what she was lacking it was her volunteer experience, they told her they prefer around the ballpark of 700 hours for UofT.

 

Needless to say my jaw nearly dropped (I have about 300) and now of course I am feeling really really discouraged about my application/chances of getting in. 

Any words of encouragement or stories of people getting in with less would be very appreciated right now lol  

 

 

Just wondering if this is posted on the U of T website (700 hours of volunteer work), also: how do the calculations work in terms of paid experience? how many years back are these hours accounted for?

 

Thank-you :)

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Wow, that is pretty discouraging. This is my second year applying and I'm sure I have less than 200 hours of volunteer work. I was wait-listed last year but I explained why I could not volunteer much, which may have helped. Unfortunately I took that out of my written statement this year. Chances of getting in this year seem slim again! But my point is, I think it's dependent on a number of factors.

 

Last year I was waitlisted with ~100 hours.  This year I think I have ~300 hours. Still well below that cut-off.  That cutt-off is news to me.

 

The hard thing with hours is that there is not a ton you can do about them short of quiting your job to work/volunteer in the field, which I actually offered to do to the Director of Admissions and she said that was not...I'm not sure if she said expected or necessary - looking back on it those 2 words carry very different meaning. 

 

I don't know about everyone else applying for the 2 year program, but this is my second career and unfortunatley my first career (in Business) did not care about volunteering, but tons and tons of work experience leaving me with not much volunteer. I have lots of life experience that is relevant (I was primary care-giver for my mother which led to my desire to change careers) and all I can do is hope that they take that into account.

 

Fingers crossed...may the odds be ever in your favour.

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Just wondering if this is posted on the U of T website (700 hours of volunteer work), also: how do the calculations work in terms of paid experience? how many years back are these hours accounted for?

 

Thank-you :)

I'm wondering the same thing, as I don't recall anywhere that I was asked the number of hours I've volunteered, or a requirement being listed anywhere.  With a FT non-social work job, my volunteer hours are WAY lower than 700 if we're only looking at the last year.  (On Angela's advice in the info session, I went all the way back to high school with my resume and included all of my volunteer work, which I hope was a help.)

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Just wondering if this is posted on the U of T website (700 hours of volunteer work), also: how do the calculations work in terms of paid experience? how many years back are these hours accounted for?

 

Thank-you :)

 

Hey :)

As far as I know it is not posted on the site I believe that they just say that volunteer experience is an asset. How I came upon the 700 hours is through a friend who applied last year but was not accepted. When she called to find out why they told her that her experience (volunteer and/or paid) needed to be 700 hours in social service related work in order to be competitive. I think after people don't get in the first time they probably volunteer the following year in relevant settings and rack up the hours so it makes it more competitive for applicants who are maybe applying directly from school or could not volunteer for whatever reason. The hours are based off whatever you put in your application I don't think there is a time limit for how far back they look. 

 

Also as I'm sure we've all heard before it is looked at as a package so maybe there was other factors that played into her rejection as well (i.e., the reference letters which are not supposed to be discussed after the fact). This is just what I heard and it made me have a bit of a panic attack so I was looking for moral support here :) 

Edited by b39
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Last year I was waitlisted with ~100 hours.  This year I think I have ~300 hours. Still well below that cut-off.  That cutt-off is news to me.

 

The hard thing with hours is that there is not a ton you can do about them short of quiting your job to work/volunteer in the field, which I actually offered to do to the Director of Admissions and she said that was not...I'm not sure if she said expected or necessary - looking back on it those 2 words carry very different meaning. 

 

I don't know about everyone else applying for the 2 year program, but this is my second career and unfortunatley my first career (in Business) did not care about volunteering, but tons and tons of work experience leaving me with not much volunteer. I have lots of life experience that is relevant (I was primary care-giver for my mother which led to my desire to change careers) and all I can do is hope that they take that into account.

 

Fingers crossed...may the odds be ever in your favour.

Hey, 

Thanks for the input it is very encouraging to see you were wait listed with around 100 hours, I don't think it is necessarily a cut off but perhaps she was encouraged to get closer to the number to increase chances. Again, I'm not sure what other factors played into the rejection of her application. It just really shocked me when I heard that number.  

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I think volunteer/paid experience is crucial for the 2 year MSW program. It shows commitment to the field, and proves you've tested your interest and have a realistic idea of what you're getting into. I understand it's frustrating, but it's so important.

I think U of T is one of the most lax with this expectation though, and I've be told grades weigh heaviest. 

 

2 years ago I applied to Laurier and Windsor, and was rejected from both because lack of experience. The past 2 years have allowed me to gain so much more experience and exposure to the field.  

 

Looking back, I can honestly say I am happy I was rejected in 2012, because I really wasn't ready. I will get so much more out of the program now with the knowledge and experience I've gained. I have about 3000 hours now. Fingers crossed I get in. 

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I can understand that experience is important, but when you're talking about thousands of hours, you're asking people applying to a SW program to already be social workers - that doesn't make sense to me.  If that's the requirement, require on a BSW for admission, which necessarily includes a practicum or eight.  I optimistically look at the U of T program as an option for those of us who have had a winding road to SW, in many cases making us excellent candidates for the field.  There are people coming right out of school with lots of volunteer and practicum experience, and there are people leaving behind higher salaries and promising careers to pursue what they know in their heart is the right place for them - both groups of people enrich the program.

 

And apple MSW, this was advice she gave because I mentioned that I'd been in a non-SW field for so many years.  I needed to prove that my interest in helping people didn't start yesterday, and she said it would be best to include whatever I could.  Depending on what you included in your application, it's highly possible you didn't need to go 20 years back!

 

I'm going to take heart in the fact that a diverse group of students coming from a wealth of backgrounds makes for a well-rounded program that will train the best social workers, and hope the places I've applied agree!

Edited by l_c
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I can understand that experience is important, but when you're talking about thousands of hours, you're asking people applying to a SW program to already be social workers - that doesn't make sense to me.  If that's the requirement, require on a BSW for admission, which necessarily includes a practicum or eight.  I optimistically look at the U of T program as an option for those of us who have had a winding road to SW, in many cases making us excellent candidates for the field.  There are people coming right out of school with lots of volunteer and practicum experience, and there are people leaving behind higher salaries and promising careers to pursue what they know in their heart is the right place for them - both groups of people enrich the program.

 

And apple MSW, this was advice she gave because I mentioned that I'd been in a non-SW field for so many years.  I needed to prove that my interest in helping people didn't start yesterday, and she said it would be best to include whatever I could.  Depending on what you included in your application, it's highly possible you didn't need to go 20 years back!

 

I'm going to take heart in the fact that a diverse group of students coming from a wealth of backgrounds makes for a well-rounded program that will train the best social workers, and hope the places I've applied agree!

Thanks I_C. What you wrote above was part of what inspired my interest in doing an MSW in the first place vs. a Psychology Masters or other helping professions.  Let's hold on to our hope and wait for one more month.

 

I hope the best for everyone!

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I see what you're saying, l_c. And I agree. That's the nice thing about the written statement. I think it's probably one of the best measures for acceptance. Personal experience is sooo valuable. 

 

That said, it's competitive so many people basically are social workers going into the MSW program. Some schools (Laurier) require 2-3 years full time experience. It's intense. 

 

U of T is definitely the best bet for people with good grades and less experience though. Experience is recommended but not required...so with a strong application anyone above the grade cut off has a good chance at getting in. 

 

All the best to everyone...about 3-4 more weeks until we hear :).

 

I'm thinking of trying to resist checking ROSI early so I can find out via the envelope. Anyone else thinking this? 

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I don't think anyone is going to get rejected for having less than 700hrs if they have a really strong application otherwise but if you have minimal experience, then it will be much harder to get accepted, that's for sure. The thing is, you cant come into an MSW program without having experienced the field. It is not really a place to 'explore' your interest to see if it works for you--that should have happened prior to applying. 

 

edit: for the advanced standing, everyone has experience because they've gone through a BSW program.  For the 2yr, they know that you wouldn't necessarily have that same level of experience because you haven't had the chance to acquire it. That is probably why they don't specifically give a cut-off in hours. Don't place too much emphasis on it. It wasn't spelled out in the application criteria so there must be some leeway.  They truly view the entire application.

Edited by MSW13
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A friend of mine was accepted to the 2 year program at UofT last year with absolutely no directly social work related experience. She taught gymnastics for years and drew compelling connections between this work and social work in the application, and had a lot of great research experience combined with a stellar transcript. They definitely do look at applications holistically, so don't give up hope. :)

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