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Canadian Universities MSW. The waiting game 2014 admissions


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I applied for the 2 year program at Laurier last year.  My grade average was in the high 80s but I only had approximately 2000 hours of experience.  I did not get in and they said the average hours to be accepted is 3-5 years with each year equaling 1750 hours - so 5250 to 8750 hours.  Last year there were 600 applicants for 90 spots.  I am not trying to be discouraging but Laurier REALLY focuses on the experience and number of hours.  I am applying there again this year for the advanced standing (after I didn't get in last year I entered UW's 1 yr BSW program) but I still only have less than 5000 hours.  I figure I'll at least try, but I'm also applying to UofT and Western's advanced standing program.

 

Oh, this is slightly discouraging to hear since I currently have around 4000 hours, and it might not even be considered quality experience since it's not directly in the social service field (I don't think). Oh well, I guess I'll try to make my application as stellar as possible.

 

I'm really crossing my fingers for UofT, and I'm hoping my international work/volunteer experience will be looked upon favourably.

Edited by jai_vu_bleu
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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

I applied for the 2 year program at Laurier last year.  My grade average was in the high 80s but I only had approximately 2000 hours of experience.  I did not get in and they said the average hours to be accepted is 3-5 years with each year equaling 1750 hours - so 5250 to 8750 hours.  Last year there were 600 applicants for 90 spots.  I am not trying to be discouraging but Laurier REALLY focuses on the experience and number of hours.  I am applying there again this year for the advanced standing (after I didn't get in last year I entered UW's 1 yr BSW program) but I still only have less than 5000 hours.  I figure I'll at least try, but I'm also applying to UofT and Western's advanced standing program.

Thanks for your reply smpalesh!  I am just going to apply to U of T.  I've toyed with doing the Lakehead 1 year BSW, but I think I will just run into the same problem if I apply for a 1 year MSW as even after another year I will probably have only 1,000 hours experience. 

 

Seriously how is one to hold down a job that is not in social work and get those experience hours.  I guess that is what competition is all about. 

 

Good Luck everyone!

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Oh, this is slightly discouraging to hear since I currently have around 4000 hours, and it might not even be considered quality experience since it's not directly in the social service field (I don't think). Oh well, I guess I'll try to make my application as stellar as possible.

 

I'm really crossing my fingers for UofT, and I'm hoping my international work/volunteer experience will be looked upon favourably.

When I spoke to Laurier yesterday they said 3500hours was the minimum...you may still get in with other aspects of your application!

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It sounds like U of T would be your best bet. They're flexible about the number of work hours you have if you have the right profile they are looking for. But York, Laurier and Carleton definitely want more hours.

 

Have you looked into Windor, Waterloo, Victoria and UBC - Okanagan? I can't remember the hours needed for these programs as I looked into them last year but you might be eligible to apply to their programs.

 

 

I have been following for over a year now and here is my big question to the community.  I am applying to the 2 year MSW at U of T (waitlisted last year) and was planning on WLU, but I have only 500 hours of experience and apparently the WLU average is 3500 hours.  I called and they were very doubtfull of my aceptance, but nicely said I could still apply.  Does anyone know of a situation where a person had such few hours?  I've also heard that for York the average required is an A, I have an A- and again don't have a ton of volunteer experience. If I have no chance at the other schools I'd rather my references focus on the one applicaton.

 

I'm becoming very nervous having all my eggs in the U of T basket, though that is my first choice. 

Edited by jenste
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Thanks for your reply smpalesh!  I am just going to apply to U of T.  I've toyed with doing the Lakehead 1 year BSW, but I think I will just run into the same problem if I apply for a 1 year MSW as even after another year I will probably have only 1,000 hours experience. 

 

Seriously how is one to hold down a job that is not in social work and get those experience hours.  I guess that is what competition is all about. 

 

Good Luck everyone!

Personally I think that doing a BSW can be an excellent idea.  The odds of getting into advanced standing programs are usually better than for the 2 year.  Plus you get valuable experience (schooling and practice).  I was disappointed when I didn't get into the 2yr at Laurier last year but I am totally fine with it now bc the BSW program at UW is awesome and I feel like I'm gaining so much by being here.  The practicum experience is really helpful for applying for grad schools and it provides almost 1000 hours throughout the school year.  I will have approximately 850 hours in a social work agency by the end of June.  I do practicum 3 full days a week.  I would not have been able to get that experience if I had not been doing the BSW.  My advice for people is always to consider the BSW programs.  It is 1 year and then you apply for the 1 year MSW so it is the same length of school.  You could apply for both and if you don't get into the 2 yr program at least you can still be continuing your education and then next year you apply for the 1 yr MSW.  The odds are actually higher with the Advanced standing.  For example, last year at Laurier there were 600 applicants for 90 spots in the 2yr MSW and 120 applicants for 28 spots.  That seems to be a similar trend at most universities.

Edited by smpalesh
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When I spoke to Laurier yesterday they said 3500hours was the minimum...you may still get in with other aspects of your application!

I agree it is still a good idea to try.  But yes, their website, and the info they will give out, is a minimum of 3500 hours (2 years) but when I got my rejection letter it said that successful applicants had 3-5 years experience.  Again, definitely still apply because it is not all about the hours.  Just acknowledge that they are very practice-focused and have a backup plan.  That is my opinion.  I am still applying even though I don't have enough hours.  It's worth a shot.

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Thanks for the input! I also like the idea that it is offered online! Do you happen to know how many applicants there were for the MSW program at Waterloo for 2013 and how many of those were accepted? 

I don't actually know.  I know of a few people in my current program (BSW) who are applying this year.  I think because they are a new program there might be fewer applicants but don't quote me on that ;) 

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I agree it is still a good idea to try.  But yes, their website, and the info they will give out, is a minimum of 3500 hours (2 years) but when I got my rejection letter it said that successful applicants had 3-5 years experience.  Again, definitely still apply because it is not all about the hours.  Just acknowledge that they are very practice-focused and have a backup plan.  That is my opinion.  I am still applying even though I don't have enough hours.  It's worth a shot.

 

Thank you! I've already submitted the online application, so I'm still going to go ahead and apply. I'll just have to make sure to really put a lot of effort into my written statement (not that I wouldn't have otherwise, but maybe emphasize certain areas that I wouldn't have thought to emphasize before). 

Edited by jai_vu_bleu
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I was wondering if anyone has advice for approaching a reference who is extremely delayed in responding to emails? The UofT application is due by Dec 16 and I've only received one reply for every 5 emails I've sent (slight over exaggeration). At this point I'm pretty much emailing once a week and still not getting a response. A few weeks ago they told me they would be okay with writing me one as they did last year, but I'm getting super anxious at this point. 

 

Should I wait until December 1, is there a way to make it look urgent in the subject line without sounding like a total asshole? 

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I would feel anxious too! I had one person who didn't send in their reference for months (I had submitted my application way early).  What I did to 'remind' them was to send an email saying something like, 'there is still plenty of time before the deadline but I just wanted to make sure you received the link of where to submit your reference'. It worked because she submitted it within a day or two of me sending that email.  She also apologized for taking so long.

 

I think the key is to maintain that balance between generally following-up and nagging.  If you've sent an email within the past two weeks, I'd suggest you go with your gut and not send another email until at least the beginning of December. 

 

I was wondering if anyone has advice for approaching a reference who is extremely delayed in responding to emails? The UofT application is due by Dec 16 and I've only received one reply for every 5 emails I've sent (slight over exaggeration). At this point I'm pretty much emailing once a week and still not getting a response. A few weeks ago they told me they would be okay with writing me one as they did last year, but I'm getting super anxious at this point. 

 

Should I wait until December 1, is there a way to make it look urgent in the subject line without sounding like a total asshole? 

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Personally I think that doing a BSW can be an excellent idea.  The odds of getting into advanced standing programs are usually better than for the 2 year.  Plus you get valuable experience (schooling and practice).  I was disappointed when I didn't get into the 2yr at Laurier last year but I am totally fine with it now bc the BSW program at UW is awesome and I feel like I'm gaining so much by being here.  The practicum experience is really helpful for applying for grad schools and it provides almost 1000 hours throughout the school year.  I will have approximately 850 hours in a social work agency by the end of June.  I do practicum 3 full days a week.  I would not have been able to get that experience if I had not been doing the BSW.  My advice for people is always to consider the BSW programs.  It is 1 year and then you apply for the 1 year MSW so it is the same length of school.  You could apply for both and if you don't get into the 2 yr program at least you can still be continuing your education and then next year you apply for the 1 yr MSW.  The odds are actually higher with the Advanced standing.  For example, last year at Laurier there were 600 applicants for 90 spots in the 2yr MSW and 120 applicants for 28 spots.  That seems to be a similar trend at most universities.

I would have to agree. I applied last year for the 2 Year MSW programs, was waitlisted for U of T, but thankfully had also applied to Lakehead for their BSW program and was accepted. It saved me from waiting another year and re-applying multiple times which seems to be the trend for some people. I am also gaining valuable practicum experience and there IS less competition for the 1 Year MSW programs considering the requirement is the BSW, so less applicants. It's also another year that you're not wasting and then having to re-apply the following year for the 2 Year MSW. I would strongly urge you to consider applying to BSW programs especially if you don't feel confident in the amount of hours you have. Dalhousie offers online, Waterloo, and Lakehead are 1 year so something to consider. 

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Thanks for your reply smpalesh!  I am just going to apply to U of T.  I've toyed with doing the Lakehead 1 year BSW, but I think I will just run into the same problem if I apply for a 1 year MSW as even after another year I will probably have only 1,000 hours experience. 

 

Seriously how is one to hold down a job that is not in social work and get those experience hours.  I guess that is what competition is all about. 

 

Good Luck everyone!

Sorry my response above should really have been directed to you regarding the BSW program!

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I was wondering if anyone has advice for approaching a reference who is extremely delayed in responding to emails? The UofT application is due by Dec 16 and I've only received one reply for every 5 emails I've sent (slight over exaggeration). At this point I'm pretty much emailing once a week and still not getting a response. A few weeks ago they told me they would be okay with writing me one as they did last year, but I'm getting super anxious at this point. 

 

Should I wait until December 1, is there a way to make it look urgent in the subject line without sounding like a total asshole? 

 

Hi Jaylynn,

 

There was actually a good piece of advice on this matter at the UofT information session I attended. The admissions office said that if you had a referee that was lagging behind that you could contact them directly and they would re-send the request for the reference. That's kind of a nice way of doing it, because they're getting the reminder but it's not coming directly from you. If you email/phone Angela Umbrello she should be able to help you out !

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Sorry my response above should really have been directed to you regarding the BSW program!

 

Thanks everyone for the advice about BSW programs!

 

I looked into Dalhousie and it is 2 year (I don't have 2 years), Waterloo has a number of required courses and I have called Lakehead and am waiting for confirmation whether or not they have required courses (it refers to them in the FAQ, though no mention on the program requirements).   One thing I have learned in this process is read everything multiple times.  If there are no required courses I will apply to Lakehead.  Thanks so much for all your advice.

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Hi Jaylynn,

 

There was actually a good piece of advice on this matter at the UofT information session I attended. The admissions office said that if you had a referee that was lagging behind that you could contact them directly and they would re-send the request for the reference. That's kind of a nice way of doing it, because they're getting the reminder but it's not coming directly from you. If you email/phone Angela Umbrello she should be able to help you out !

 

Thanks Jaylynn I am also going to use this advice

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I applied to Lakehead least year and was accepted. There are no prerequisite courses (or at least nothing you wouldn't have already if you are applying to 2 yr MSW programs).

The program is 12 months long and it begins right after Canada Day.

 

There is also St.Thomas University in NB. I have head their BSW program takes 15 months to complete and, if I remember correctly, there are no additional prerequisites you'd need to take. Best of luck.

 

Thanks everyone for the advice about BSW programs!

 

I looked into Dalhousie and it is 2 year (I don't have 2 years), Waterloo has a number of required courses and I have called Lakehead and am waiting for confirmation whether or not they have required courses (it refers to them in the FAQ, though no mention on the program requirements).   One thing I have learned in this process is read everything multiple times.  If there are no required courses I will apply to Lakehead.  Thanks so much for all your advice.

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I was looking into applying at for the Lakehead program, but my contract in Japan ends at the end of July, so I wouldn't be able to get back to Canada in time to begin. It's unfortunate, because it sounds like a good option. My mom completed the Lakehead program in Orillia a few years ago and enjoyed it.

 

I'll look into the St. Thomas program, though!

 

I applied to Lakehead least year and was accepted. There are no prerequisite courses (or at least nothing you wouldn't have already if you are applying to 2 yr MSW programs).

The program is 12 months long and it begins right after Canada Day.

 

There is also St.Thomas University in NB. I have head their BSW program takes 15 months to complete and, if I remember correctly, there are no additional prerequisites you'd need to take. Best of luck.

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Hi Jaylynn,

 

There was actually a good piece of advice on this matter at the UofT information session I attended. The admissions office said that if you had a referee that was lagging behind that you could contact them directly and they would re-send the request for the reference. That's kind of a nice way of doing it, because they're getting the reminder but it's not coming directly from you. If you email/phone Angela Umbrello she should be able to help you out !

 

Thanks poppy_msw, i contacted Angela yesterday just letting her know of the issue, and she said the reference can be late if it's faxed, but i kind of want her to subtly hit to my reference, so i might enquire about that next week :P

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Anyone else totally stressed about the personal statements/entrance essays?  I decided late in the game to apply so I am still working on them.  I feel like it really needs to be good in order to get their attention but then I wonder if I'm overthinking things.  Have to hand deliver my Laurier application tomorrow morning so I guess I don't have much time to obsess over this.  Still working on UofT and Western.

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Anyone else totally stressed about the personal statements/entrance essays?  I decided late in the game to apply so I am still working on them.  I feel like it really needs to be good in order to get their attention but then I wonder if I'm overthinking things.  Have to hand deliver my Laurier application tomorrow morning so I guess I don't have much time to obsess over this.  Still working on UofT and Western.

Same here for stressing over the written statements! It's all I have left to do for U of T, and I am unsure if I should keep what I said last year or change it drastically! Good luck to you though, we still quite a few days to work on it so I am sure by the time we hand them in they will be to the best of our ability! 

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Hey everyone. First time on here, seems pretty great!

I'm applying to U of T and Laurier. Anyone working on their U of T questions?? Do you find that the first two questions are similar? I don't want to be redundant but I feel like I need to talk about the same experiences in both.

Blaaaaaah, stressful

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