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USC MSW from Canada?


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Hi all,

I am completing my BS in Psych right now and I want to go into Social Work. I live in Canada, but most Canadian programs require a BSW first (or a foundation year on campus--I need an online program...)

Does it make sense to do a BSW and then an MSW even though I already have an undergrad degree? Alternatively, I could do an Americab MSW program online from Canada (USC catches my eye) but does that make sense? I'm a dual citizen so may end up in either place. The Canadian schools are cheaper (what isn't cheaper than USC?) but I'm not sure I want to spend the next two years getting another Bachelors.


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If you don't have a BSW, you'll have to do a foundation year in the U.S. too so it'll be a 2-year program or do you mean in Canada it would end up being 3-years? Also, might want to check with the social work organization in your province that evaluates international degrees because when I checked into the possibility of a move to Quebec from the U.S. in a couple of years it turns out they will not evaluate degrees obtained through an online program. Just something to be aware of. 

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If you do an accelerated BSW in Canada (for people with a bachelor's in another field) they can be done in as little as 1 year or as long as 2 years depending on the school. The MSW will then take 1 year to complete.


If you do an MSW with a bachelors in another field, the MSW will take 2 years in Canada (5 semesters to be exact, except for U of Victoria which is 6 semesters over 2 years). So it can take the same amount of time to complete, depending on where you do your BSW.


You are correct that most MSW programs in Canada are advanced standing 1 year programs. However the opposite is true in the US and 2 year programs with a foundational year are much more common, to my understanding.


If you are intent on doing your degree completely online then your options are limited in Canada, as you say. U of Waterloo and U of Manitoba have online MSW programs while U of Victoria and U of Manitoba offer online BSW programs. U of Victoria offers a 2 yr MSw and the 2nd year is entirely online, but I think that's about it.


So it sounds like in your case, US schools would be a good option to consider. (I'd still recommend trying to get into the Canadian online schools as well if you want to have lower tuition). But if there is any chance you could do an on campus program, I'd recommend Canadian programs if you intend to live in Canada for the long term. (For instance, Lakehead U offers a 12 months honours BSW program and St.Thomas U offers a 15 month program, then you could do a 1 yr MSW afterwards).


Keep in mind that you may need to take extra courses if you do your degree in the US to meet licensing requirements in Canada. I'd strongly recommend double checking with the provincial social work association in the province you want to work in and ask them which MSW programs are the most easily transferable from the US and go from there, if they are able to provide you with that information. Otherwise, give them a short list of schools and ask about what grads have had to do in the past to meet licensing requirements (as I don't think they'll do all that research and legwork unless you put in a formal request to have the program you graduated from assessed).


Good luck!

Edited by jenste
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