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2-year MSW at York U or Foundational MSW at UBC-O?


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Hi everyone,

I recently got accepted to York's 2-year MSW program and got off the waitlist for UBC Okanagan's 2-year (foundational) MSW program. I'm having a hard time deciding between the two and was wondering if anyone had any insight for either of these programs. 

I live in the Greater Toronto Area, so that really draws me to York since they offer a considerable amount of funding as well. The offer that I received from UBC-O has no funding and living in Kelowna seems to be expensive.

I am interested in clinical social work, but at the same time I am curious about other aspects of the field (i.e. macro/mezzo level work). I know that York is known as a critical social work program and UBC-O is more focused on the clinical aspects of things, so that's another factor.

I am a bit confused and was hoping that if there are any individuals who have attended either of these schools or are currently in them could discuss their experiences and possibly the type of placements that they have done or what other students they know may have done.

Thank you,

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  • SWGurl changed the title to 2-year MSW at York U or Foundational MSW at UBC-O?
  • 5 months later...

Hi GradMSW,

I ended up choosing York's program! So far the program has been really good and I am enjoying it a lot so far. There are 20 or so people in my cohort and everyone's from very diverse backgrounds so the seminar conversations are very enriching. People in my cohort have started to hear back for their placements and it's a variety of things for the first placement, I'm still waiting on mine. I ended up choosing York over UBC-O and Laurier (I got off the waitlist later on) because of it's socially responsive mandate and strong focus on social justice and also because of location and funding. Neither UBC-O nor Laurier offered any funding and York's MSW program has the lowest tuition in comparison to both of those schools. Also, going to either UBC-O or Laurier would have meant moving away from home. Currently I am able to go to school without having too much financial worries thanks to York's funding package.

Talking to the students who are in the second year already, they are happy with the program and the placements that they have received. However, my one criticism would be that if you are strongly interested in clinical social work only, it may not be the best option as it is very macro-focused and a critical social work program. When I was comparing the curriculum of the three schools, what I concluded was UBC-O has a strong clinical focus with a lot of clinical opportunities, Laurier gives you the option of specializing in micro or macro practice, and York is more of a generalist program. In the end though, it came down to what would be best in terms of location, funding, and networks for me because I do wish to work within the GTA after I am done my MSW.

Hopefully that helps. Good luck with the application season also!

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