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smntoronto

Canadian MSW Applicants 2018

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Hey there, 

This is my first time using Grad Cafe, not sure if I'm posting in the right spot but I'm interested to hear from those of you who are applying for an MSW anywhere in Canada in 2018. What kind of work experience is most relevant? I've potentially found a job working in the registration department at the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario screening applicants from prospective therapists - would you say that looks favourable on an MSW application?

Thanks for your input!

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Hi Smntoronto,

Thanks for creating this board! I was having trouble finding other applicants for 2018 and I thought I was being overly anxious!  This is also my first time using Grad Cafe but it seems like a supportive community so I am super excited about that. I would saw that experience sounds awesome. I am personally a little nervous about my lack of experience in the social services as I come from a film background but I am hoping some of my differences will be an advantage as it will help me stand out a little. I think those who are in MSW programs currently could probably answer your questions best. What schools are you hoping to apply to? 

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Hey GradApplicant22! 

I'm looking to apply to University of Toronto's MSW program with a specialization in mental health and health. I applied in 2015 and was waitlisted, but I feel like I haven't got much relevant experience since then. I ended up pursuing a post graduate degree in something completely unrelated out of panic because I wasn't finding a job after my undergrad. I may also apply to Waterloo's MSW program, though I'm not sure. Since I don't have a BSW my options are quite limited, but ultimately I'd like to get in somewhere with a clinical/research focus rather than a grassroots, social justice focus like York. What schools do you have your eye on? 

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Hi all,

I'm looking to apply to UBC's MSW. Does anyone have thoughts/heard anything about their program?

Also, I've been exploring a couple of career options and have shadowed SWs in the hospital setting only (in BC). They've all told me that although they are passionate about their work, they are too stressed with the caseload and it really makes them feel unsatisfied with their work because they can't provide each patient with all the right resources due to caseload. Would this only be in the hospital? Maybe I've just talked to SWs that are all just under a lot of pressure at this time and I am hoping this isn't true for most cases.

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Hey everyone,
It's also my first time on this forum. I am currently in the Social Development Studies (Social Work Specialization) program at uWaterloo. I am going to be applying to the 10-month BSW program for Fall 2018. I was also looking into applying to Laurier for their 2 year MSW program. I was wondering if anyone knew how competitive these programs are and the admission GPA. 
Thanks!

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Hey @RH2 I've looked at UBC's MSW program for non-BSW applicants, but it says it's suspended until 2021 for some reason - may be accreditation issues, but nothing stated explicitly on the website: http://socialwork.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate/foundation-master-of-social-work-msw/. I'm interested in working in a hospital setting too but I've heard similar stories about burnout and not feeling productive; I think a good alternative is working in a mental health organization or not-for-profit. That is if you're looking for a health specialization. What other settings/specializations are you considering?

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Hey @aesw! I think I'll be applying to Laurier's two year MSW program, I've heard that it's very research-focused and extremely competitive. I've read on previous threads that it's more clinical in nature, too, like University of Toronto's program, so it'd be ideal if you're also looking to focus on health or mental health social work. I haven't heard anything regarding practicum options or what organizations they're affiliated with but as far as course content goes, it sounds really good. When I emailed the admissions coordinator recently they told me they require at least an A average in your final year and two years of paid/volunteer human services experience, "if you want to be competitive". 

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Hey everyone,

I am preparing for the fall MSW season. I worked in human services for years in both service delivery and policy development before returning to school for my BSW. I am now preparing to start the MSW application process. I need to work as I attend school so am looking at Canadian distance delivery MSW programs. I have searched a bit in grad cafe for info on developing a strong personal statement and application - wondering if anyone can recommend any other helpful links?

Good luck to all :)

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Hi @smntoronto,

Yes I did see that UBC-Vancouver suspended their MSW for non-BSW students; however, UBC-Okanagan will still be open to MSW applicants for non-BSW students. I've only been exposed to the hospital setting for SW. I did a couple of co-op semesters with the rehab department and liked how SWs work in a team with OTs/PTs/SLPs. I have heard of area such as mental health and do know that non-profits are also an option. I've always been interested in the geriatrics population so hopefully there's something like that......advance care planning maybe? I also heard about SWs in the ICU setting which seems fast-paced and interesting.

Just out of curiosity....what made you guys interested in SW? I've just completed my Kin degree....was always interested in physiology and psychology.....so initially wanted to go into OT but its just insanely competitive and so I thought SW might be the next option.

 

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Hey! @smntoronto That's awesome, I am actually interested in going into hospital/ medical social work so I think the program would be a good fit for me. I spoke to some advisors and professors in my faculty at uWaterloo and most of them have graduated from Laurier and highly recommend the program. I am also considering continuing my studies at uWaterloo and doing the 10 month BSW program followed by the 1 year MSW program. Although, I am interested in research and for some reason our graduate program doesn't allow for research, even though I am doing an honours thesis in social work at an undergraduate level (doesn't make much sense to me why research-based courses are only available to undergrads and not graduate programs).

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Hey @aesw @RH2 @SuzyH - have any of you started your applications yet? What schools have you decided on? I'm wondering whether I should apply to any fast-tracked BSW programs as backup in case I don't get into an MSW for 2018. Does anyone know anything about University of Waterloo's 10 month BSW?

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Hey @smntoronto I currently go to the University of Waterloo and I am taking all the BSW prerequisites so that I can apply to the 10 month BSW program as a backup (in case I don't get into an MSW program). This link provides a pretty good outline of the admission requirements for the BSW program: https://uwaterloo.ca/renison/future-students/bachelor-of-social-work/how-can-i-get-bsw There are 10 prerequisite courses required to apply to the program, I would e-mail the admissions office to see if your school offers courses that are equivalent to the prerequisite courses. Some of my friends didn't have the prerequisite courses but were able to receive conditional admission into the program, and then they took a year to take the required courses (they were admitted into the program after they completed the courses with a 75% average). From my understanding, the social work program at waterloo is more health-focused (I know the MSW is in the Faculty of Health Sciences, but I think the BSW is in the Faculty of Arts). A lot of my professors have also told me that the BSW program at uWaterloo also has really good placement partners within the community. For MSW, I haven't started any applications yet but I think I will be applying to Wilfrid Laurier University and possibly one more MSW program. 

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@smntoronto I am planning to apply to the Carleton MSW foundation year program! I currently have around 4850 hours of work - as for not sure whether or not to rapply, I really can't say!  I think a lot of new grads are in the dark about how requirements are weighted when it comes down acceptance. Perhaps you have more experience you are not counting? I think a lot of experiences can be worthy of their hours when applying.

Edited by littlebluebird

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Hi all,

I am thinking of starting my MSW right after my BSW. I am also thinking of applying to UBC MSW but am hesitant since they aske for a post-BSW referee while I have a referee who was my supervisor during my BSW that I am currently doing. Has anyone heard anything about this requirement? Are they flexible about this? In all other categories, I exceed their requirements . 

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Hello everyone,

I am currently a MSW student, feel free to ask me questions, especially if you're from Qc, I was accepted in all three universities I applied in.

Good luck everyone!

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15 hours ago, smntoronto said:

Hey @Adelaide9216. What  three universities did you apply to? I'd be interested to know anything about your applications to University of Toronto, York University, University of Windsor or Carleton if you'd applied to any of them. Thanks:) 

McGill University, Université de Montréal (UdeM) and Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). They are all located in Mtl, Qc.

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Hi everyone,

Best of luck to everyone applying for next year, and especially if you're applying to FIFSW :).

I'm applying to UofT's MSW 2-Year program. I'll probably apply to other schools but my heart is set on getting into UofT, which is making this application process really stressful.

I'm quite confident in regards to my academic history (4.0 GPA in 3.00/4.00 full-time course equivalent; A+ in my statistics class), and have 3 years of research experience (including 2 years of clinical research experience in Psychiatry (1.5 years of paid work; currently still employed there), but I don't have a lot of direct care experience. I've worked closely with Social Workers on research and have handled clinical documentation- but I wish I spent more time in the past couple of years doing more direct volunteer work.

 

I was wondering if anyone knew if academic requirement hold equivalent weight to experience?

 

Thanks,

AoS 

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Isn't it amazing how everyone else's stats sound exceptional, yet we always doubt ourselves? Good luck to everyone.

I'm coming from a non-BSW background (English/Women's Studies), and I have to complete a qualifying year regardless of where I am applying to.

My undergraduate GPA is 4.05/4.3 (top 1% of my department). I have worked as a Research Assistant, and written an Honours Thesis during my undergrad. I have been working as a crisis counsellor for victims of sexual assault for almost 2 years, and have even begun supervising the other volunteers. However, I have not been able to accumulate a ton of hours due to the number of volunteers/workers, and the rotation system at this organization. My number of hours is my main weak spot I believe. McGill's QY into Social Work requires roughly 1700 hours, and I will be lucky if I can get to 1000. Like agentofoscialization, I wonder if McGill values GPA more strongly than experience.

I am feeling the heat at this point!

On 09/10/2017 at 3:50 PM, Adelaide9216 said:

McGill University, Université de Montréal (UdeM) and Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). They are all located in Mtl, Qc.

 

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Hey @agentofsocialization I'm in the same boat as you! This is my second time applying to U of T's 2 year program. I'm also applying to York, Carleton and Windsor this time around though. I also don't have a ton of direct human service experience aside from the 1 year of crisis counseling I've done. The rest is research assistantship hours and advocacy work. I believe they weight your application as a whole and don't consider academics more than experience, at least that's what they told me at the last info session. 

 

@babybull I've been told that McGill heavily weighs academics compared to practical experience so it sounds like you have a good shot! 

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Hey all! 

I'm currently an MSW student at Wilfrid Laurier - graduating at the end of this year. I initially applied to 5 programs and was accepted to all of them. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Edited by reposae

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Hey everyone! 

Completely new to this forum. I've been looking at all the previous years' posts for a while now. This is my first time applying to the MSW program. I'll be applying to Carletons 2 year foundation entry program. I'm currently doing a Master's degree in HK (Intervention and consultation) and uOttawa. My undergrad was a mid B+ and the marks I have so far in my master's program are a solid A average. I have about 6000 hours of experience in paid positions over the last 3 years, primarily working in a small high school as a community development agent and student advisor. I also have a couple years of experience working as a special education technician with First Nations students from the ages of 6-17. I'm a little worried that my GPA won't be strong enough but I'm hoping that my experience will bump that a bit. Has anyone else applied to Carleton in the past? They seem to really put weight on structural social work and so I'm trying to make sure I emphasize that in my letter of intent. 

Good luck everyone! 

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On 10/7/2017 at 7:32 AM, GradMSW said:

Hi all,

I am thinking of starting my MSW right after my BSW. I am also thinking of applying to UBC MSW but am hesitant since they aske for a post-BSW referee while I have a referee who was my supervisor during my BSW that I am currently doing. Has anyone heard anything about this requirement? Are they flexible about this? In all other categories, I exceed their requirements . 

Hey! I am also applying for the UBC MSW program for 2018. They have changed the requirements from last year to say that you need two years post BSW experience. I am not sure how lenient they are with this but I would honestly just call the School of Social Work and ask. I called and they were actually pretty helpful. Did you do your BSW at UBC? If so, that may work in your favor for moving to the MSW program.

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Hi Everyone, I am trying to figure out how competitive the online MSW programs at Dalhousie and Renison(Waterloo) are. This is my first year applying. I have over 10 years as an RSW but my GPA was 3.5 in my undergrad and writing these Statement of Interest papers have been challenging to say the least! Any thoughts or suggestions for Dalhousie would be greatly appreciated.

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