Frequently asked questions

What can I do with a BSW degree?

Is the UVic BSW degree recognized across Canada and internationally?

  • The UVic BSW degree is fully accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education and graduates are eligible to register as a social worker in any Canadian province.
  • If you are considering practicing outside of Canada after graduation, you must contact the social work association or registration board in that jurisdiction to ensure that a Canadian BSW degree will meet their membership or registration requirements.

Is admission to the BSW ongoing? When can I start the program?

  • BSW applications are available on our website in December of each year and completed applications must be received by January 31. Please see Admission information for details.

What are the admission requirements for the BSW program?

When I apply to Undergraduate Admissions, do I apply to Pre-Social Work or Bachelor of Social Work?

  • Pre-Social Work is only for 1st or 2nd year students who want to do undergraduate studies at UVic and are considering a future application to the Bachelor or Social Work.
  • Bachelor of Social Work is for applying to UVic once you have completed the Admission requirements for the BSW.
  • Being accepted to Pre-Social Work does not mean you are in the BSW program. Applying to the BSW program is a separate process.
  • Please note that while SOCW 200A & 200B and 3rd & 4th year social work courses are available by distance education, UVic does not offer general type courses (eg. Sociology, Psychology) by distance education. Therefore, it is not possible to take your first two years by distance education prior to applying for entry into the BSW program.

What should I take to complete my first 30 units of course work?

  • 30 units (generally equivalent to 60 credits at other institutions) are approximately 20 single-term courses. Within the 30 units you should complete SOCW 200A and SOCW 200B, or their transfer credit equivalents, and a wide variety of liberal arts, social sciences and humanities courses.
  • Some subject examples are English, French, Greek and Roman studies, history, linguistics, Pacific and Asian studies, philosophy, religious studies, women’s studies, anthropology, economics, environmental studies, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, and Indigenous studies.

Can the courses I have already taken be used for Transfer Credits?

  • As part of the official application process, Undergraduate Admissions will evaluate your transcripts to calculate transfer credit. Please note that this is not completed by the School of Social Work. 
  • For information about the transfer credits, please see the BSW Eligibility Document, the Academic Calendar – Applicants for transfer, and Undergraduate Admissions – Transfer credit.
  • Courses taken outside of BC are evaluated on a course-by-course basis by the applicable department during transcript evaluation.

Can I use previously completed courses to gain my BSW?

  • Although you may get transfer credits completed courses to enter the program, you cannot use them in place of the 2 years of course work and field education needed to complete the Bachelor of Social Work degree.

How many applicants do you admit per year? Is admission competitive?

  • The number of applicants admitted each year will depend on the resources available to the School and the number of qualified applicants. Admission is very competitive; we receive on average 500 or more applications per year for a limited number of seats.

Is the BSW program available to students outside of British Columbia?

  • Yes, the option of a distance education delivery method allows students to complete the BSW program while residing across Canada. Please note, distance education courses are not facilitated internationally.

How much is course tuition?

  • Current course tuition fees and student fees are available in the Academic Calendar and are generally updated May 1st  each year.
Tuition estimate:
*These are just estimates of the cost of courses, not including required student fees*
Multiply the “per credit unit” tuition charge to obtain estimates:
                1.5 x fee units = cost of a typical course
                4.5 x fee units = cost of a field education course
30 x fee units = cost of the BSW program

Financial Aid

Band funding and Third-Party Funding

  • If you haven’t already looked at what is needed by UVic for third party funding, then make sure you visit the third party sponsorship page
  • There is also a special page that has a little more information on band-funding.  This has information on the third-party billing form that a Band office needs to send to Accounting services (for tuition) and what documentation to send to the UVic Bookstore (for books and supplies).

How long will it take to complete the BSW? Can I take a part-time course load?

  • If you are completing a full-time course load, the program may be completed within 6 semesters (including 2 semesters of Field Education), depending on course offerings. However, if you are trying to balance work, family commitments, course work and field education placements, you may want to take a part-time course load instead.
  • The completion time for students taking a part-time course load is highly variable. It is up to you how long it takes to complete the program given student status is maintained.

Can the field education placements be completed where I live?

  • In most circumstances your required field education placements can be completed in or near your home community.  Visit Field Education for more information.

Can I use my work and life experience to take the place of a course?

  • If you have completed a minimum of two years paid or unpaid social justice experience (approximately 4000 hours) within the previous five years, you may qualify to complete a prior learning assessment (PLA) course in place of the third year field education placement. You can speak to a Field Education Coordinator about this possibility when you apply for your 3rd year Field Education course.

As a distance student, do I have to come to campus at any time during my program?

  • For the September 2024 entrance, there is no requirement to come to campus.

Is the distance education program the same as the on-campus program?

  • You will complete the same course and field education requirements for your program regardless of the course delivery method.

How are exams written?

  • SOCW courses do not have exams during the university’s final exam period. If any quizzes or exams are required for a course they are completed in class or online for distance education courses.

Can I take social work courses without being in the program?

  • SOCW 200A and SOCW 200B are open to registration by all UVic students. A maximum of 3.0 additional units of selected social work courses may be taken with permission by admitted UVic students who have 30 units including SOCW 200 and 200B or equivalents, subject to availability.