Application information

Applications for the September 2018 intake to the MSW Advanced (MSWA) program are now CLOSED. You must have a BSW degree to be eligible to apply to this program.  There is no intake into to the MSW Foundation program until 2019.

The MSWA begins with a one week on-campus late summer institute. The remainder of the program is delivered through distance education. For more information, please see the MSW Advanced program.

Admissions Information

Application process

The online application and required documents are submitted electronically through Graduate Admissions and Records. Please be prepared to upload all required documentation at the time of applying. All application materials are due by December 1. Late applications will not be considered. Direct any questions about the online application process to Graduate Admissions and Records:

The following Required Documents must be submitted for your application to be considered complete:

  1. Statement of Intent

    The Statement of Intent provides an opportunity for you to outline the degree of compatibility between our MSW Program and your interests and background(s).

    Tip: Before completing the Statement of Intent please review the School's Mission Statement and the detailed program objectives of the MSWA program at: 

    You are also advised to complete the “Self-Assessment” exercise to assess whether you have sufficient time and resources to dedicate to graduate studies.

    You must use the form-fillable PDF to submit your Statement of Intent (please note the maximum of 1000 words).
  2. Qualifying Experience

    All applicants are required to have a minimum of 3600 hours of experience in social work, social services, or a closely related field as of the application deadline date (December 1st).

    NOTE: Do NOT include field placements, practicum placements, internships, or co-op work terms in this Experience Summary.

    Qualifying experience is defined as paid employment or volunteer work in organized activities, programs and/or interventions that respond to or ameliorate conditions of inequality or disadvantage. This might include paid or volunteer work in a government, non-profit, or social service agency or involvement in social justice activism.  

    Applicants who believe that particular life experiences should be counted towards the experience summary are invited to provide a rationale for including this and articulate the connections of this life experience to social work. This rationale can be included at the bottom of the Experience Summary form.

    All applicants are required to complete and submit a detailed summary of their practice experience, including the calculation of the total number of hours of experience gained prior to the application date using the EXPERIENCE SUMMARY FORM. Information submitted in any other format will be discarded. Submit the experience summary form under the RESUME section in the online application.
  3. References:  Two references are required. These may be two academic references or one academic reference and one employer reference.

    UVIC uses an electronic reference system. All references must be submitted electronically through the Graduate Admissions and Records Office (GARO) electronic submission system.

    You must enter the names and the e-mail addresses of your chosen referees as part of the online application process.  Graduate Records and Admissions will send an e-mail request to each referee with instructions on how to submit a reference electronically. The online reference page allows referees to copy and paste a reference letter or comments additional to those required on the reference form. If one of your referees is having difficulty submitting a reference, please ask that person to contact GARO directly: 250-472-4657 or

    Academic references must be from post-secondary instructors from whom you have taken a taught, graded course (i.e., not from practicum).  
    The employer reference must be from someone in a work setting and be from a person who has or had a supervisory relationship with you.

    Applicants are advised to choose referees that are able to comment on their ability to complete academic work at the graduate level, including writing and critical analysis skills, and who will submit a reference by the deadline. Referees have 2 weeks after the December 1st application deadline to submit their online reference form through the application system. References received after this date will not be used by the department to evaluate your application.
  4. Post-secondary transcripts can be submitted as unofficial PDF files at the time of application. If you are offered a seat in the program you will then be required to submit sealed official transcripts from your post secondary education.

    ALL application document must be submitted electronically with your online application through Graduate Admissions and Records by the December 1st for your file to be considered complete. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered – no exceptions.


Notification of acceptance

Applicants for the MSW Advanced program will be notified of admission decisions by the end of March/ beginning of April following the application deadline. The notification will be reflected on applicant's MyPage application and will be emailed to the address on the application. Please await confirmation until this time.

Looking for funding for your MSW studies?

Funding Sources


Contact information

Graduate Admissions and Records
Front Counter:
Clerk responsible for Social Work:

Inquiries regarding the MSW program:

Jaime Ready, Graduate Secretary
Phone: 250-472-5622

Advice on obtaining required references

All applicants must provide 2 references as part of their application package, one of which must be an academic (post-secondary) reference from an instructor who has taught them in a graded course. The 2nd reference can be either an academic reference or an employment reference (this could be a practicum agency supervisor or liaison). We encourage applicants to contact prospective referees well in advance of the application deadline to ensure the timely completion and submission of references.

If students have been out of post-secondary education for a while, we recommend that they contact the institution/department where they completed their previous post-secondary degree to determine which of their former instructors is still at that institution.  Contact that person directly to ask if they will provide a reference by the deadline date. If a former instructor has moved to another university, ask for their contact information and contact them there. It is often useful to remind instructor referees which courses(s) students took with them, when, what their marks were, and any other particulars students think will jog referees memory. As a final option if no former instructor is available, students can ask the school from which they graduated if the director or dean can provide a general reference based on their academic file.

A final word of advice – it is always best to find out first if a prospective referee is prepared to give a positive reference.
Because all references are submitted electronically on a standard form, employers sometimes find the form does not cover their experience with an applicant. If this is the case, it can be useful to have an employer attach a separate letter to their electronic reference detailing how they know the student and their assessment of your suitability for graduate education. Instructions on how to submit a letter in addition to the required form are provided on the reference form that the referee receives. An employer reference can come from someone who has supervised your paid work, or your volunteer work if no paid work reference is available.  Please keep in mind that referees must have been in a supervisory position to you – references from colleagues are not accepted.
Reminder: all references must be submitted electronically through the Graduate Admissions and Records Office (GARO) electronic submission system. If one of your referees is having difficulty submitting a reference, please ask that person to contact GARO directly: 250-472-4657 or