Social work education consists of theoretical courses and practical training at the undergraduate or graduate level.

In most provinces the Bachelor of Social Work is the minimum educational requirement for entry into the profession. Postgraduate education leading to a master’s or doctoral degree is also available.

A four-year undergraduate program is required for a bachelor’s degree. Persons who have a Bachelor of Social Work degree may obtain a master’s degree after one year of postgraduate studies. Those who have a degree in another discipline would require a two-year postgraduate program in social work to obtain the master’s degree in social work.

The Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) has the responsibility for accrediting university-based social work programs. This association publishes a directory of accredited programs. As admission requirements and program orientation vary among schools, interested persons should consult the directory or communicate with the school of their choice.

As a preparation at the secondary school level, courses such as economics, social policy, sociology, psychology and philosophy are useful. Voluntary work in a social service agency is a plus.

For information about social work education in Canada contact the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE)

For those trained abroad, please consult CASW's Assessment of International Credentials page.