Social Work

Lakehead University offers a Master in Social Work (MSW) degree, which emphasizes an advanced generalist practice approach to working with individuals, families, communities, organizations, and political systems in the context of a northern environment.

The curriculum focuses on the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for professional practice in environments characterized by urban regional centres, rural and remote communities, large geographic distances, low population density, diverse First Nations communities and people, and a mix of formal services.

Lakehead's MSW program emphasizes advanced professional practice, which is normally obtained by completing the project track. All students will be accepted into a project track. Early in their program, AFTER consultation with their faculty supervisors, students who prefer the thesis track may request a change from the Graduate Coordinator.

The MSW program structure allows for specialized and highly individualized student learning. Each student selects a field of practice around which to focus his or her course work, field practicum and project or thesis. Potential areas for student specialization relate to faculty members' expertise and include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, employment and income security, school social work, gerontology, and women's studies.

MSW: Gerontology Specialization

The Gerontology Program collaborates with five departments including Social Work, to provide students with an innovative, interdisciplinary learning perspective. Students have the opportunity to access multifaceted resources and work together with complementary disciplines.

Research and theory in Gerontology is reviewed, and the thesis or major project taken in the collaborating academic unit will have a gerontological focus.

For additional information on the Interdisciplinary Graduate Specialization in Gerontology, please visit the Gerontology website.

MSW: Women's Studies Specialization

The Department of Women's Studies at Lakehead University is dedicated to furthering an understanding of the importance of gender as a category of analysis in scholarly inquiry. Through interdisciplinary instruction, students will critically assess the relevance of existing models of knowledge in reflecting women's experience and scholarship.

The aim of the program is to encourage the development and integration of feminist teaching, learning, and research within the university community and the community at large. This Collaborative Master's program allows students to combine advanced disciplinary research with feminist scholarship from the interdisciplinary field of Women's Studies. Upon completion of the program, the degree awarded specifies the discipline of the participating academic unit and notes the Specialization in Women's Studies.

For additional information on the Interdisciplinary Graduate Specialization in Women's Studies, please visit the Women's Studies website.

NOTE: Students in these programs must complete all requirements within six terms (2 years) of continuous registration

Requirements: 

Admission Requirements for Masters

Applicants for admission must be graduates of a recognized university, college, or institute as well as show evidence of scholarly achievement. Except where otherwise stated in the Admission Requirements of a particular program, degree students must have a four year bachelor's degree or its equivalent with at least second class standing (B) based on their last 20 half courses or equivalent.

An applicant holding a degree other than one in the discipline area to which admission is sought will be considered on the basis of courses taken and academic standing. A Qualifying Year at the undergraduate level may be required to meet the admission standards. Courses taken as part of a Qualifying Year can not be used as credit towards a graduate degree.

Meeting the minimum requirements does not necessarily guarantee admission. No candidate will be admitted unless the academic unit recommends admission. All applicants will be advised by the Office of Graduate Studies in writing of their admission status.

Program Specific Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements for Master programs, the following requirements also apply:

  • All candidates must hold a four-year undergraduate degree in social work with at least a "B" average
  • Masters candidates are required to have completed an acceptable full credit undergraduate course in research methodology and statistics
  • Successful candidates will normally have at least two years of paid social work practice experience subsequent to receiving the MSW degree. Extensive relevant experience prior to the undergraduate degree or exceptional HBSW academic performance may be accepted as full or partial fulfillment of the practice prerequisite

It should be noted that satisfaction of basic admissions requirements does not guarantee acceptance to the program. The School offers a one-year HBSW degree  for those already holding an undergraduate degree in another discipline, which may be used to gain the basic academic qualification for admission to the MSW program

Additional Application Information
Supplemental Information Form
Study Plan
Specialization in Gerontology Form
Specialization in Women's Studies Form

NOTE:  Students currently enrolled in Lakehead's one-year HBSW program must submit academic records for previous studies completed and degrees awarded outside of Lakehead University. 

How to Apply: 

Required Application Documents

Although applications are accepted on a continual basis, to be considered in the initial Admission & Funding decisions for the Fall (September) semester, your are encouraged to apply by FEBRUARY 1.

Supervisor Information

Interested students are encouraged to contact potential supervisors directly and before submitting an application for graduate study.

The first step in the application process is to complete the online graduate studies application form.

After you have submitted the online form along with the required $100 CAD application fee, you will be provided with an online account where you can complete the remaining steps of the application process which include uploading the required supporting documents and monitoring the status of your application.

Click here to Apply to Graduate Studies

After you have applied 

After you have submitted the online application form, you will be provided with instructions by email on how to log in to myinfo, where you will be able to review and upload the remaining and required supporting documents.

Graduate Studies Reference Form (3 forms required)
  • An electronic reference form will be automatically sent by email to the references you identify on the graduate studies application form
  • This form is requested in support of the applicant's ability to undertake advanced study and research
Official Transcript
Proof of Degree
Program Specific Supporting Documents (If required)
  • For a list of program specific documents, please see this program's Additional Application Information section (if required, see above)
Official English Test Results (If required)
Next Steps: 

Next Steps

Registration Procedures

Before Registering!

Check to make sure all of your course selections are currently being offered by referring to the University Course Calendar and the University Course Time Tables.

University Graduate Studies & General Regulations & Policies

Funding: 

Program Specific Funding Opportunities

General Funding Opportunities

Funding Source Value Deadline
Graduate Student Professional Development Bursary $500.00 November 1, 2017