Social Work

Social Work is a dynamic and growing profession that provides vital services to individuals, groups, families and communities that enhance well-being and facilitate positive change. Social Workers believe in the dignity and worth of each human being and the potential of all persons for continued growth and development throughout their life span.

The profession of Social Work encompasses a large spectrum of roles that include advocating for social justice, providing counseling and support services and developing social policies to assist marginalized populations. Social Workers assist clients with accessing resources and strengthening personal coping skills, while addressing larger socio-political-economic issues.

Our program is fully accredited by the Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE) and provides students with an opportunity to learn the necessary knowledge and skills to begin a career as a professional social worker. We are committed to you -- our students -- through the use of small classes, innovative teaching methods and outstanding placement settings

Our courses blend in-class learning with field practice opportunities in supervised human service organizations. You will work in settings that include:

  • Community Counselling Agencies
  • Children’s Mental Health Services
  • Addiction Recovery Facilities
  • Medical Hospitals
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Elementary or Secondary Schools
  • Advocacy Organizations

Your entry into the Social Work program begins in the first two years. In order to provide meaningful field placement experiences, the School of Social Work limits the number of students entering into the professional years (years 3 & 4). A second application process is required for admission into Year three. Approximately 20 -25 students are admitted to the professional years of the program.

In addition to our four-year Honours Bachelor of Social Work (HBSW) degree, we offer a one-year program for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree in another discipline. 

Lakehead Advantage

 As a Social Work student you have the ability to combine your HBSW with studies in Gerontology, Indigenous Studies, and Women's Studies. This double degree option provides you with the unique opportunity to focus your Social Work knowledge on a particular topic and/or population beginning in your first year.

 At our Thunder Bay campus, we have a particular focus on serving the needs of northern populations, including First Nations communities. This experience is very important if you wish to practice in the region.  The Orillia campus has field placement opportunities that reflect semi-rural and urban Social Work practice.

Students will participate in two field placements, under the direction of a qualified social work supervisor, completing 110 days of on-the-job training in a social service agency or community organization. Our Field Education Coordinators will work with you to facilitate a meaningful field placement experience that will prepare you for employment in the profession.

Our graduates are extremely successful in securing employment within one year of graduation. We attribute this to our balance of professional and practical courses, as well as the field placement opportunities that integrate social work theory and knowledge.

What our Students Say

My name is Sarah Alatyppo. I was born and raised in Thunder Bay, but my family roots are from White Fish Bay­- Naotkamegwanning. I decided to attend Lakehead University because I want to show to my...




Social Work

Read more about Sarah Alatyppo's experience.

1-year Honours Bachelor of Social WorkCharlottetown, PEI I could not be more pleased with my experience at Lakehead University. I chose Lakehead University because of the well-recognized, accelerated...




Social Work

Read more about Christina Keen's experience.