Welcome from the Director

The profession of social work is an exciting and diverse one. From working in communities to developing social policy to providing counselling to individuals and families, social workers are committed to social justice and the well-being of all members of society. Here, at Lakehead University, our program provides you with an opportunity to learn the necessary knowledge and skills to begin your career as a social worker. We pride ourselves on providing a program that is challenging, meaningful, and applicable to a range of professional practice settings. We also are committed to you -- our students -- through the use of small classes, innovative teaching methods and outstanding placement settings. Our faculty is experienced and enthusiastic bringing a range of practice and research experience to the classroom. The result is a program that is truly exceptional. To find out more about us explore our website or contact us.  For HBSW Program information, contact us at the campus of your choice. The MSW program is offered at both the Thunder Bay and Orillia Campuses.


Social Work is a growing and challenging profession which provides vital services for individuals, groups, families and communities with various kinds of issues in living. Those involved in social work believe in the dignity and worth of each human being and the potential of all persons for continued growth and development throughout their life spans.


The Social Work program at Lakehead, which concentrates on being relevant to the social service needs of northern and rural populations, is an innovative program based on an ecological view of social work practice. This approach stresses the social worker's role in providing and facilitating a comprehensive range of helping experiences which relate to the client's needs as a whole person. This requires skill in an integrated practice method which students learn through both classroom courses and field practice experiences in human service agencies with actual client cases under the supervision of a field instructor.


Lakehead offers two different Honours Bachelor's degree (HBSW) programs as well as a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at both our Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses. The four year HBSW program is designed to combine a liberal arts education with a professional education. The One Year HBSW program is designed for those students who have completed the requirements of an approved Bachelor's degree other than social work and have related practice experience. Both programs are offered on a full-time and a part-time basis. The MSW and the HBSW courses are available and designed for full and part-time studies through spring and summer, fall and winter.


Both the Bachelor's and Master's degrees are fully accredited by the Canadian Association of Social Work Education which is the standard setting body for Canadian social work programs.


The School of Social Work's Appeal Procedures also conform to the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences' Appeal Procedures. As a member of the University community, the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences and the School of Social Work are committed to an Appeal Process that is fair, equitable and transparent.


There are varied opportunities open to graduates of the Lakehead University Social Work program to enter practice after graduation. Career opportunities exist in various settings where social work practice takes place such as in child and family welfare, mental health, corrections, health services, schools and services for the aged, as well as community development, advocacy  and research programs.


Career advancement opportunities are available to those who qualify in the areas of supervision, program planning, administration, consultation and university teaching.


School of Social Work Program Goals and Intentions:


School of Social Work will:

  • Create an academic environment conducive to the development of generalist social work practitioners who have obtained both a professional and a liberal arts education.
  • Graduate social workers who adopt the values and perspectives of the social work profession and contribute to social service delivery systems.
  • Promote adherence to social work ethics in professional practice.
  • Support development of competence in inter-professional generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities.
  • Provide education about diversity and human rights and responsibilities within the context of social justice.
  • Promote the development of critical thinking in professional practice.