Frequently Asked Questions

1. Question: When is the deadline date for application?

Answer: February 1 of every calendar year

2. Question: I have an undergraduate degree in another discipline -can I still apply to the MSW program?

Answer:  All students must have an Honours Bachelor in Social Work (HBSW)  or a Bachelor of Social Work degree to apply to our program.

Lakehead offers a One Year HBSW program for students who have an undergraduate degree in another discipline - for more information please go to the Social Work website at:

3. Question: What is the required mark for the TOEFL-English equivalency test?

Answer: Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied in an English language school system for more than three full years will be required to present proof of English facility by achieving appropriate standing on one of the following tests:

TOEFL paper based - 550 (with no component score less than 50)

TOEFL computer based - 213 (with no component score less than 17)

TOEFL internet based - 80 (with no component score less than 19)

For more complete information, please refer to the Lakehead University on-line calendar.

4. Question: How long will it take to complete the MSW program?

Answer: Students have up to two years to complete the MSW degree. Students typically finish in 15 months.

5. Question: Do I need a research course in my undergraduate

program to apply to the MSW?

Answer: Yes an undergraduate research course is a requirement.

(The One Year HBSW program provides a research course that is acceptable).

6. Question: How many students are admitted each year?

Answer: Enrolment numbers can fluctuate from year to year, however the base number of students admitted in each calendar year is twelve per campus.

7. Question: Do I need to know my area of research prior to applying?

Answer: Please refer to the MSW Application Guide for detailed information regarding your study plan. Students are expected to select areas of research reflective of faculty interest.

8. Question: Is there financial assistance available?

Answer: There are many opportunities for financial assistance such as Graduate Assistantships, Bursaries, Awards and Scholarships. Please visit the Graduate Studies website at

and the MSW application guide for more information.

9. Question: Do you have a part time program?

Answer: Under exceptional circumstances, a student may be allowed to complete a Master's program on a part-time basis with the following conditions:

  • A student is admitted to the program part-time with the approval of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, based on special circumstances, provided at the time of application.
  • A part-time student MSW student may take no more than one full course equivalent (FCE) for credit per calendar year (12 months)
  • Part-time students are expected to complete all requirements within a minimum of fifteen terms (five years) of continuous part-time registration
  • Part-time students will not be considered for financial support from the University.

10. Question: What are my MSW program options?

Answer: Lakehead University School of Social Work offers a Master of Social Work program with two tracks: Project Track and Thesis Track. Students who take the Project Track will also complete a 450 hour Field Placement, while students accepted into the Thesis Track are not required to do a placement. Please see the application guide for more detailed information about these two options.

11. Question: Please define an academic reference. Is this a reference from someone who has taught me? If so, I have not been back to school in many years. I have already secured three professional/clinical references.

Answer: The references need to be from a credible person who can comment on your potential for academic and research work. 

12. Question: This program is available at our Thunder Bay or Orillia campus.  How do I declare which campus I would like to attend?

Answer: On the Graduate Application Form, in the Program Selection section (page 2), in the last box Area of Research Interest - include Thunder Bay or Orillia campus.