The application deadline is February 1st, 2024. Only complete applications will be reviewed.
Lakehead University offers an innovative Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at both campuses in the cities of Orillia and Thunder Bay. The School of Social Work established the MSW program to train advanced generalist social workers for practice with individuals, families, communities, and organizations in contexts, from major urban centres to northern, and rural areas. Our smaller campuses and approachable faculty provide a welcoming learning 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 gender and women's studies.
MSW: Gender and Women's Studies Specialization
The Department of Gender and 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 gendered experience and scholarship.
The aim of the program is to encourage the development and integration of gendered 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 gendered scholarship from the interdisciplinary field of Gender and Women's Studies. Upon completion of the program, the degree awarded specifies the discipline of the participating academic unit and notes the Specialization in Gender and Women's Studies.
For additional information on the Interdisciplinary Graduate Specialization in Gender and Women's Studies, please visit the Gender and Women's Studies website. This specialization is only available at the Thunder Bay campus.
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.
NOTE: Students in these programs must complete all requirements within six terms (2 years) of continuous registration
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
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
At Lakehead University, we realize the importance of financial support for graduate students.
Therefore, financial assistance opportunities are available in several forms and are generally awarded to students by individual programs on the basis of academic promise and financial need.
The different funding options available include:
For your convenience, a searchable database of graduate scholarships, bursaries, and awards is provided below. Award eligibility, criteria, and application procedures for graduate funding is indicated for each award. Please use the general search tool to find available funding by program. Alternatively, you may also click the advanced search link to specify available funding by program level, award category and/or award amount.
Although financial support cannot be guaranteed to all graduate students in all programs, we encourage you to inquire about financial assistance with your Graduate Coordinator in your program of study. You may also contact the Graduate Funding Officer in the Faculty of Graduate Studies to learn more about your graduate funding options.
Conditions of Graduate Awards
Graduate scholarships are based on academic merit. Graduate bursaries are based on financial need, although there may be a merit component to the bursary. Where the award designates that an application is required, only those students who have submitted the specified application by the deadline will be considered for those awards. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered. Only successful applicants will be notified.
Recipients of scholarships, awards and bursaries must be registered in order to receive funding. Graduate awards are applied to any outstanding balance on the student's account. Students are entitled to their awards only after their fees are paid in full. Only students with credit account balances will be refunded the balance of the overpayment. Overpayment refunds of these awards will be issued at the end of September, January and May each year.
The University reserves the right to make changes without prior notice to the terms, conditions and award values listed in this section and in the University Calendar.
Graduate Studies Funding Database
Required Application Documents
Applicants for admission must be graduates of an accredited university, college, or institute as well as show evidence of scholarly achievement. Except where otherwise stated in the admission requirements of a particular program, domestic degree students must have a four year bachelor's degree or its equivalent with at least (B) based on their last 20 half courses or equivalent. We recommend that International applicants have an overall standing of Second Class - Upper Division or higher.
Meeting the minimum application requirements does not guarantee admission. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will advise all applicants in writing of admission decisions once they are received from the program. Applicants are encouraged to regularly monitor their Lakehead University email and application portal for the most current information.
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 $125 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.
After you have applied
After you have submitted the online application form, you can access your account here. Any change in your application status will be reflected in this portal.
- 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
- For a list of program specific documents, please see this program's Additional Application Information section (if required, see above)
- For information about English test results, please see our Academic Calendar
Additional Application Information
- You will be asked to complete the Supplemental Information form within the Master of Social Work application.
- View study plan notes
- Additional information on the Study Plan can be found in the MSW Application Guide
- To specialize in Gender and Women's Studies, you will be asked to complete an application within the Master of Social Work application.
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.