Social Services Diploma

Why earn a Social Services diploma?

UFV's two-year Social Services diploma program will establish a strong foundation your career in the human services field. Your studies will prepare you for a career at the paraprofessional level in social services. This program will also set you up if you later choose to continue your education past the diploma level.

The two-year Social Services Diploma Program at the University of the Fraser Valley will help you prepare for a career at the para-professional level in the social services field.  If you would like to continue your education past the diploma level, you may if you take the required pre-requisites, ladder your Diploma into the UFV Bachelor of Social Work Degree program. You can then work in the field while earning your degree part-time. Our program plans are tailored to meet your personal education and career goals.

Why earn my diploma at UFV?

By taking the Social Services diploma as a foundation program, you will gain practical job-related skills while earning university transfer credits. Many of the courses provide transfer credit to universities in B.C. Besides the core Social Services program, the Social Services electives give you the opportunity to take courses in specialized topics such as substance abuse or First Nations studies. Our Social Services diploma program is offered at both the Abbotsford and Chilliwack campuses.

What type of career can I expect?

As a diploma graduate, you will qualify for a number of interesting jobs. You will be able to put your skills and knowledge to work in a variety of careers including community service worker, teacher aide, residential service worker, home support coordinator, social work assistant, mental health worker, family support worker, and seniors’ support worker. Many of our students find jobs through their fieldwork placements, which are carefully selected to best suit you and your employment potential and career goals. However, completion of the program does not guarantee that you will find the job of your choice immediately upon graduation.

What do I need to get in?

You'll need your B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent (ABE Provincial Advanced, or GED). If you're a mature student and have at least three university transfer credits that apply to the program, then you do not require a high school transcript. To qualify for the program:

  • You must be physically and emotionally prepared to undertake this program of studies
  • You must be willing to undergo a Criminal Record Check
  • You must meet the prerequisite for CMNS 155 
  • Your suitability for working with people with disabilities will be assessed using a point rating system with points awarded for past academic education, all work or volunteer experience (social services or other), demonstrated writing ability, reference letters, personal statement, and a group interview.

Admission will be granted on a first-come, first qualified, first-served basis to those scoring above the required threshold.

I am interested. What is the next step?

Check out our Academic Calendar. Make sure you read the information about the Social Services diploma program carefully. Visit Application Information & Forms and download the appropriate application forms. You can then either mail your complete application, along with the documents listed in the calendar and the processing fee, to the Office of the Registrar at any UFV campus.

When should I apply?

If you plan to start your studies in the fall, your application should be received by January 31. Applications received after this deadline will be considered if space is still available in the program.

Please see the UFV Academic Calendar or the Future Students webpage for more details on the application process.

What type of courses will I take?

Here is a basic program outline of the Social Services diploma (years one and two):

First Year - Fall Semester
Course #Title
CMNS 155 Communications for Human Services
or ENGL 105 The Reading and Writing of Prose
SOWK 110 Intro to Social Work & Human Services
SOWK 225 Human Behavior and the Social Environment
HSER 120 Introduction to Interpersonal Communications
HSER 129 Seminar
SOC 101 Introductory Sociology


First Year - Winter Semester
Course #Title
HSER 130 Practicum I (two days/week)
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology I
B Elective Social Services Diploma Program Electives‌
B Elective Social Services Diploma Program Electives‌


First Year - Summer Semester
Course #Title
HSER 229 Practicum Seminar II (online)


Second Year - Fall Semester
Course #Title
HSER 200 Counselling Skills
HSER 230 Practicum II (two days/week)
SOWK 283 Family Dynamics (or semester IV)
PHIL Social Services Diploma Program Electives‌


Course #Title
CMNS 251 Professional Report Writing
HSER 250 Integration of Social Services Theory and Practice
SOWK 210 Introduction to Social Welfare
A  Elective Social Services Diploma Program Electives‌
B Elective Social Services Diploma Program Electives‌


For a list of approved electives, please see our list of approved electives.

How much does it cost? Can I afford to take this program?

Check out our Academic Calendar and go to the Fees and Other Costs section. Keep in mind that textbooks and additional supplies will cost more. It’s worth a visit to the UFV Financial Aid and Awards Office, which facilitates the disbursement each year of about $12 million in federal and provincial student loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, and awards to UFV students.

A helpful budget planning worksheet is available on the Financial Aid and Awards website

I am not sure I want to earn my diploma. Can I take some courses anyway?

Of course. If you wish to take some of the courses without enrolling in the program, or before you formally apply, you can register as a General Studies student. You may register for any courses for which you meet the prerequisites. It’s important to note, however, that program students are given priority for courses.

Sounds good. What do I do now?

Visit the Future Students webpage for a step-by-step process to becoming a UFV student. You can also contact an advisor at the Advising Centre to book an advising appointment. Already a UFV student and have specific questions? Contact the school of Social Work and Human Services by emailing

What sort of support will I get?

While earning your diploma, there may be times when you need to seek program advice or just get some helpful information.Our program advisor will work with you to ensure you have the correct resources, information, and advice that will guide you throughout your program of study.

For more information about support and student services at UFV, visit Student Services to learn about the broad range of services designed to help you learn about and adjust to the university environment. 

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