Academic Calendar 2023/24

Social Work and Human Services

Bachelor of Social Work degree

The UFV Bachelor of Social Work program prepares social workers for professional practice, reflecting principles of social justice, equality, and respect for diversity. BSW graduates meet UFV institutional learning outcomes and are eligible to apply for registration with the British Columbia College of Social Workers (RSW).

In response to Truth and Reconciliation recommendations, the School’s goals include respect for self-determination for Indigenous peoples and a commitment to working in partnership with local Indigenous communities.

Social work education is a critical process that respects diverse sources and forms of knowledge while encouraging dissent. UFV Social Work faculty are committed to scholarship, including debate on social work and social welfare, with particular attention to how social problems come to be defined and addressed. Program content addresses the structural barriers that prevent people from reaching their full potential. With a commitment to lifelong learning and a critical analysis of oppression, graduates will have the knowledge, skills, and professional social work values necessary to work collaboratively with individuals, families, groups, and communities in diverse and cross-cultural environments. The program contributes to the knowledge base of social work through partnerships with professional and local communities.

All individuals, families, groups, and communities are entitled to be treated with respect, justice, and without discrimination. Faculty seek to provide equitable educational opportunities and participation of those groups experiencing systemic oppression. UFV values its community base and seeks to promote social change.

Graduates will be prepared to work with individuals, families, groups, and communities in a variety of settings, funded by both government and non-government sources, including, but not limited to: child welfare, programs and services for women, immigration and cross-cultural services, family and community services, health care, mental health, corrections, addictions, services for the elderly, unemployment and income security programs, Indigenous settings, and services and programs for people with disabilities and special needs.

Entrance requirements

  1. 60 general university-level credits by May 1 of the year of application, including the following:
    • Six credits from SOWK 110 and SOWK 210
    • Three credits in English composition: CMNS 125 or ENGL 105
    • Three credits of English literature: ENGL 108–170
    • Three credits of human development: SOWK 225 or PSYC 250
    • Three credits of courses with Indigenous or First Nations content from the approved list (available on the BSW application page) or an equivalent course from another institution
    • 30 additional General credits (see Note)
    • 12 Discretionary elective credits (see Note)

    Note: Current lists of accepted General and Discretionary courses are available at in the BSW Program planning section.

  2. Overall GPA of 2.67 for the 60 credits applied towards their BSW application.
  3. A minimum of 200 hours of paid or volunteer experience in the human services field supervised by social workers or other professionals. This can include hours in practica.
  4. Program and personal suitability as determined through a personal statement.
  5. Two letters of reference. One letter must address the student’s most recent academic experience or potential, and one must be from a supervisor in the field of social work and/or human services that demonstrates the applicant’s skills and abilities.
  6. All applicants must be aware of, willing, and able to uphold the Social Work Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Note: An interview to determine program and personal suitability may be required. 

Students who do not meet these requirements might consider Qualifying Studies.

When to apply

Applications are accepted for entrance to the Fall semester only. The application deadline is January 31. Only completed applications will be reviewed. See Specific intake application process for more information.

How to apply

  1. Apply online at

    Additional documents required for a complete application:

    • Completed UFV online application.
    • Official transcripts (or interim transcripts) from all post-secondary institutions attended showing grade/course achievement. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to UFV from the originating institution; see the Transfer Credit section for details.
    • SWHS Additional Application Information form (includes work/volunteer experience, educational equity, and personal statement:
    • A personal statement (typed, double-spaced, 800–1,000 words in length) to assess an applicant's professional suitability for social work.
    • Two letters of reference as described in the entrance requirements.
  2. All additional documents must be completed and submitted to OReg by January 31. These documents are available at
  3. Upon admission to the program applicants will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required prior to registration (see the Fees and Other Costs section) and will be applied toward tuition fees.

Basis for admission decision

Admission to the BSW is on a competitive basis. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Complete applications will be evaluated in the following areas:

  1. Academic GPA.
  2. Work and/or volunteer experience in the human services field.
  3. Letters of reference.
  4. Personal statement.
  5. Educational Equity.

Criminal record check

Under the Criminal Records Review Act, students in a professional post-secondary program with a practicum component involving work with children and/or vulnerable adults must undergo a criminal record check. This is a requirement before students can participate in any practicum placements. Once admitted to the program, it is students' responsibility to apply for a Criminal Record Review through the Ministry of Justice. Information on this process is provided by the School of Social Work & Human Services.

A criminal record check clearance letter issued through the Ministry of Justice is required prior to registering for the field placement.

Program duration

The BSW program is a full-time academic program that is completed over two years. Students who are not able to complete the program over the two years must notify the school.

Program outline

Course Title Credits
SOWK 300 Social Work Practice with Individuals 3
SOWK 311 Social Work Theory and Ethics 3
SOWK 312 Legal Knowledge for Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 320 Anti-Racist and Cross-Cultural Social Work 3
SOWK 330 BSW Practicum I 6
SOWK 380 Social Work and Community Development 3
SOWK 392 Indigenous Social Work 3
SOWK 404 Research Methods and Evaluation 3
SOWK 410 Social Policy Analysis 3
SOWK 430 BSW Practicum II 9
One of:   3
SOWK 301 Social Work Practice with Groups  
SOWK 483 Social Work Practice with Families (see Note)  
Four of:   12
SOWK 302 Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice  
SOWK 394 Substance Misuse Issues  
SOWK 412 Legal Skills for Social Work Practice  
SOWK 450 Social Work in Health Care  
SOWK 460 Special Topics in Social Work  
SOWK 490 Gerontological Social Work  
SOWK 491 Indigenous Perspectives on Child and Family Welfare  
SOWK 493 Feminist Social Work  
SOWK 496 Social Work and Critical Approaches to Disability  
SOWK 497 Social Work in Mental Health  
Plus:   6
Two upper-level General electives  

Note: SOWK 483 is a requirement of the BSW Child Welfare specialization.

Practicum regulations

All students are required to complete two field placements in the BSW program. Acceptance into the BSW program does not guarantee students a field placement. Students who are on Academic Warning or Academic Probation or subject to academic or non-academic student conduct proceedings will not ordinarily be permitted to register in the field placement.

Under the Criminal Records Review Act, a record check completed through the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP) is required for post-secondary students working with children and vulnerable people as part of a practicum. Students are responsible for completing and paying for this process; the School of Social Work and Human Services will provide details.

To register for the field placement, the following criteria and requirements must be met:

  • Completion of prerequisites/co-requisites with a grade of C or better
  • Registration in co-requisites
  • Submission of the BSW Field Application Request form
  • Submission of a résumé and cover letter in the required format
  • Interview with the Field Education Coordinator
  • Completion of the Field Practice Guidelines Acknowledgment Form
  • Criminal record check clearance letter issued by the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP) (please do not submit until requested)
  • BSW program GPA of 2.67
  • Students must be available weekdays, during regular office hours:
    • SOWK 330 is three days a week for a total of 21 hours per week
    • SOWK 430 is four days a week for a total of 28 hours per week

    Note: The School is not ordinarily able to facilitate evening or weekend placements. Students need to plan accordingly.

    Note: It may be necessary for students to delay practicum to a later semester if they want to be placed in a specific area such as health care.

Certain placement sites may require the submission of an up-to-date immunization record and other documentation. It is the responsibility of students to provide these records and to obtain any required boosters or additional immunizations. Agencies may not provide placements to students who do not submit proof of immunization records and other documentation.

Practicum challenge for SOWK 330

Eligible students admitted to the BSW may apply to challenge the third-year placement (SOWK 330) only. Students will complete and submit a challenge request application to the Field Education Assistant. Students cannot challenge SOWK 330 with the same experience used to challenge a diploma-level placement in a related program. Any decisions about offering students the opportunity to challenge will be at the sole discretion of the School of Social Work and Human Services. Contact the Field Education Assistant for details regarding this process. The challenge request application will be provided to interested students after they have been admitted to the BSW.

Note: Note: The fourth-year placement (SOWK 430) is not open to the challenge process.

Program requirements

In completing the BSW program, students are required to have:

  • Minimum of 60 credits of Social Work (SOWK) courses and a minimum of 60 credits of general university-level credits (42 credits of which are Arts and Science electives).
  • Minimum of 30 upper-level Social Work credits completed at UFV.
  • Minimum program GPA of 2.67 to register for the field placement and graduation.
  • C (2.00) or better in each HSER and SOWK course to continue in the program, including the field placement.

HSER and SOWK courses that are over 10 years old may not be considered for credit towards the BSW program.

Undergraduate continuance

Students enrolled in undergraduate courses (courses numbered 100 or higher) must maintain an undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 2.00 to remain enrolled in Good Academic Standing at UFV. Students in Good Academic Standing will have no registration limits placed on them. Failure to meet the minimum CGPA requirement will result in restrictions on registration and may eventually lead to academic suspension from undergraduate studies at UFV. Students on Academic Warning or Academic Probation are limited to registering in 10 credits. For further details, see the Academic standing and undergraduate continuance section of the academic calendar. Academic standing is governed by UFV's Undergraduate Continuance policy (92).

Program continuance

Students in the Bachelor of Social Work degree must maintain a program GPA of 2.67 throughout their program and achieve a grade of C (2.00) or better in all HSER and SOWK courses to continue in the program, including the field placement.

Graduation requirements

Students must apply for graduation in the first month of their final semester. Visit the Graduation webpage for more information. The final deadline for students who wish to attend the June Convocation ceremony is April 1 of each year, with all program requirements completed by April 30.

Graduation requirements:

  1. Program GPA of 2.67 or better on courses that can be applied to the Bachelor of Social Work degree.
  2. 60 credits of 100- and 200-level courses as specified in the entrance requirements.
  3. 60 credits of 300- and 400-level courses:
    • Six credits of 300- and 400-level General electives
    • 54 credits of 300- and 400-level SOWK courses, 30 of which must be completed at UFV

Note: SOWK 430 must be taken in the final semester of the program.

Child Welfare specialization

For program information on the Bachelor of Social Work — Child Welfare specialization, please see this section.

The Child Welfare Specialization requires students to complete a practicum with the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency; however, the School cannot guarantee a placement with either of these agencies as placements are based on agency capacity. Obtaining a placement with MCFD or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency is a competitive process. The Field Education Coordinator and the Field Education Assistant will work through this process with each student completing the child welfare specialization and will provide the necessary details at the appropriate point in the program. Contact the Field Education Assistant for details.

Master of Social Work

Students considering applying for the Master of Social Work program (Advanced or Foundational) at UFV must successfully complete a statistics and a research course before taking SOWK 704.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students