Unbc Social Work Admissions Essays

Admission Process

Admission to the BSW program is by selection and takes place in the third year of university studies. There are three routes into the program.

Download Application Forms

Entry Route # 1 - Admission following Two Years of General University Study:

Students will have completed 60 credit hours of study, and have achieved a minimum grade point average of 2.67 (B-) calculated on a student’s most recent 60 credit hours of studies. It will also be expected that students will have completed the following pre-requisites (as part of the required 60 credit hours of study):

Entry Route # 2 - Transfer from the Community Colleges:

Under collaborative agreements between UNBC and the three northern community colleges (College of New Caledonia, Northern Lights College, and Northwest College) students who have completed social service worker training programs at those colleges are eligible to receive credit as determined under the agreement. Social Service Worker Diploma graduates from the above colleges will normally receive a total of 60 credit hours of specified University Transfer credits and block discretionary credits for completion of the Diploma.

Students will have completed 60 credit hours of study, and have achieved a minimum grade point average of 2.67 (B-) calculated on a student’s most recent 60 credit hours of studies. It will also be expected that students will have completed the following pre-requisites (as part of the required 60 credit hours of study) (Check with your institution to see which courses are considered equivalent): 

Entry Route # 3 - Entry from a Bachelor Degree in a Related Discipline

Students who hold a Bachelor degree in a related discipline and have achieved a minimum grade point average of 2.67 (B-) can apply for entrance into the third year of the School of Social Work. It will be expected that students applying to the School of Social Work with a Baccalaureate degree in a related discipline will normally have completed courses that are equivalent to the four BSW course pre-requisites.


When can I Apply?

Prince George Campus: There is one Admissions intake per year for the BSW Program offered at the Prince George Campus. Application packages are available at the beginning of October, due February 1st, for a September start date.

South-Central (Quesnel) Campus, Peace/Liard (Fort St. John/Dawson Creek) Campus, Northwest (Terrace/Prince Rupert) Campus, Langara (Vancouver):

Admissions intake for the regional campuses occur every second year. Application packages are available at the beginning of October, due February 1st, for a September start date. 

Applications are still being accepted for all locations (Fort St John, Prince George, Quesnel, Terrace, and Vancouver), and will continue to be accepted until all seats are filled.

How Can I Apply?

Apply by mail or fax by downloading a PDF copy of the application form

Mail or fax to:

Office of the Registrar
The University of Northern British Columbia
3333 University Way, Prince George, BC
Canada, V2N4Z9
Facsimile: 250-960-6330

Selection Process

Admission into the social work program is a competitive process. Preference will be given to applicants with:

  • Equal access according to age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and disability paid or volunteer human service experience
  • Northern and remote residency
  • Grade Point Average
  • Statement of intent
  • References

Students must also undergo a criminal record search as part of the admission process. A personal interview may also be requested to address issues arising from the criminal record search, reference letters, and statement of intent. Students are also expected to comply with the standards articulated in the CASWE Code of Ethics throughout their program of training in Social Work at UNBC.

I have questions and I need to speak to a Student Advisor?

For more information about BSW Program requirements, please contact Student Recruitment and Advising at (phone) 250-960-6306 (fax) or via email to unbc4u@unbc.ca. Academic Advising can assist you with questions regarding course selection, graduation application and graduation audits, letters of confirmation, letters of permission and much more.  Or drop by to the Office of Student Recruitment and Advising located on UNBC Student Services Street to make an appointment during office hours.

I have questions regarding applying to the School of Social Work?

For more information about applying to UNBC and the School of Social Work, please contact the Registrar's Office.

Social Work (Post Baccalaureate Certificates)

Dawn Hemingway, Associate Professor and Chair
Glen Schmidt, Professor
Bruce Bidgood, Associate Professor
Nancy Jokinen, Associate Professor
Indrani Margolin, Associate Professor
Heather Peters, Associate Professor
Joanna Pierce, Associate Professor
Si Chava Transken, Associate Professor
Susan Burke, Assistant Professor
Tammy Pearson, Assistant Professor
Dave Sangha, Assistant Professor


Website:http://www.unbc.ca/social-work

The School of Social Work offers a schedule of studies leading to the degree of Bachelor of Social Work (BSW).

The Bachelor of Social Work at UNBC is designed to prepare students for beginning level generalised social work practice with individuals, families, groups and communities. The program's orientation places emphasis on Social Work in northern and remote areas, First Nations, women and the human services, and community practice and research. Analyses of class, gender and race relations are considered central to the Social Work program. As mandated by its accrediting body, the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE), and the relevant Social Work Codes of Ethics, Social Work at UNBC provides a professional program that advocates for justice and equality, and equips graduates with the intellectual, analytical, practical and professional skills needed to promote beneficial change.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program is limited and is based on academic qualifications and available space. Students will normally complete 60 credit hours of study that includes a minimum of 48 credit hours of liberal arts and science courses.  Students will achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.67 (B-) (calculated on a student's most recent 60 credit hours of study) and meet other selection criteria prior to program entry. More information about these criteria can be found in the BSW Supplementary Application for Admission form.

Students who have completed a social service worker program at a community college may be eligible for discretionary transfer credit.

The School of Social Work will permit up to three Social Work elective courses to be taken prior to formal admission to the BSW program. Successful completion of these courses does not guarantee admission into the program.

Students will be required to undergo a criminal records search prior to being admitted (see Academic Regulation 19).

Undergraduate students are required to take 60 credit hours of Upper-Division Social Work courses. The minimum requirement for a Bachelor of Social Work is 120 credit hours.

Students applying to the School of Social Work will have completed the following four BSW course prerequisites:


Students applying to the School of Social Work with a Baccalaureate degree in a related discipline do not have to complete the four BSW course prerequisites.

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Social Work program are required to withdraw from the Bachelor of Social Work program if they register a second fail in Social Work Field Education (SOCW 302-6 and/or SOCW 402-15).

The minimum requirement for a Bachelor of Social Work is 120 credit hours.


Field Placements

Every effort will be made to secure appropriate field placements for students in the School of Social Work.  However, the location and type of placement are subject to availability.


Costs Associated with the School of Social Work

Costs associated with study in the School of Social Work are the responsibility of the individual student, including transportation costs and any expenses involved in academic studies, lab, and field placement.  In some circumstances, students may complete field experiences at sites other than their campus of registration.  Provision for all travel, accommodation, and living expenses associated with field education is the sole responsibility of the student.


Standards of Professional Conduct

All students are expected to abide by professional standards as set forth by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) and the relevant Social Work Codes of Ethics. Violation of professional standards may result in suspension or dismissal from the program or
the educational institution.


Academic Performance


Students may repeat a Social Work course once. Students who fail a required Social Work course twice are required to withdraw from the program.


Qualification for Degree


It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that his/her degree requirements are met. Graduation requirements are found in the Regulations and Policies section of this Calendar. To fulfill the requirements of graduation, the student must also:
  • attain a minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.33 (C+) on courses for credit towards the Social Work degree.
  • obtain a minimum passing grade of 2.00 (C) in every Social Work course for credit towards the degree. (note: Students enrolling in any required course must have completed all prerequisites with a grade C or better); and
  • complete all requirements for the BSW program within eight years of admission into the program or from the first Social Work course used for credit towards the degree.

In addition, BSW students may choose to meet the requirements for one of the Areas of Specialization described in this degree program. The Specialization will be recorded on the student's transcript.


Transfer Credit


All transfer credit for course work taken prior to admission to the BSW program will be evaluated, and applied at the time of initial registration in the program. After students have been admitted to the School of Social Work, course work taken in other institutions for transfer credit towards the degree requires a letter of permission prior to the registration in the course.


Program Requirements

300 Level

400 Level

Students must select an additional 12 credit hours of approved 400-level Social Work courses from the approved list.

Elective Requirement


Electives at any level in any subject sufficient to ensure completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours.

BSW: Child Welfare Specialization

The Child Welfare Specialization provides a program of studies that prepares students for practice in child welfare, while also satisfying the general practice criteria required for BSW accreditation and for designation as a Registered Social Worker (RSW).

Students must meet all prerequisites for entry into the UNBC BSW program, and must be accepted into the program. The fourth-year practicum takes place in a child welfare or a First Nations child welfare agency. Completion of the specialization is noted on the student's graduating transcript. Note: This Specialization is distinct from “Areas of Specialization” within a major as set out in Academic Regulation 24 (Minors, Areas of Specialization and Areas of Focus).

The Child Welfare Specialization is designed to provide a Social Work degree that prepares students for social work practice in all child and family serving agencies.

Program Requirement


Select one (1) Social Work Elective from the Approved List.


Elective Requirement


Electives at any level in any subject sufficient to ensure completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours.


BSW: First Nations Specialization

The First Nations Specialization provides a program of study that prepares students for practice with First Nations people, while also satisfying the general practice criteria required for UNBC BSW accreditation and for designation as a Registered Social Worker (RSW).

Students must meet all prerequisites for entry into the UNBC BSW program, and must be accepted into the program. The fourth-year practicum takes place in a First Nations setting.

Completion of the specialization is noted on the student's transcript. Note: This Specialization is distinct from “Areas of Specialization” within a major as set out in Academic Regulation 24 (Minors, Areas of Specialization and Areas of Focus).

Program Requirement


Select one Social Work electives from the approved list.
Elective Requirement


An elective at any level in any subject sufficient to ensure completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours.


Child Welfare Certificate

The Child Welfare Certificate program is open only to Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Child and Youth Care graduates.  The Certificate is designed to prepare students for child welfare work, with a particular focus on practice in the northern and rural regions of British Columbia.  However, certificate graduates will be well prepared to work in all agencies and locations that provide child welfare service.  The Certificate consists of 30 credit hours.  Admission into the Certificate program is limited.  Students must establish their course of study with approval from the Chair of the Social Work Program.

Students will be required to undergo a criminal records search prior to being admitted.  Refer to Academic Regulation #19. 

A maximum of 6 credit hours may be transferred from courses taken in the UNBC Bachelor of Social Work Program, or from other recognized institutions into the Certificate program.


Standards of Professional Conduct

All students are expected to abide by professional standards as set forth by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) and the relevant Social Work Codes of Ethics.  Violation of professional standards may result in suspension or dismissal from the program or the education institution.


Qualification for a Certificate

  • To fulfill the requirements of graduation, the student must: attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.33 (C+) on courses for credit towards the Certificate
  • complete all course requirements for the Certificate

Certificate Requirements

Updated: Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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