School of Social Work and Human Services

Indigenous Focus — Master of Social Work

This program is not currently accepting applications.


Master's degree

2 years

Part time

How to apply

Start date:

Off-campus locationNicola Valley Institute of Technology, Merritt, BC

Fees and costs — graduate


  • Practicum provides work experience and industry contacts


In partnership between UFV and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (Merritt, BC), this MSW program is a six-semester, two-year program comprised of 30 credits, including a 450-hour practicum. Preference is given to Indigenous NVIT graduates of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program, and if space permits, preference will also be given to Indigenous graduates from other BSW programs.

With an increased indigenous focus, the program’s courses are designed to develop a broad professional competency base at the graduate level. Core courses provide a comprehensive perspective on supervision and leadership, the integration of anti-oppressive and cross-cultural practice in social work, social policy, and advanced assessment techniques.

Based on interests and career path, students will select their focus in Health, Children and Families, or Mental Health, and complete a major paper/project in their area of interest.

The full program will typically take two years to complete, with a maximum of five years allowed.


Note: The MSW: Indigenous focus cohort will begin in September 2018.

  1. Bachelor of Social Work degree from an accredited institution with a B (75-79%) or better average.
  2. Two years employment (3,600 hours) in social services, social work, or a closely related field.
  3. Demonstrated personal suitability.
  4. Interview with faculty. (This requirement is waived.)
  5. Statement of intent and interest.
  6. Three letters of professional reference, including one from an academic source, indicating suitability for advanced study of social work.
  7. Applicants must meet the Degree/diploma level English language proficiency requirement. For details on how this requirement may be met, see the English language proficiency requirement section of the calendar.

When to apply

To be considered for Fall 2018 semester entrance (September), completed applications may be submitted starting July 30 and must be received by August 13. Applications received later will be considered as space permits.

How to apply

Your application must include the following items, otherwise it will be deemed incomplete, and not considered for admission.

  1. UFV application for MSW: Indigenous Focus (Enter the following code to waive the $75 processing fee: COHG).
  2. Official sealed transcripts for all previous post-secondary credit, including courses in-progress. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to UFV from the originating institution; see Official Transcript Guidelines for details.
  3. Detailed personal resume organized chronologically, starting with most recent, including position title, name of immediate supervisor, start and end dates, and whether the experience was full or part-time. Please include research experience, publication lists, related interests, skills, etc.
  4. Three professional letters of reference with at least one from an academic source, addressing your most recent academic experience and potential, and at least one from a supervisor, addressing the demonstrated skills and abilities in your most recent related work experience. These letters must be on the official reference form for the MSW. Referees must submit the reference letters electronically on the official reference forms directly to
  5. ‌ Additional application form which includes:
    • Work hours summary sheet, clearly listing and totaling the number of hours worked in all relevant human/social service related positions (paid and volunteer). This will determine applicant eligibility under the required 3,600 hours of related work experience.

Note: Applications with less than 3,600 hours will be considered if all other criteria are met and there is room in the program.

    • A personal statement (to be assessed and rated), clearly addressing the following (no more than 500 words under any one section heading):
      1. What experiences have motivated you to continue your social work education?
      2. Describe a recent professional experience that demonstrates your capacity for independent and creative thinking with respect to working with Indigenous and or Metis peoples.
      3. Describe your most substantial accomplishment within your professional practice, particularly as it relates to your ability to uphold the Social Work Code of Ethics.
      4. Select a social issue of personal importance, explain why the issue is important to you, and discuss how you believe a Social Worker should facilitate change to address or resolve the issue.
    • Declaration of Preferred Concentration
    • Educational Equity form

Applicants will be advised of an admission decision and provided with registration information.

Fees and additional costs

A deposit is required prior to registration. This money will be applied toward tuition fees. Final payment of all course fees is due by the end of the second week of classes. See the Fees and Costs section for more information.

Note: Scholarships will be available for qualifying Indigenous students and more information will be provided after admission.

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 records check. This is a requirement before students can participate in any practicum placements. Once admitted to the program, it is the student's 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.

Dates and location

This 2-year program will take place in the Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters. The program will be held over 4 weekends per semester for Fall and Winter terms, with students attending classes at NVIT (Merritt, BC) Friday to Sunday, approximately once a month.  Summer semester courses will be offered in a concentrated, intense one-week per course format.  Students can expect to do considerable reading and studying outside class time.  This cohort program allows greater accessibility to students with work and family commitments. The practicum is two days per week over two semesters.

Year 1 Dates - subject to change

  • Course 1 - 2018
    • September, 28, 29, 30
    • October 19, 20, 21
    • November 9, 10, 11
    • December 7, 8, 9
  • Course 2 - 2019 
    • January 18, 19, 20
    • February 15, 16, 17
    • March 15, 16, 17
    • April 12, 13, 14
  • Course 3 - SOWK 704 Research and Program
    • May 13 - 17, Monday - Friday
  • Course 4 - SOWK 710 Advanced Social Policy
    • June 10 - 14, Monday-Friday
  • Course 5 - SOWK 711 Leadership and Supervision
    • July 8 - 12, Monday – Friday


Year 2 Dates

  • Course 6 - SOWK 797 Advanced Social Work Practice in Mental Health
    September 13 - 15
    October 18 - 20
    November 8 - 10
    December 6 - 8
  • Course 7 - SOWK 730A/B
    Dates to be determined

  • Course 8 - SOWK 799A/B
    Dates to be determined


Program requirements and continuance in program

To maintain status as an MSW student and to continue in the program, students must maintain an overall minimum 3.00 GPA. Credit towards the degree will not be available for any course in which the grade is less than a B-. Practica must be completed with satisfactory evaluations. The major paper/project must receive a Pass.


UFV Graduate Studies policy requires that at least 75% of program courses be taken at UFV/NVIT. The practicum and major paper/project must be completed through UFV/NVIT, and it is anticipated that most students will take all their courses through UFV/NVIT. However, a maximum of two courses (25%) may be taken at another university for transfer credit in the UFV MSW program. This would require advance approval of the Director of the School of Social Work and Human Services and the Associate Vice-President of Graduate Studies and Research upon admission.


Candidates who qualify to receive a UFV graduate degree must submit a Request for Graduation form to the UFV Office of the Registrar by April 1.

Note: Please be familiar with the General Regulations for Graduate Studies.

Maximum length of time to complete program

All students must complete their entire MSW coursework within five years.

Transfer credit

Any applicant who meets the Master of Social Work entrance requirements may have a formal evaluation of courses from other institutions/programs considered for transfer credit.

Program outline

Upon admission to the MSW program, students will take SOWK 700-level courses listed below, not necessarily in the order shown.


Master of Social Work required courses




SOWK 700

Advanced Intervention and Assessment Techniques


SOWK 704

Research and Program Evaluation


SOWK 710

Advanced Social Policy


SOWK 711

Leadership and Supervision in the Human Services


SOWK 720

Critical Perspectives on Social Justice and Anti-Oppressive Social Work


SOWK 730

Practicum and Advanced Direct Practice Seminar (offered as SOWK 730A and 730B)


SOWK 799

Major Paper/Project (offered as SOWK 799A and 799B)


Plus one of:

NOTE: Only one of the following advanced topics courses will be offered.  Applicants can note their preference on the additional application information form, however the final selection will be made by the program committee.


SOWK 750

Advanced Intervention in Health


SOWK 783

Advanced Social Work Practice with Children and Families


SOWK 797

Advanced Intervention in Mental Health






Alison Reeves
Phone: 604-864-4657

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