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 Degreeprogram. 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 online 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 $45 processing fee, to any UFV campus or centre on or transmit it through the Internet at

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 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

Second Year - Winter Semester

 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

How much does it cost? Can I afford to take this program?
Check out our online 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.

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

What sort of support will I get?
Plenty. For more information about support and student services at UFV, visit and learn about the broad range of services designed to help you learn about and adjust to the university environment. -

I’m not sure that this program is for me. Can I speak with someone about my options?
Yes! We want to hear from you. If you're unsure of your direction, contact Student Services by emailing an educational advisor at:  or call 1-888-504-7441 to arrange a tour, attend a Becoming Student Info Session, connect with an educational advisor, or arrange for career counselling.

Also, if you are already an UFV student, feel free to contact the School of Social Work and Human Services by requesting an advising appointment.

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