Application Process

  • The MSW application deadline is November 15 of each year.
    Applications must be postmarked on or before the deadline date.
  • Incomplete and late applications are not considered
  • Equal consideration is given to part time and full time applications
  • BSW Entry Applicants indicate if they wish to apply for campus or online distance delivery. Applicants cannot apply for both delivery modes
  • Non BSW Entry available only on campus, full time

The MSW application package includes (1 to 8) please download and read all information and instructions:

1. MSW Application Information and Instructions [PDF - 105 KB]  
2. The Dalhousie online Graduate Application and application fee, please note under Additional Information on the application, MSW applicants need to provide a couple of sentences on how they expect to fund education (Financial Support) if accepted; other bullet sections under this heading do not need to be completed.  
3. Applicant check list [PDF - 106 KB]  
4. Statement of Scholarly Interest Cover Sheet (interactive form) [PDF - 115 KB], and paper  
Official University transcripts – if school is unable to mail, we will accept an emailed transcript directly from the institution to  
6. Two references are required according to the following schedule: (either through the electronic reference system in the online graduate application or by paper (see below).  

Academic referees should be a university instructor, should not be a college instructor.

Professional referees can be a current or previous supervisor, should not be a co-worker.

  • For applicants who are currently attending university or completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree within the past 3 years:

          a) Two academic references

  • For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree 3 to 5 years ago:

          a) One academic reference and one relevant professional reference, or

          b) Two academic references

  • For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree more than 5 years ago:

          a) Two relevant professional references, or

          b) One academic reference and one relevant professional reference, or

          c) Two academic references

  NOTE: These references replace those requested on the Graduate Studies website.  

If using the e-reference system, make sure to have the email addresses of your referee ready to list in the online application. Dalhousie University will only accept university, teaching hospital, and government email addresses[ie not Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or business addresses]. Please allow 5 business days for your referee(s) to be contacted by our system. Please note that you cannot edit, add, or omit references if using the e-reference system. If you made an error in the submission of an email address please contact  It is recommended that when using the e-reference system, you submit your online application at least two weeks prior to the deadline to ensure references are submitted on time. Please use a paper reference if there are time constraints with the e-ref system.   Regardless of how long the reference document is active/available, advise your referees that it must be submitted by the November 15th deadline.

If you are submitting a paper reference letter (both academic and professional referees use this form), it must be in a sealed, stamped envelope which is endorsed across the back seal by the referee and mailed to the School of Social Work (address indicated on the form) If a referee is reluctant to follow this procedure, please provide him/her with a stamped envelope, addressed to the School of Social Work and have him/her mail the letter directly. If the reference is given to the student directly to include with application package, do not open the envelope. paper reference [PDF - 168 KB]

7. Resume  
8.   Work/Volunteer Summary forms [PDF - 201 KB]  

The MSW application is a self-managed process. Applicants must complete the online Dalhousie Graduate Application form and successfully process fee per online instructions. All other supporting documents should be mailed to the School of Social Work.  Emailed and faxed application documents are not official and will not be considered.

Due to the large number of applicants each year, the School of Social Work does not personally confirm receipt of your Application Supplementary documents.  You are able to track receipt of the supplementary documents on the online check list.  Please note this checklist will not update immediately upon receiving your supplementary documents.