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Program Requirements

Note: University regulations apply to all students at Laurier. If there is any discrepancy between the program or progression requirements outlined on this page and those in the university's academic calendars, the academic calendars are the official sources of information. The information below is from the latest calendar, and you may be following progression requirements from an earlier calendar. Students are responsible for checking the appropriate calendar. Contact your program coordinator should you notice any discrepancies.

Program Requirements for the On-Campus Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs

Program Requirements for the Online Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs

The program requirements noted below are as of Fall 2022. For students that started the program prior to Fall 2022, please see the Graduate Academic Calendar for your specific program requirements. 

MSW Thesis Guidelines

On-Campus students who wish to complete a thesis must discuss this with the associate dean, MSW (full-time students early in the first term or even as soon as they have accepted an offer of admission). The associate dean will assist you in identifying potential thesis advisors; however, enrolment in the thesis stream is contingent upon you finding a faculty member who is willing to act as your thesis advisor.  Note: Faculty of Social Work students can apply for funding for their thesis research.


  • Thesis students in the Regular Track Full-time On-Campus program are exempt from three courses: the foundational elective, two advanced electives and 100 hours of the minimum 500 practice hours from the advanced field placement.  
  • Thesis students in the advanced standing programs are exempt from two advanced electives and the Advanced Field placement.


Thesis students must register for their thesis (SK698) for every term that they are working on their thesis, along with their other courses. You can only register for the thesis once you have completed your proposal and it has been approved by your committee.

Regulations and Procedures Governing the Master's Thesis are found on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Procedures for MSW Students seeking courses outside the Faculty of Social Work

We expect that all courses taken in the MSW program will be taken from courses offered within the Faculty of Social Work (FSW).  

In extenuating circumstances students may be able to take graduate courses offered in other faculties.  Students should make a case to the Associate Dean: MSW Program as to why the course is important to them versus options that are available within the FSW. Requests will be considered and approval will be granted on a case-by-case basis and will require the approvals of the instructor and department offering the course.

Only courses needed to fulfill MSW program requirements will be approved, therefore it must be to fill a required or elective credit for the MSW. They cannot be "extra" courses to the degree.