Social Work


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As the oldest school of social work in Canada, the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto has been on the cutting edge of education, policy, research, and practice in social work for almost 100 years. The Faculty offers a professional/academic program of study leading to a Master of Social Work (MSW) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.


Human services are among the fastest growing sectors of the Canadian economy. Along with the growth is an increasing diversification of the sector, with fields of practice rising up around specific areas of need. The country as a whole will need social workers to staff new, more specialized service agencies of the future. While the notion of generic social work has a role to play in this increasingly complex environment, it is clear that graduates will also require more specific skills if they are to thrive in the new human service sector. In other words, generic social work is a necessary, but no longer sufficient preparation for practice. ​The overall aim of the program is therefore to produce graduates who are ready to enter the field of their choice after first receiving a thorough grounding in the knowledge, values and skills common to all social workers. The specializations are built upon the expertise of core teaching faculty and have all been developed with the very active participation of partner agencies in each of the respective fields.


To prepare graduates:

  • for ethical, innovative, and effective social work practice in a diverse society;

  • for competent practice which integrates theory and research;

  • to be capable of integrating practice and policy;

  • to practice in specialized areas, defined by student interest, faculty expertise, and demand from the field.​

  • who have a generic foundation of core social work knowledge, values, and skills, applicable to all fields and methods of practice;

  • to practice in specialized areas, defined by student interest, faculty expertise, and demand from the field;

  • to work actively to promote social justice, make professional decisions, and perform professional functions that are informed by an understanding of the political context of practice.


To prepare students for:

  • professional practice according to the accreditation standards of CASWE;

  • social work practice interventions based on research evidence;

  • specialized practice in five identified areas:

    1. Children and their Families

    2. Gerontology

    3. Mental Health and Health

    4. Social Justice and Diversity

    5. Social Service Administration

  • strengthening partnerships with social work agencies in areas of particular interest to the Faculty for the purposes of enriching the curriculum and producing graduates with the requisite skills to function in those agencies;

  • encouraging interdisciplinary linkages.


The purpose of the PhD program at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work doctoral program is to prepare students for leadership roles in social work education, research and the community. Students are admitted to the PhD Program on the bases of prior scholarly and professional achievements. Applicants who have been involved in research and who have a record of publications are rated highly for consideration for admission. These admission criteria acknowledge that the PhD in Social Work is a research degree located in a University, which emphasizes research excellence for all of its graduate programs

Through scholarship, research, and mastery of substantive areas of study the objectives of the program require student competence in the following:

  • conduct social work research using a range of paradigms and methods;

  • conduct research that both informs and advances social work knowledge and performance in areas of direct practice, community intervention, and policy development;

  • demonstrate a broad understanding of the major practice and policy issues in social welfare and the profession of social work;

  • substantive knowledge of a field of social work (defined by students' research interests), which results in the articulation of important empirical questions.

Enrolment in the Faculty of Social Work entails adherence to the standards of professional behaviour for the social work profession set forth in the Social Work Code of Ethics of the Canadian Association of Social Workers.

Combined Degree Programs

Students may also be interested in:

Degrees Offered

Social Work—MSW, JD/MSW, MHSc/MSW, PhD

​​​​​Quick Facts

​​ ​​​​1. All applicants must meet the School of Graduate Studies English Language Proficiency requirements​.
2. For more information on admission requirements, ple​ase review the program'​s SGS Calendar entry: ​​​

​​​​​​​​​​Research Stream Program Funding Information​

Looking for information about average incomes for PhD students in funded programs? Filter data by Academic Year, Division, Faculty, and/or Department on the SGS Funding Data Dashboard​.


​​​​Quick Facts

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Quick Facts

Domestic Students International Students
1. Application deadlines MSW-1-Dec-2015
2.Required tests in addition to English Language Proficiency. See below or visit MSW-n/a
3. Minimum GPA MSW-B; 3.00; 73% in final year of full-time study, specifically looking at senior level courses
PhD-B+; 3.30; 77%
4. Tuition fee -Please visit and refer to Domestic Fees.
-Please visit and refer to International Fees.
5. Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD MSW-No
6. Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MSW-n/a
7. If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? MSW-n/a
PhD-No; students secure a supervisor by the end of September of Year II
PhD-No; students secure a supervisor by the end of September of Year II
8. Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? MSW-n/a
PhD-By Student
PhD-By Student
9. Program length (full-time only) MSW-6 sessions; 3 sessions advanced-standing full-time
PhD-4 years
MSW-6 sessions; 3 sessions advanced-standing full-time
PhD-4 years
​​1. All applicants must meet the School of Graduate Studies English Language Proficiency requirements​. 
2. For more information on admission requirements, please review the program’s SGS Calendar entry: