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Social Work

Program requirements for September 2024

Academic requirements
  • Language Arts – this requirement can be met with any of the following, or an equivalent course:
    • 60% in English Language Arts 30-1
    • 60% in ESLG 1860

Note: Academic admission requirements are different from English language proficiency requirements. NorQuest College English for Academic Purposes courses may be used to meet both requirements. See below for details.

English language proficiency requirements

If English is your second language, you must provide proof of English language proficiency before admission. These results must be no more than two years old when you start your program.

Test scores we accept:

  • IELTS Academic: 6.5; no section score below 6
  • TOEFL iBT: 84; no section score below 21
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment: 180; no section score below 165
  • CAEL: 70; no section score below 70
  • PTE Academic: 59; no section score below 56
  • Duolingo: 115
  • minimum of:
Other requirements
  • documentary evidence of having completed at least 100 voluntary and/or paid work hours in the human services field

You must have worked the 100 hours within the last five years of the start date of your program with one organization. We do not offer conditional admission for the volunteer/work requirement, so you must complete the 100 hours before you receive an offer of admission.

Your direct volunteer or employment supervisor must complete the Social Work Reference Form with the following information:

  • supervisor's title, signature, and contact information
  • your role/job title when you worked or volunteered
  • total number of hours worked or volunteered
  • a detailed description of the nature of the work you performed, your work/volunteer responsibilities and the level of interaction you had with clients, their families, and/or the general public

Your supervisor must email the reference to as a PDF attachment.

The 100 hours must be completed in one of the following setting types:

  • a health-care setting
  • a work setting that falls under the Health Professions Act (Alberta)
  • a registered accredited human services agency/organization
  • a social services agency/organization

Note: Hours completed at NorQuest College in a practicum in a health program or the Community Support Worker program will be accepted to meet the requirement without need for a further reference.

Your work or volunteer hours must include some elements of direct contact with clients or patients who may be considered disadvantaged or marginalized, and your work should focus on the client's psycho-social well-being.

Volunteer or work opportunities can be found in helping agencies, outreach organizations, schools, hospitals, crisis lines, programs for at-risk youth, women's shelters, long-term care facilities, and agencies for people with addictions, homelessness, mental illness, or mental challenges. Find additional information on organizations that provide supports in the Edmonton area on the 211 Edmonton Resource Lists.

The following types of volunteer or work opportunities are not acceptable:

  • daycare or babysitting
  • fundraising
  • high school co-op programs
  • office/administrative work

All references are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Practicum/work experience requirements

Before you attend practicum, you will need:

You must be 18 years of age or older in order to obtain these documents. All documentation must be uploaded using the self-serve Student Document Attachment tile on your MyQuest Student Homepage 45-days prior to the start of practicum. If you are unable to submit the required documentation by the deadline, you may be required to defer your practicum until you are able to provide them.
These checks are needed for both Year 1 and Year 2 of the program and may not be dated more than six months before your practicum start date.

A practicum cannot be guaranteed if you have a positive Police Information Check and/or Intervention Record Check . Additionally, a criminal record may prevent you from becoming a registered social worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) after graduation. The ACSW is the sole decision authority for registering social workers in the province of Alberta. If you have a criminal record, we recommend you contact the ACSW before applying to the program to discuss the impact of your record.

There may be costs associated with completing these requirements. See Completing work, practicum, and clinical requirements for details and further instructions.
International students: You must get a co-op work permit before beginning the work-integrated learning component of the program. A medical exam may also be needed. See Co-op work permit for more information.

Progression and graduation

Students must receive a pass grade in each course to progress through the program.

Students must pass all courses and achieve a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) to qualify for graduation.

Honours criteria

  • Overall grade point average (GPA) greater than or equal to 3.7
  • The student must not have failed or repeated any courses

Have a question about the Social Work program?