image of a ladder - University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work allows students to apply to the MSW after completing two Graduate Certificates

Laddering to an MSW using Graduate Certificates

How to use Graduate Certificates to apply to the MSW program

Apply for a Graduate Certificate

You need to complete two graduate certificates to apply to the MSW -  one in Advanced Social Work Practice and a second in Clinical Social Work Practice, International & Community Development, or Leadership in the Human Services. You can complete them in any order.

Check with a student advisor

You have five years from starting the first certificate to apply to the MSW program. If you intend to follow this pathway, you should check with a student advisor early in your journey to explore options and timelines.

Apply for your second Certificate

After completing your first certificate, apply to do your second.

Apply to the MSW Program

Once you've completed both certificates you're eligible to apply to do a course-based MSW. If you're accepted (it's competitive) you'll receive credit for the 24 units of coursework you've already completed.   

Residency Schedule

Fall 2025 entry
Note: residency dates are tentative and subject to change


Fall 2025

Sept. 5 and 6, 2025 (Virtual)
Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Winter 2026

April 9 to 11, 2025 (Virtual)
Thursday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.