Bachelor of Social Work

The BSW online, professional degree program is intended to equip practitioners with knowledge and best practices relevant to current local, national and global needs from a contemporary social work perspective. Please refer to the BSW program information for detailed descriptions of the program, admission requirements and courses. Course delivery will include audio and visual components to augment online course materials.

Program Mission Statement

The Bachelor of Social Work degree program at Vancouver Island University provides social work education that addresses local, national and global needs in a community context. We are committed to enhancing the capacity of individuals and communities; to addressing social issues emanating from the absence of equality and opportunity; and to promoting social justice through the preparation of graduates with demonstrated capabilities in the areas of clinical practice, research and community development.

Program Accreditation

Consistent with the program's interest in promoting excellence in contemporary professional social work practice through peer oversight that ensures high academic and practice standards, the Bachelor of Social Work program at Vancouver Island University is accredited through the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.

Applying to the online BSW Program

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions to access information about online courses that will assist with completing prerequisites for entry in the Bachelor of Social Work Program.

Apply to VIU. Official transcripts and admission documentation must be mailed to:

Registration Centre
Vancouver Island University
900 Fifth Street
Nanaimo, BC  V9R 5S5

Please note that applicants must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions/programs attended.

If you have applied to the program and have questions, please contact: or, to arrange an in-person or phone advising appointment, call 1.888.920.2221 Ext: 6410 or 250.740.6410. Visit the Advising Centre for information about booking an appointment with an Educational Advisor.

Statement Of Commitment to Reconciliation and Anti-Colonial Social Work Education 

VIU’s Social Work Program is steadfast in its commitment to the education of future social workers in anti-colonial practices that recognize and address the profound effects of historical and ongoing colonialism on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.  

  • As educators and practitioners, we support the growing self-determination of Indigenous-run services and the vital role they play in healing and strengthening communities. In alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), we uphold this as a critical foundation for reconciliation with justice.
  • We are committed to integrating Indigenous place-based worldviews and approaches to health and well-being into our curriculum and practice opportunities. This includes developing strong ties with local Indigenous social service and community organizations. 
  • We are committed to fostering cultural safety in social work practice, particularly when working with Indigenous families and communities. This commitment extends to ensuring students grasp the importance of equitable access to social services for Indigenous peoples, and the ways that they are offered, designed, and evaluated.
  • As educators, we commit to teaching and practicing in ways that critically address and resist colonial, unjust, and unfair policies.
  • We are committed to improving access for Indigenous people in our program, including opportunities for teaching and research.
  • We are committed to conducting respectful research with Indigenous communities.
  • Moving forward, we will develop initiatives to honor and commemorate the valuable contributions of Indigenous social work educators, researchers, practitioners, and students in alignment with the TRC Calls for Actions for Educators.

We will continue to strive for a future where social workers practice through anti-colonial lenses, upholding and valuing the rights, cultures, and knowledge of Indigenous women, men and Two Spirit/Queer (2SQI) peoples in the pursuit of a just and equitable society. 

My name is Tori Babcock and I work as a registered social worker at the Psychiatric In-patient Unit at Belleville General Hospital in Belleville, Ontario. I graduated from the VIU BSW program and it was the best decision of my life! Having graduated previously with a social service worker diploma, I was looking to increase my skills, knowledge, practical experiences and job opportunities. In fact, my first paid position after I graduated on the Assertive Community Treatment Team, came about because of the experiences I gained in my 4th year practicum. The professors were all knowledgeable and experienced in their areas of practice.  They provided personalized experiences and contact and were always willing to support students in attaining their educational and practice goals. Even in an online program far away from where I was located, I never felt isolated or alone. I can definitely recommend the program to any potential students.

Hay ch qa’ sii’em siye’yu mukw mustimuxw.

In keeping with regional protocol, Vancouver Island University students, staff, faculty and administration would like to acknowledge and thank the Snuneymuxw First Nation, Tla’amin First Nation, Snaw-naw-as First Nation and the Cowichan Tribes for allowing students, staff, faculty and administration to teach, learn, live and share educational experiences on the traditional territories of these nations.