Social Work

Welcome to Social Work at Nipissing

The Bachelor of Social Work program at Nipissing University is committed to preparing students for generalist social work practice that is characterized by high ethical standards, critical thinking, creativity, research-mindedness and the promotion of human rights, inclusion and equality. The principles of anti-oppressive practice underpin our program’s particular emphasis on social work with diverse identities in northern, rural and remote contexts including Indigenous and Franco-Ontarian communities. Through a blend of classical and innovative teaching approaches we are dedicated to establishing a positive climate for learning through supportive interaction, integrity, personal growth and creative expression. Our integration of classroom and experiential learning values the development of core competencies for relationship-based social work with individuals, families and groups and for structural approaches to effect positive social change to build communities where everyone thrives.​​​

Our Bachelor of Social Work program has earned pre-accreditation status from the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS).

Field Practicum

In the professional years you will complete 900 hours in the social work field and work in a variety of settings within the Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts. Throughout the field practicum you will obtain supervised experiential learning that integrates theoretical knowledge with practice, develop practice skills, learn to think critically and reflectively, complete research, and review and apply policy to practice.

Research: Rare Dementia Support

Between 5% and 15% of people living with a dementia receive a diagnosis of a rare or young-onset dementia (before the age of 65). A rare dementia diagnosis brings with it a set of unique and complex challenges, yet there is a widespread lack of understanding and a shortage of dedicated resources to support people affected by rare dementias. At Nipissing, we are working in partnership with colleagues in University College London who run Rare Dementia Support, a UK based service working to support people affected by five rare dementia conditions. Click here to learn more.


Nipissing’s campus in North Bay is located on a stunning 291 hectares of Canadian Shield forest. With our focus on student-centred living and learning, you will feel a sense of community the moment you step on campus.

The Harris Learning Library

The Harris Learning Library provides 56,000 square feet of study space with natural light and a modern award-winning design. It features expanded print collections, a learning commons, an adaptive technology area, and collaborative workspaces.

Student Spaces

Classroom space within the University varies from small classrooms to large lecture theatres. Within the main building there are four main computer labs of various sizes available daily for class or student use. These labs are located in A120, A126, A128 and A130. A wide variety of Windows and Mac software is available on these systems. Print stations are located in A120, A126 and A139.

There are three student lounges (The Owl’s Nest, The Green Lounge and the Nipissing University Student Union Recreation Lounge) with additional lounge and fireplace space in each of the two cafeterias.

In addition, there is the Enji Giigdoyang student lounge and sacred space. A new multi-faith room for meditation, reflection or prayer will open soon.

Outdoors the University has two tipis for experiential learning, sitting areas around the pond and 20 kilometres of hiking trials.

Shawna Epple

"Placement has been a real eye-opener for me. It is amazing to FINALLY be doing the things that I am passionate about, and applying the things that we learned in the classroom.

Within the first few hours of my placement, I was helping write a proposal for funding for the agency that I am working at. I believe that this truly shows the confidence that Community Partners have with the Social Work Department. In my practicum experience, I have been able to see how theories that were once abstract are applied and how these “lenses” are used to view many different situations.

Giving students first-hand experience promotes continued appreciation for the profession and education as a whole. This experiential learning opportunity has been extremely beneficial in my education and I hope that future Nipissing BSW students have the wonderful opportunities that I have had."

Shawna Epple, 3rd-Year BSW student

"Having a Nipissing University BSW student complete their placement at Veterans Affairs Canada was a mutually beneficial and very enjoyable experience. Sharing knowledge and experience as a mentor while exchanging ideas and learning from a young and upcoming professional was engaging and rewarding. The program has obviously done a great job at preparing their students for the 'real world'. With proper mentorship and direction, the student on placement was quickly able to gain practical skills and confidence learned only by 'doing'. It was not long before they were able to make significant and meaningful contributions and functioned as a member of our case management team. It is not an exaggeration to say that I learned almost as much from this experience as I imparted. The university staff did a great job at keeping me informed of significant dates and offered courses and support for completing the evaluation and understanding my role as a placement supervisor. I can't say enough positive things about the quality of students and faculty at this institution. If you have the desire to teach and share while gaining quality workplace contributions from a student in the social work field, then consider being a placement supervisor for the BSW Program at Nipissing University."

Jason Berger, Case Manager
North Bay Area Office Veterans Affairs Canada | Anciens Combattants Canada

Academic Support Services

Our goal is to support your academic and personal development. Look for assistance with accessibility services, learning style assessments, writing skills, writing formats, study strategies, time management, note-taking skills, academic resources, group seminars, peer support, career development activities, and more. Learn More...

Financial Support Services

Achieve your goals on time and on budget. We’ll help you fund your education through scholarships, awards, bursaries, government assistance, and work study programs. Learn More...

​Scholarships, awards and bursaries for students in the Social Work program

Internationalize your Degree

If you want to experience a year or a semester at one of our partner schools across the globe, we have support services and programs to help you get there. If you want to assist International students with adjusting to life in Canada, we’ll connect you. Check out your options...

Personal Counselling Services

Our registered counsellors offer free, year-round personal counselling services, specialized therapeutic groups, referral services and a host of wellness, educational and awareness events to all full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Learn More...


Our top-rated residences will make you feel right at home. You will make fast friends with your residence community. Our student leaders, Residence Dons, and award winning residence staff give tutorials on everything from the basics of laundry and cooking to making connections within the community. Learn More...

Student Engagement/Governance Opportunities

There are various opportunities for you to engage with the social work program and provide student views to ensure high quality delivery and development. In addition to a Social Work Student Association, two student representatives for each of the professional years are elected to participate on the Social Work Department Group and the Social Work Community Advisory Circle.

Social Work Student Association

Social Work Student Association acts as a: (i) link between the students and the Department of Social Work; (ii) forum to coordinate events and activities for social work students, faculty, and community partners that enhance learning and create opportunities for mentorship; and (iii) mechanism to promote social work values and call attention to issues of social justice both on campus and in surrounding communities.

Social Work Department Group

The Departmental Group monitors, reviews, and advises the Director on: (i) strategy and policy in relation to innovation in learning and teaching, including student support, research and enterprise and its implementation within the Department; (ii) the Department's annual plan (including financial considerations); (iii) proposals for development of programs and/or collaborative provision offered by the Department; and (iv) responses to local, national and international social work initiatives.

Social Work Community Advisory Circle

The Social Work Advisory Circle acts as an advisory body to assist in the monitoring the CASWE-ACFTS standards and the overall coherence of the BSW program. Members include representatives from the local health and social care community, faculty, alumni, service users and students.

Leadership and Community Engagement

If you are eager to get involved beyond the classroom, take part in the annual Undergraduate Research Conference, which gives you the opportunity to present your work to peers, professors, and family members. You may also have opportunity to work as a Research Assistant to help a professor conduct research and gain valuable experience at the same time.

Record of Student Development

Your experience at Nipissing University is more than just the time spent learning great things in lectures, labs, and seminars. It’s also about the activities you are involved in outside of the classroom, the causes you champion to make change on campus, the clubs you organize, the awards you receive, the workshops you participate in, the volunteering you do, and all the learning that occurs outside of the classroom. 

The Record of Student Development (RSD) is Nipissing University's way of recognizing that learning is happening everywhere on campus. It is a formal record, otherwise known as a co-curricular transcript, where you can include workshops, volunteer experiences, awards, activities, and on campus employment experiences that you participate in throughout your degree. 

Each RSD Approved activity in our database is linked to competency areas employers are looking for such as:    

  • Critical Thinking 
  • Leadership  
  • Digital Literacy  
  • Equity and Diversity 
  • Emotional and Interpersonal Intelligence 
  • & more!  

To see the full list of competencies and get started building your Record of Student Development go to:

Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU)

Students attending Nipissing University in North Bay and long distance students are members of the Nipissing University Student Union. Our organization strives to represent students democratically, provide a communication framework, and lobby for legislative change on issues that affect students.


Exercise and healthy competition always help to clear the mind.


Nipissing’s Athletics Department offers a wide range of intramural activities to keep you on your game


Club sports are available to all Nipissing students and are both recreational and competitive.


Go Lakers! Our varsity athletes always bring their “A” game. Get your friends together and come out to cheer on your favourite teams.


Whether you are a gym enthusiast or a weekend warrior, Nipissing has just what you need.

For all enquiries related to:

Admissions and Admission requirements, please contact, 705.474.3450 ext 4600

BSW Field Education, please contact, 705.474.3450 ext 4214

Student Life at Nipissing University, please contact

General enquires about the BSW program at Nipissing University, please contact, 705.474.3450 ext 4029


Full-time Faculty

Part-time Faculty


Post-Doctoral Fellow

"In the professional years of the BSW program, I had to adapt to an entirely new way of learning. There is a larger focus on cumulative experiences from each course to get a well-rounded understanding of different social work theory and skills in different contexts. Being the first cohort in the professional years we became very close as colleagues and supported one another. Without knowing it, many of us practiced our social work skills with each other. Learning new skills in the program required encouragement, actively listening to each other, motivating and highlighting each other’s strengths.

I have networked with so many individuals in the community that have helped me guide my education and who have given me insight into the world of social work. This program has required that I be more confident in my abilities and to challenge myself daily to be assertive and to use my voice. Overall this program is extremely valuable and I believe that is has set me up to succeed in the world of social work after graduation."

Alexandra MacDonald, 3rd-year BSW student

A recent labour market analysis has projected job openings (arising from replacement and expansion demand) for Canadian social workers to be 31,500 (2015-2024) with projections of 30,500 job seekers to fill these positions (Government of Canada, 2017).

Academic Options

  • Graduate Studies: Social Work, Legal Studies, Public Policy and Administration, Gerontology, Women and Gender Studies, Sociology, Criminology, Anthropology
  • Professional School (MSW, MEd Counselling Psychology, Education, Law)

Career Options 

“Employing registered social workers…ensures your clients will receive care and services that are professional and ethical, delivered by individuals who are qualified and accountable” (OCSWSSW, 2017).

  • Careers with government, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, community counselling services, community development and advocacy organizations, settlement services, transitional and support housing providers, accessibility services, municipal and provincial poverty reduction services and programming, research and policy development, correctional facilities, and private practices