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Social Work

A great atmosphere
The Globe and Mail consistently ranks Nipissing with "A" grades for Quality of Education and Campus Atmosphere
Students develop foundational skills building professional relationships with individuals, families, groups, and communities​
The Social Work program is characterized by its approach to the study of social justice, which examines systems of oppression, domination and discrimination between diverse and intersecting topic areas of, among others, ability, ethnicity, age, and sexuality.​​​
Students engage in experiential learning opportunities during their field practicums to integrate social work’s core values and professional standards of practice.​​
Students complete 375 hours in practicum in their third year and 525 hours in practicum in their fourth year. In collaboration with the Field Education Office staff, students will explore opportunities for placement in both traditional and non-traditional settings.​​
In small groups and seminars students apply social work theory to different types of practice.​
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​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.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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.


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 kilometers of hiking trials.

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...

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

Involvement and experiential learning lead to more personal and academic success by connecting classroom learning to real world experience. Volunteer on your campus and within the community and be officially recognized for all that you do. The Record of Student Development (RSD) documents that you have completed a series of involvement outcomes that all employers are looking for. Achieving all the competencies associated with the RSD will help you communicate the depth of your experiences as you apply to career opportunities.

Employers are looking for people with the following proven abilities:

  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-Solving skills
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Teamwork

To register and see the full list of RSD competencies visit

Student Union

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.


Photo of Dr. Mary Pat Sullivan

 Full-time faculty

photo of Mark Duffie

 Full-time Staff

Amy Spencer

 Part-time Faculty

North Bay

A recent labor 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
Nipissing University
100 College Drive, Box 5002, North Bay, ON, Canada  P1B 8L7
Tel: 705.474.3450 | Fax: 705.474.1947 | TTY: 877.688.5507
Brantford Campus
50 Wellington St.
Brantford, ON, Canada N3T 2L6
Tel: 519.752.1524 | Fax: 519.752.8372

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