Frequently Asked Questions about the Application Process

 

I don’t have an undergraduate background in social work. Can I still apply to the program?

Yes, nearly 60% of our students come in as regular standing students that do not have a bachelor’s degree in social work. The regular standing program is intended to give you the foundation level coursework that advanced standing students receive as part of their bachelor’s degree in social work.

What are the admission criteria?

The admissions decision is based on a range of criteria including:

  • Undergraduate degree – students must have completed a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Prior experience – post-undergraduate social work practice experience will be considered heavily for admission.
  • Prerequisite content – students admitted to the program need to have completed a course in three specific areas: one in statistics or research methods, one in human biology and one in lifespan developmental psychology. Applicants do not need to have these courses completed in order to apply, but they must be completed before you start classes in the program.
  • Letters of recommendation – applicants must submit three complete (required form/checklist and letter from each recommender) recommendations addressing either your ability to do graduate work or your specific practice experience.
  • Personal statement – applicants must submit a personal statement addressing the specific questions listed on the application form.
  • Fieldwork evaluation – advanced standing applicants only. A copy of your final evaluation from your senior field practicum will be reviewed.

What if my undergraduate GPA is below 3.0?

Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA below 3.0 will be considered. A limited number of exceptions may be made to the GPA requirement, with those students admitted on a provisional basis. You may include an Explanation of GPA Statement with your application if you feel you can explain any extraordinary circumstances for your low GPA.

Do I need to take the GRE/MAT to apply to the MSW program?

No, there is no entrance exam required for admission. The only exception is for international students that would be required to take the TOEFL (English language proficiency) exam.

 

Are there prerequisite courses required for the MSW program?

Yes, incoming students must have taken the following three prerequisites:

  • Statistics or Research Methods
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology
  • Human Biology

Students may apply for the MSW program if they are missing one or more prerequisites, but all prerequisites must be completed before the first day of graduate classes. If you have any questions about whether your previous coursework meets these prerequisite requirements, you should contact the St. Kate's admissions office:  graduate_study@stkate.edu / 651-690-6933

Is there any minimum grade level necessary for the prerequisite courses?

No. Courses can be taken for a letter grade or on a pass/fail basis, but must be for college-level credit.

Can I start taking classes in the program before I apply or am admitted?

Yes, you can take courses in the MSW program before being admitted by registering as a non-degree student. Non-degree students can take up to 6 credits (2 courses) before they are accepted. The courses taken as a non-degree student will apply to your degree if admitted. Non-degree registration is available for GRSW 500, 540 and any 500-level elective courses on a space available basis after degree-seeking students have registered. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid and are not guaranteed admission to the MSW program. Contact the MSW Program manager for further information at msw@stthomas.edu

 

When will I find out about an admissions decision?

The timing varies slightly each year, but you will receive a letter by mid-March concerning the admission committee’s decision on your application.

Do you admit students more than once a year?

No, the admission deadline each year is January 10th. This is for the programs starting the following June (Advanced standing one-year and both weekend cohorts) as well as all weekday program options beginning the following fall semester. We do not admit students starting in the spring semester. See information about non-degree enrollment if you wish to start classes in spring semester.

Are there scholarships or financial aid available?

Yes! The School of Social Work provides a number of scholarship and grant awards from its own resources to incoming graduate students each year, including the Dean's Scholarships and Diversity Grants. If eligible, notices of these awards are included in the applicants' acceptance packets and there is no separate application process.

After acceptance to the MSW program, incoming students are provided information about additional scholarship and financial assistance programs for which they are invited to apply. These opportunities include the following: Area of Emphasis Scholars, Janice Andrews Schenk Memorial Scholarship, and the Noel Ryan Scholarship. 

All financial aid for the MSW program is administered through the University of St. Thomas. Graduate students may receive any of the loan funds administered by the university. For more information, visit the graduate financial aid website, or connect with the designated MSW financial aid counselor, Amanda Helmandollar, at 651-962-4052 / amanda.helmandollar@stthomas.edu.

Visit the Financial Aid web page for more information.

 

I'm an international student. Is there additional admission information I need?

Yes.  International applicants should follow all of the standard application processes for the MSW program.  In addition, international applicants should go to the International Admissions page for graduate programs at the University of St. Thomas to find the Graduate Student Checklist for International Students.