Application Process

Step 1: Review admission criteria


Step 2: Complete the DSW online application»
(The application for 2017 will be open September 1, 2016 - January 15, 2017)

  • Choose Doctor of Social Work
  • You will be asked to create a USER NAME and PASSWORD for the online application, which will allow you to save your progress and return to complete the application at any time before the application deadline

The online application includes instructions to submit the following:

  • Official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended must be sent directly from that institution to St. Thomas.
    • Please note: This includes all institutions from which you received credit, even if you did not receive a degree and even if the credit appears on your degree-granting institution’s transcript. 
  • A current resume or curriculum vita that documents education, professional licenses (include state), teaching experience (indicate full-time or part-time), professional experience (indicate full-time or part-time), professional publications and presentations, and service/volunteer experience. Your resume should clearly detail your 2+ years post-MSW social work practice experience.
  • Writing sample: To demonstrate your academic writing skills, submit a professional, APA-formatted and documented, solely authored, 2-3 page writing sample on a social work topic of your choice. If you have a solely authored, published, scholarly work completed within the last 3 years, you may attach a 2-3 page sample from that work; include a one paragraph introduction to that writing sample that provides a context for the reviewer. (Do not attach the entire published document.)
  • Personal statement: Prepare a written response to each of the following: (Complete personal statement should be no longer than 6 double-spaced pages)
    • What circumstances and experiences motivate you to seek a DSW in teaching as practice at this point in your career?
    • Describe your vision of leadership in social work education and indicate how you see yourself implementing this vision as an educational leader.
    • Identify and reflect on your strengths and limitations relative to successfully completing an online doctoral program (including your ability to be a self-directed learner)
  • Three letters of reference: You will email your references through the online application.
    • Please note: The DSW recommendation process has TWO parts.
      1.  Recommenders will be asked to prepare a written statement of recommendation to upload into the application portal as a PDF (preferred) or Word file. This recommendation letter should address the applicant's potential for success in an online doctoral program focused on education as practice. Areas to consider:
           • the applicant's commitment, capability, and suitability for teaching in social work, including ethical standards and commitment to social justice
           • ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds and abilities
           • work performance and workload management abilities
           • capacity for contributing to social work knowledge through writing and scholarship
      2.  Recommenders will complete an assessment grid and provide information about the nature of the relationship and their contact information.
  • International applicants must submit credential evaluations and acceptable test scores for proof of English proficiency, as detailed on the DSW Application Checklist - International Students»
  • An interview may be requested
  • You will be prompted to pay the $50 application fee when your online application is complete and ready to be submitted.


Step 3: Request transcripts from all institutions from which you received credit

  • Transcripts should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions, Attn: DSW Program
University of St. Thomas
1000 LaSalle Ave., TMH201 Box 5
Minneapolis, MN 55403

  • If the institution provides the option to have the transcript emailed directly to the University of St. Thomas as a PDF, it can be sent to: gradadmissions@stthomas.edu


Step 4: All completed applications will be reviewed by the DSW faculty admissions committee after the application deadline. 

  • All letters of recommendation and transcripts must be received before your application will be reviewed. 
  • Admission decisions will be communicated by the end of March

Questions about the process?  Check out our FAQ page or Contact us