St. Thomas MSW Program FAQs:

General Program:

Yes, the St. Thomas MSW program is exclusively focused on clinical social work practice.  All of our graduates are academically prepared for clinical licensure. However, clinical social workers are found in myriad settings and are skilled at working with diverse populations. Our MSW students have the opportunity to focus in a particular area of clinical social work practice through their choice of elective courses, their field practicum, the focus of their course assignments, and (as an optional elective) a clinical research project.  In addition, St. Thomas MSW students may apply to become an Area of Emphasis Scholar in one of three critical and growing areas of clinical practice: Gero-Social Work Practice, Military Practice, and Practice with Immigrants and Refugees.

Yes!  St. Thomas MSW students will continue to have the option to become an Area of Emphasis Scholar in one of three critical and growing areas of clinical practice: Gero-Social Work Practice, Military Practice, and Practice with Immigrants and Refugees

Each Area of Emphasis program provides additional networking, collaboration and leadership opportunities for those interested in these critical areas. They are designed as two-year experiences, so students apply to the program in the spring before their final two years in the St. Thomas MSW program. 

Keep in mind that the elective courses taken in each Area of Emphasis program are also open to non-scholars, so any MSW student can take a course related to these specific populations.

Advanced standing admission is available to students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The undergraduate degree must have been accredited by CSWE at the time the degree was awarded. There is no time limit on eligibility for advanced standing.

The CSWE accredited bachelor’s degree in social work is the only criteria for admission to the advanced standing program. There are no exceptions made for other master’s degrees or work experience in the field.

The St. Thomas MSW has 8 program completion options to fit your life, your goals, and your educational background.

Applicants for regular standing admission do not have a BSW degree. Regular standing students complete 56 credits, including 1000 hours of field practicum. The regular standing program can be completed in a full-time basis in 2 years or an extended basis over 3 or 4 years in our Weekday/Evening format. We also offer a 3-year Hybrid (online/on-campus) option.

Applicants for advanced standing admission have a CSWE-accredited BSW degree. Advanced standing students complete 38 credits, including 600 hours of field practicum. The advanced standing program can be completed in a full-time 12-month program or can be completed over an extended period of 2 or 3 years in our Weekday/Evening format. We also offer a 2-year Hybrid (online/on-campus) option.

Students should consider carefully which program option will maximize their learning given other demands on their time – work, family, responsibilities, etc...

Learn more about the St. Thomas MSW Program Options»

View St. Thomas MSW Program Completion Options (PDF)

In the Weekday/Evening program format, classes are offered in the late afternoon and evening (4:40-7:05 p.m. or 7:20-9:45 p.m.) Monday – Thursday, with a limited number of classes offered 1:35 – 4:00 p.m. Each course meets one day per week.

Hybrid MSW courses meet just three Saturdays per term in the summer, fall and spring, from 9:30 am – 5:30 pm. Students in the Hybrid program complete online coursework between on-campus sessions.

Learn more about these Program Format Options»

Our MSW program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1990. In 2012 the School of Social Work successfully obtained reaffirmation of accreditation through 2020. In May of 2018, St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas announced that after the 2018-19 academic year, each will pursue their social work programs independently. We will transition from being accredited as a collaborative, to being accredited as independent programs. St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas are working closely with CSWE through the dissolution of the collaborative program and accreditation of each independent program.

Each program will apply for the preliminary stage of accreditation called “candidacy” that will start in 2019. For collaborative programs, institutions can apply for a period of candidacy that lasts only one year (the standard period of candidacy for new programs is three years). During this year we will continue to work closely with CSWE on the documentation needed for full accreditation, including writing our self-studies and developing budgets, in preparation for an anticipated site visit by the Council on Social Work Education Commission on Accreditation.

Note: The process of self-studies, budgets, and site visits for independent program candidacy parallels the processes and timeline that we would be commencing for re-accreditation in 2020 if we had maintained our collaboration. Re-accreditation can never be guaranteed by any program.

Learn more about the CSWE dissolution and independent accreditation process»

Tuition: Go to our Tuition web page for the most up-to-date MSW program tuition rates and fees. Advanced standing students take a total of 38 credits; Regular standing students take a total of 56 credits. 

Additional resources related to financing your MSW can be found on our Financial Aid page and our Scholarships & Grants page.

All tuition billing/fees for the MSW program is administered through the St. Thomas Business Office.


FAQs about Admissions can be found here