MSW Admissions

Admission Options

Advanced Standing (AS) admission is for applicants with an undergraduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Advanced Standing students complete 38 credits and 600 hours of field practicum for their degree.

Regular Standing (RS) admission is for applicants without an undergraduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Regular Standing students complete 56 credits and 1,000 hours of field practicum for their degree.


Admission Criteria

  • 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) - preferred. If your cumulative GPA is below 3.0, you should include an Explanation of GPA Statement with your application if you feel you can explain any extraordinary circumstances for your low GPA and/or why it is not indicative of your potential for success in a graduate program.
  • Prior experience – post-undergraduate social service practice experience is preferred, but not required, 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. (See prerequisite FAQ for course options)
  • Letters of recommendation – applicants must submit three complete (required form/checklist and letter from each recommender) recommendations
  • 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.

The admission process is based on a holistic review of all materials submitted.


Application Process

The admission process for the St. Thomas MSW in clinical social work practice is handled by the Office of Graduate Admission at the University of St. Thomas.

Start the application process»


Application FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the application process»


Admission Objectives

The School of Social Work is committed to the selection of a culturally, racially and ethnically diverse student body as the optimal leadership group for the future of the social work profession. The MSW Admission Committee will recruit, screen and admit those individuals with the highest potential for clinical social work practice and professional leadership. Objectives identified to achieve this desired goal include the following:

  • Develop a pool of applicants valued because they bring diverse views to the program by virtue of cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds and varying levels of skills.
  • Closely follow the enrollment and retention rates for students described above.
  • Support achievement of excellence in all applicants admitted to the MSW program and the successful completion of the program by all students.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

The University of St. Thomas is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and equal educational opportunity. St. Thomas does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, family status, disability, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local commission, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. The university’s policy of non-discrimination extends to all aspects of its operations, including but not limited to, employment, educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and all other educational programs and activities. Contact information for the persons designated to handle inquiries regarding the university’s non-discrimination policy is available at www.stthomas.edu/policies.

For further information on non-discrimination, contact the Dept. of Education: http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm or (800) 421-3481.

Accreditation Status

The St. Catherine University - University of St. Thomas MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education: Commission on Accreditation. In 2012, the program was reaccredited by the Council in Social Work Education: Commission on Accreditation for the full eight-year cycle.  In May of 2018, our host universities announced that each will pursue its social work programs independently. Moving forward, the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University are undertaking CSWE accreditation for their programs independently. For more information on this organization check the Web at www.cswe.org.

St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and are members of the North Central Association. For further information visit www.ncahlc.org.

The University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University are registered as private institutions with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institutions. Credits earned at the institutions may not transfer to all other institutions.