Application Process FAQs


Contact the MSW program at or call 651-962-5800 and ask to speak to someone about MSW admissions.

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.

The admissions decision is a holistic process 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) preferred.
  • 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 below 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.

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 should include an Explanation of GPA Statement with your application if you feel you can explain any extraordinary circumstances for your low GPA.

There is no entrance exam required for admission. The only exception is for international students that would be required to take the TOEFL or IELTS English language proficiency exam.

International applicant checklist»


There are three prerequisite courses that must be completed before starting the MSW program.  If you are missing one of these courses, click on the course to see a PDF of options in Minnesota or online that meet the prerequisite requirement.

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, or if a course you've found will meet the requrirement, please email the MSW program or call 651-962-5800 and ask to speak to someone about MSW admissions.

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

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


No, the admission deadline each year is January 10th*. This is for the programs starting the following June (Advanced standing one-year and the Hybrid MSW tracks) 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.

*Some part-time completion tracks may have a secondary application deadline of March 10.  Contact the MSW program, if you would like to explore this option.

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, Diversity Grants, and Alumni Grants (for undergraduate alumni of St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas). 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, Corporate Partner Grants, Janice Andrews Schenk Memorial Scholarship, Diversity Social Work Advancement Program, 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, Becky Stevenson at 651-962-4053 /

Visit the Financial Aid web page  and the School of Social Work Scholarships & Grants page for more information.


If your program completion track has a summer start-date and you wish to be considered for summer financial aid, you will need to complete the current year's FAFSA application and the Graduate Financial Aid Office’s Summer  Financial Aid Application for Graduate Students which will become available on their website at the beginning of April. In order to be considered for aid starting in the fall, you will need to complete a FAFSA application for that academic year.

Yes, in the Current Student section of the website, you will find Housing & Family Resources, including information about St. Kate's Access and Success program for students with children.

The timing varies slightly each year.  Students applying to a full-time program completion track (Advanced Standing-1 year and Regular Standing-2 year) will receive a letter by mid- to late-February if they applied by the January 10 priority application deadline.  All students applying to an "extended-time" completion track (Advanced Standing 2- and 3-year tracks; Regular Standing 3- and 4-year tracks) should receive a letter by the end of February.