MSW Application Checklist - International Students

The requirements for international students to apply to the MSW program are detailed below:

The MSW program requires applicants' credentials to be at least the equivalent to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution. Applicants with a college or university degree completed outside of the United States must submit an official course-by-course evaluation from World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluation (ECE).  The evaluation must be sent directly to the University of St. Thomas from the evaluator and will fulfill the MSW application transcript requirement.*

Start the credential evaluation process:

NOTE: If your transcript evaluation does NOT include a course-by-course evaluation that lists all courses taken, then we would also require an official transcript sent from the school that lists all the classes taken.

Students with an undergraduate degree in social work from a school outside of the U.S. should apply to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)'s International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service (ISWDRES) to determine if their academic credentials in social work are comparable to accredited baccalaureate degrees in social work in the United States.  This is the only option for those with an undergraduate degree from outside of the U.S. to qualify for Advanced Standing status.

Go to the ISWDRES web page to get started»

If CSWE determines that your international degree is comparable to an accredited BSW degree in the United States, you will need to request to have an official copy of this "determination letter" sent to the University of St. Thomas Graduate Admissions office.

Go to the ISWDRES determination letter page and complete the additional letter request form»

The determination letter should be sent to:

University of St. Thomas
Graduate Records - Admissions
1000 LaSalle Ave., Box 5
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2005


The application deadline for all MSW program options is January 10.  International applicants should complete the MSW application process as detailed on the MSW APPLICATION PAGE»

The application instructions will instruct you to submit the following:

  • APPLICATION FORM: Complete all sections of the online application form (available September - January 10)
  • PERSONAL STATEMENT: Prepare a personal statement that includes a written assignment on a social work issue (part 1, maximum 1500 words); and a self-reflection about your professional goals and contributions (parts 2A, maximum 500 words & 2B, maximum 500 words).
  • RESUME: Submit a current resume
  • RECOMMENDATION FORMS: Submit three letters of recommendation forms, including both a checklist and an accompanying letter of reference*
  • ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS: Official transcripts sent directly from the institution are required from each post-secondary institution attended, even if courses are recorded on another transcript and regardless of the number of credits earned. Transcripts must be accompanied by official translations of all documents not in English.

* Letters of recommendation must be "official." Requesting and receiving letters of recommendation through the online MSW application portal is preferred, but may not be an option for all recommenders.

If your recommender(s) are not able to complete this process through the online application, you may arrange to have these letters either mailed or emailed to us. University policy requires that mailed letters of recommendation must be sent to the Graduate Admissions office in the original, unopened envelope. Letters of recommendation in this format can be sent to:

University of St. Thomas
Graduate Records - Admissions
1000 LaSalle Ave., Box 5
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2005

Or, letters of recommendation can be emailed directly from the recommender or the university/organization at which they are employed. If you can request your letters to be sent electronically, they can be emailed to:

If you have questions about any aspect of the MSW application, please contact

All international applicants and non-native speakers of English must meet one of the English proficiency requirements listed below. Score reports can be no more than two years old.

  • TOEFL iBT overall score of 80, with a minimum subscore of 20 on the written and speaking sections.
  • IELTS overall score of 6.5
  • ELS level 112
  • Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited college or university in the US, English-speaking Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand.

To qualify for issuance of the I-20, International applicants must complete the International Student Questionnaire, the Financial Support documentation, and the Identification and Immigration Documents as detailed on the University of St. Thomas International Graduate Admissions website»

For questions about these requirements, feel free to contact James Dedon in international student services at