MSW Application Instructions

MSW Application Instructions

Admission require​ments

  • A completed baccalaureate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission);
  • Undergraduate cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better on a 4.0 scale. If the applicant’s GPA is less than 3.0, an explanatory statement should be included with the application.
  • Prerequisite courses:

Please indicate on the application the prerequisite courses you have taken or plan to take in statistics or research methods, lifespan developmental psychology (including child, adolescent and adult development) and human biology.

Students may apply for the MSW program if they are missing one or more of the prerequisite courses, but they must make arrangements for all three courses to be completed prior to the first day of graduate classes. A syllabus or catalog description should be included for each prerequisite course you have taken or plan to take. General/introductory biology and general/introductory psychology courses do not fulfill our prerequisite requirements.


The application deadline is January 10 for Summer/Fall 2016 enrollment.

Application instructions

Application form

Complete all sections of the online application form.

Information in this application may be used in determining eligibility for grants/scholarships.

Application fee

Submit a $35 non-refundable application fee. Make check or money order payable to St. Catherine University. This fee is waived for students who previously:

  • Enrolled at St. Catherine University or the University of St. Thomas (completed at least one course at either the undergraduate or graduate level)
  • Attended a graduate information session within the past five years
  • Completed an individual appointment with graduate faculty/staff within the past five years

If one or more of the above statements applies to you:

  • If submitting a paper application: do not include payment with your application form.
  • If submitting an online application: choose the waiver option when asked for a form of payment.

Please note that your application fee will not be refunded if you submit the payment but are eligible for a fee waiver.

Personal statement

Prepare a personal statement that includes a written assignment on a social work issue (part 1), and a self-reflection about your professional goals and contributions (parts 2A & 2B).

Part 1:
This section of the personal statement provides an opportunity to demonstrate your written communication skills, understanding of an issue relevant to social work, ability to critically assess the dimensions of the issue and present a coherent presentation, using formal citation to support your perspective. (Maximum 1,500 words)

Identify and critically assess an important issue for professional social workers now and in the next decade.  Provide evidence to support your assessment; include citations.  Incorporate your own perspective on the role and responsibility of social workers relevant to this issue.

Part 2:
A. Identify your professional goals and discuss how the MSW program at St. Catherine University–University of St. Thomas, with its emphasis on social justice and clinical social work practice, will help you achieve those goals.  Provide specific examples. (Maximum 500 words)

B. Identify and reflect on your strengths and limitations relative to professional social work.  Consider how both will contribute to your success in the field of social work.  Be candid with examples of strengths, and state how you have addressed, or are currently managing, your limitations related to professional social work. (Maximum 500 words)

Personal statements should be mailed to the Office of Graduate Admission at the address at the bottom of this page, or submitted via e-mail to with "MSW Personal Statement" in the subject line. Please include your full name at the top of your statement.


Submit a current résumé. Please differentiate between paid work experience and volunteer activities. Indicate whether the experience/activity was part-time or full-time in nature, and specify the dates of employment/volunteering.

Résumés should be mailed to the Office of Graduate Admission at the address at the bottom of this page, or submitted via e-mail to with "MSW Résumé" in the subject line. Handwritten résumés will not be accepted.

Recommendation f​orms

Three MSW recommendation forms must be completed by references who are familiar with your academic and/or professional experience; personal references are not acceptable.  References must complete both the checklist and the accompanying statement sections of the form.

These are confidential recommendations and must be sent directly from the references to the Office of Graduate Admission. Original documents must be submitted to our office. Applicants who wish to view a copy of the completed recommendations are responsible for making the appropriate arrangements with their references.

To access this form as an interactive pdf, please use Internet Explorer or Google Chrome:

Download the MSW recommendation form

Fieldwork instructor evaluation

Advanced-standing applicants must submit a copy of the senior fieldwork evaluation from their undergraduate social work program. Applicants may submit a copy of the evaluation from their own records (if they retained the paperwork after graduation). Otherwise, applicants should contact the social work department at their undergraduate institution and request that a copy be sent to the Office of Graduate Admission at St. Catherine University. If the evaluation is no longer on file, the social work department should submit a brief letter of explanation to our office. Students who have not yet completed their senior field placement may submit a copy of their junior fieldwork evaluation.

Academic transcripts

Official transcripts are required from each post-secondary institution attended, even if courses are recorded on another transcript and regardless of the number of credits earned.

Paper transcripts must be mailed in a sealed envelope directly from the registrar of each institution to the Office of Graduate Admission at St. Catherine University. Transcripts that do not meet these criteria will be considered unofficial and will not be used to complete the applicant’s file. Electronic transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to St. Catherine (; electronic transcripts forwarded by the applicant will not be accepted.

TOEFL / IELTS ​scores

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 80 on the iBT, or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.5. This requirement is waived for applicants who have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the United States.

Credential evaluation

Applicants with a college or university degree completed outside of the United States must submit an official evaluation from World Education Services as well as original transcripts and official translations of all documents not in English. All costs related to document translation and evaluation are the applicant's responsibility.

International applicants

Please read instructions for international applicants

Submitting materials

Submit all items to:

St. Catherine University
Graduate Admission, Mail Stop 4027
2004 Randolph Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105

Fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. No credentials will be returned to the applicant.