MSW Eligibility and Prerequisite Requirements
To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements:
A completed bachelor's or graduate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting organizations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission).
Grade Point Average
A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or higher on a 4.0 scale. If the applicant's GPA is less than 3.0, an explanatory statement must be submitted that addresses any factors that influenced previous academic performance, and how the applicant plans to ensure future academic success. After all transcripts have been received, the MSW admission counselor will calculate the cumulative GPA and contact any applicant who should submit an explanatory statement.
College-level courses in the following areas are required:
- statistics or research methods
- human biology (lab not required)
- lifespan developmental psychology (from birth to death) — students applying with a BSW may meet this requirement with Human Behavior and the Social Environment
Courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. Candidates may apply for the MSW program if they are missing one or more of the prerequisite courses, but all three courses must be completed prior to the first day of graduate classes. Please note that general/introductory biology and general/introductory psychology courses do not fulfill our prerequisite requirements.
How do I apply?
Please read the application instructions below before completing the online application at the bottom of this page.
The priority application deadline for Summer 2020/Fall 2020 consideration is January 10. We are no longer accepting applications for our Advance Standing-1 year and Regular Standing-2 year options. Applications received after the deadline for our Advanced Standing-2 year and Regular Standing-3 year options will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
Prepare a personal statement that demonstrates written communication skills and clarifies your purpose in pursuing a graduate program in social work. This includes addressing both a social work issue (part 1), and a self-reflection about your professional goals and contributions (parts 2A & 2B). Please submit one document that includes your response to both parts.
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. Use formal citation (as needed) to support your perspective. Answering this part will also prompt consideration for the MSW Social Justice Mission Scholarship. (Maximum 1,500 words)
Identify and critically assess an important social justice 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.
A. Identify your professional goals and discuss how the MSW program at St. Catherine University, with its emphasis on critical 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)
If you have already submitted the MSW application form, you may upload your personal statement via your Application Status page (instructions for accessing the status page were provided at the time you submitted the application). Please include your full name at the top of the statement.
If you wish to submit the personal statement prior to the MSW application, or if you are unable to upload the document to your Application Status page, you may send the statement as an attachment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “MSW Personal Statement” in the subject line.
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.
If you have already submitted the MSW application form, you may upload your résumé via your Application Status page (instructions for accessing the status page were provided at the time you submitted the application).
If you wish to submit the résumé prior to the MSW application, or if you are unable to upload the document to your Application Status page, you may send the résumé as an attachment via email to email@example.com with “MSW Résumé” in the subject line.
Three recommendations are required for MSW applicants.
MSW recommendation forms must be completed by individuals who can attest to the intellectual ability, professional competence and leadership ability of the applicant. Only professional or academic references will be considered; personal references are not acceptable. References must complete both the checklist and the accompanying statement sections of the form.
A link to the recommendation form will be sent when the Recommendations section of the MSW application form has been completed. Please alert your references in advance to expect an email from St. Catherine University. These are confidential recommendations submitted directly from the references to the Office of Graduate Admission; applicants who wish to view the recommendations are responsible for making the appropriate arrangements with their references.
Transcripts are required from each post-secondary institution attended (including PSEO coursework), even if courses are recorded on another transcript and regardless of the number of credits earned. For the initial review of your application, we will accept official transcripts sent directly from the institution or scanned copies of official or unofficial transcripts. All documents must be up-to-date and include your name, institution name, all courses taken with grades and degrees received (if applicable). Screenshots from your institution’s website or degree evaluations from your student portal will not be accepted. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded using your applicant status page (a link is sent once you’ve started an application) or sent as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon an offer of acceptance, applicants are required to submit official transcripts from baccalaureate and graduate (if applicable) degree granting institutions before registration for courses is allowed. 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 (email@example.com); electronic transcripts forwarded by the applicant will not be accepted.
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. You may submit the fieldwork evaluation as an attachment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "MSW Fieldwork Eval" in the subject line.
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. Applicants who have achieved an ELS level 112 or higher may submit those scores in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS. This requirement is waived for applicants who have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the United States.
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), as well as original transcripts and official translations of all documents not in English. In addition, if you are applying for one of our Advanced Standing options and completed your BSW outside of the United States or Canada, you must also complete a CSWE Credential Evaluation as part of the application process. All costs related to document translation and evaluation are the applicant’s responsibility.
Electronic documents may be directed to:
Paper documents may be mailed to:
St. Catherine University
Graduate Admission #4027
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that her or his application is completed by the deadline. Fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. No credentials will be returned to the applicant.
Please review the information below regarding other application materials that may be required for international applicants.
Our priority deadline for Summer 2020/Fall 2020 admission is January 10, 2020. However, we are still currently accepting applications, reviewed on a space available basis.
International Student Forms
International applicants for graduate study must complete the International Information section of the application form.
The U.S. government requires international applicants to provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses before the University can issue forms necessary to obtain a visa. International applicants must submit a Certification of Finances form.
Some international applicants may be required to submit additional documentation, such as a credential evaluation, language test scores, etc. Please review the application instructions for your graduate program for more information.
Please submit the Certification of Finances form to the Office of Graduate Admission; review your graduate program application instructions for submitting educational documentation and test scores. The Admission Committee will not review your application until we have received all required documents.
St. Catherine University
Office of Graduate Admission 4027
2004 Randolph Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105