Social Work (MSW) and Holistic Health (MAHS) Application Instructions

MSW/MAHS Eligibility and Prerequisite Requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Baccalaureate Degree

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.


Specific prerequisite courses are required for the MSW portion of the dual degree program; review the next section for details. If you are unable to complete these courses before beginning the dual degree program, please consider applying solely to the MAHS degree first. But also note that if you begin the MAHS degree you will not be eligible to also register for undergraduate courses to complete the prerequisites here. For guidance, please contact your admission counselor.

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.

**COVID-19 Exception: We strongly recommend that prerequisite courses be completed for a letter grade.  However, in light of many institutions mandating all Spring 2020 courses be Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (or Pass/Fail) or are allowing students the choice, we will accept a Satisfactory or Pass designation for any prerequisite course completed in the Spring 2020 term only.

Use the online Transfer Evaluation System (TES) resource to determine if a specific course you have taken (or plan to take) will fulfill a MSW prerequisite requirement. All St. Catherine course equivalencies listed in TES are fully verified by our Registrar's Office.

How to use TES:

  • Make note of the St. Catherine department abbreviation
    (BIOL, CHEM, MATH, etc.) and course numbers for the "St. Kate's equivalent" course list.
  • Connect to TES.
  • Identify the institution from which you have completed courses (or plan to complete courses). You may search for institutions using the “Find Transfer College by Name” search box, or use the alphabetical index provided.
  • Enter the course code for one of our MSW prerequisites (e.g., MATH 1080). Select “Home Course” and click on Search. This will identify any courses from the institution that are equivalent to the St. Catherine prerequisite course. You could also enter the code for the other institution’s course, and select “Transfer Course” and Search. This will identify any St. Catherine courses that might be equivalent to the other institution’s course.

If you have searched via TES and can’t find a specific school or course listing, contact your admission counselor for assistance. Please include the institution, course name and number, and course description in your email.

How do I apply?

Application Form

Please read the application instructions below before completing the online application at the bottom of this page.


If you would like to begin with the MSW coursework, 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.

Completed applications (including all supporting materials required) that are received by July 1, 2020 for our Advanced Standing-2 year and Regular Standing-3 year options will be reviewed for Fall 2020 consideration. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed after that date.

If you would like to begin with MAHS coursework, the application priority deadlines are August 1 (fall) and December 1 (spring). Applications received after the deadline will be considered on a space available basis.

Personal Statement

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 all parts.

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. 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.

Part 2

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)

Part 3

Please discuss your interest in pursuing the dual degree in holistic health and social work at St. Kate's. How do you see yourself implementing the knowledge and skills gained from both of these programs in your career?

COVID-19 Impact Statement

This is an optional topic — if you feel as though your pathway to a graduate education was educationally, personally, or professionally impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, please describe the impact you experienced (one page included as a separate topic in the personal statement).

Some impacts you may want to consider when responding include:

  • Educational: Moving to online or distance coursework; effective interaction with your professors; moving to a Pass/Fail grading system;
  • Personal: Changes in your living situation; caring for yourself or a loved one who was directly impacted; seeking out new volunteer opportunities that arose from the crisis
  • Professional: Loss of a job or needing to seek new opportunities; other professional or financial barriers.

If you have already submitted the 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 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 with “MSW/MAHS 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 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 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 with “MSW/MAHS Résumé” in the subject line.

Recommendation Forms

Three recommendations are required for MSW/MAHS 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

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 University (; 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 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.

Credential Evaluation

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.

Submitting Materials

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.

International Applicants

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.

Additional Documentation

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.

Submitting Materials

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
St. Paul, MN 55105
Telephone: 651.690.6933

Questions about the application process?

Email your admission counselor at any time, or call us during office hours (8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.).

Contact an admission counselor