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Fast facts

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Credit Hours


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2-4 yrs

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Program Benefits

  • Traditional and Advanced Standing Tracks
  • Dedicated Field Work Placement Specialist
  • No Pre-Requisites Required

Applying for an online master's degree from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is the first step in securing a successful future in helping others. Our admission requirements ask for more than your undergraduate GPA, transcripts, and recommendations because we know your path to social work is about more than the numbers.

The additional requirements help us gain insight into your unique abilities, strengths, and experience, as well as future career goals. We take all these factors into consideration when reviewing applications and admitting students into the online MSW program.




  • An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Advanced Standing track students need a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a regionally accredited institution for a program that has CSWE accreditation. See more Advanced Standing track requirements below.
  • Students without prior experiencing or a degree in social work must apply to the Traditional, 60-credit, MSW track.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale

If your overall GPA is below 2.75, you may receive provisional status in the program at the discretion of the MSW program director.


  • Candidates who have not earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program are not eligible for admission to the Advanced Standing track. Additionally, you must have earned a BSW within the past 10 years to apply for the Advanced Standing track.
  • If your BSW is older than 10 years, you may be required to take four social work generalist classes before registering for clinical classes: Generalist Practice I and II and Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) I and II
  • A minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants with lower GPA may be granted conditional admittance available in certain circumstances.
  • You must submit proof of earning a grade of B or higher in a research methods class or be willing to take an additional class: MSW620 Social Work Research
  • Once enrolled, you must participate in self-paced modules on the history, theory, and purpose of social work to transition to graduate school

If your overall GPA is below 3.00, you may be admitted conditionally and must earn a B or higher in all first-term classes in order to remain enrolled in the program. You would also be asked to discuss your undergraduate performance in your personal statement for admission.


You don't need prior work experience or a bachelor's degree in social work to be accepted, and you can fulfill the prerequisites at Saint Mary's University.


GRE or GMAT scores not required.


You can transfer a maximum of six credits you've earned before admittance to Saint Mary's.

Transfer credits are subject to graduate school and program criteria, as well as the recommendation of the program director and approval by the dean.

Work and/or life experience is not accepted as credit for this program.


Students with transcripts from universities located outside of the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada (except for the Quebec Province) are required to take and pass English proficiency testing.

Saint Mary's accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0, the Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with a minimum score of 74 percent, the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 51, or the International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0.


  • $25 non-refundable application fee: Note that Saint Mary's alumni, students seeking readmission, veterans and active military personnel are exempt from this application fee.
  • Official transcripts: An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits must be sent separately and directly from your institution. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota accepts official transcripts electronically from previously attended institutions. Transcripts should be sent to or mailed to:

    Transcript Processing Center
    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
    851 Trafalgar Court, Suite 420
    Maitland, FL 32751

  • A reflective professional essay that is between 750-1000 words that addresses each of the following topics (Applicants should take their time to address each of the prompts while paying attention to spelling and grammar):

    • Describe your future career plans and discuss how obtaining a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) degree will help you achieve them.

      • Can include life events or previous experiences that influenced your decision to become a social worker.
      • Additionally, discuss why you have specifically chosen to apply to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and how the mission of our MSW program is consistent with your career goals. 
      • Please indicate if you anticipate enrolling in the full or part-time program and if you are applying to the Traditional track (candidates applying without a Bachelor’s in Social Work) or the Advanced Standing Track (candidates who have earned a Bachelors of Social Work degree).
    • Discuss a social justice practice or movement about which you are passionate. 
      • How would you apply the principles of that movement or practice to clinical social work practice.
    • If your GPA was 2.75 or below for your undergraduate degree, please describe how you will prepare for the academic rigor of an MSW program. 
      • Address additional supports you have in place now, changes you have made to help you be successful, etc.
  • Two letters of reference or recommendation: written by former or current work or volunteer supervisors or current or former professors. The individuals writing letters should be able to speak to your ability to engage in ethical social work practice and/or complete graduate-level course work. Applicants unable to secure two letters from these sources are encouraged to contact the MSW Program Director to discuss acceptable alternatives.


Upcoming application deadlines and starts for Saint Mary's online MSW:

  • Applicants for the Summer Semester start:
    • Priority application deadline (part-time) and final deadline for (full-time): January 15th, Decision deadline: January 30th 
    • Final application deadline (part-time): March 1st, Decision deadline: March 15th 
  • Applicants for the Fall Semester start:
    • Priority application deadline (part-time and full-time): May 15th, Decision deadline: May 30th
    • Final application deadline (part-time and full-time): July 1st, Decision deadline: July 15th
  • Applicants for the Spring Semester start:
    • Priority application deadline (part-time and full-time): September 15th, Decision deadline: September 30th
    • Final application deadline (part-time and full-time): November 1st, Decision deadline: November 15th

Applications can be submitted online, via hard copy, or in person with a Saint Mary's admissions counselor.

If you have questions, request more information or contact an enrollment counselor at 877-308-9954. Saint Mary's is here to support you every step of the way.