University of St. Thomas


Studying Social Work at The University of St. Thomas (St. Kate – St. Thomas School of Social Work)

The University of St. Thomas appears in our ranking of the 35 Best Value Christian Colleges with CSWE-accredited Programs.

Partnered with St. Catherine University, the School of Social Work has a BA/BS Program that has trained 3,500+ University of St. Thomas undergrads for licensed entry-level service with a human dignity emphasis. Headed by Dr. Katharine Hill, the 60-credit daytime major brings Catholic reason into three tracks: Social Services Management, Addiction & Recovery, or Social Welfare. An average class size of 21 keeps modules like Lifespan Psychology, Biology of Women, Interviewing Skills, and Group Dynamics engaging at both campuses. BSW majors become agents of change in 600 practicum hours, including at Regions Hospital, Ain Dah Yung Center, United Gospel Mission, Hazelden Betty Ford Center, and Family Wise. Students may also study abroad in Cuernavaca, join the Beta Epsilon Chapter, attend the Hamm Clinic Conference, become Aquinas Scholars, and volunteer for Project Pride.

Since 1993, the St. Kate-St. Thomas Collaborative has provided the MSW Program exclusively to prepare for licensed clinical practice to boost the quality of life in the healthcare arena. Directed by Dr. Kari Fletcher in the Summit Building, the 56-credit degree has three emphases: Aging, Military, or Practice with Immigrants & Refugees. The 35-credit Advanced Standing option suits BSW grads to accelerate daytime, evening, or hybrid online courses. Topics taught by the 20 full-time faculty span from Family Resiliency to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with 1,000 total internship hours. Other opportunities include researching in the Luann Dummer Center, attending the Prenatal to Three Policy Forum, engaging in Social Work Club, completing the 45-credit Online DSW, adding the Dual M.A. in Holistic Health, and becoming Murphy Fellows.

About University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas was opened in September 1885 by Archbishop John Ireland for all-male, Catholic seminary education. Nine years later, it was incorporated as an independent, liberal arts college under the Holy Cross Fathers. Coeducational since 1977, the top-tier ACCU member has honored its namesake, St. Thomas Aquinas of Sicily, by enrolling 9,878 Tommies from 65 nations in eight divisions, including the School of Social Work. Three minutes from St. Kate's, St. Thomas occupies a 45-acre, remodeled campus in Minnesota's capital with a Bernardi satellite in Rome. Linked to 70,263 LinkedIn alumni, the University of St. Thomas has graduated activists like Semhar Araia, Rose Thering, Hussein Samatar, and others.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Thomas the 115th best national university, 63rd top value, 70th most military-friendly campus, and 72nd best social work college. On Niche, St. Thomas is America's 23rd best free application school, 90th best location, and 104th top student life college. Forbes placed the University of St. Thomas 157th among private institutions with the 199th happiest grads. Times Higher Education named St. Thomas the 348th top university. According to Washington Monthly, St. Thomas has the 148th most Peace Corps volunteers and 157th best professors. The University of St. Thomas also stands as the 87th best private investment in Kiplinger's.

University of St. Thomas Accreditation Details

In March 2014, the University of St. Thomas underwent a comprehensive evaluation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) to renew its Level VI accreditation for 10 more years under president Dr. Julie Sullivan. Located in Chicago, this regional body has authority from the U.S. Department of Education to coordinate quality assurance for St. Thomas' 98 bachelor's, 60 master's, four doctoral, and 38 certificate programs from Edina to Owatonna and Roseville. It's properly registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and National Catholic Educational Association. The BSW and MSW programs with St. Catherine University also have Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation through 2020.

University of St. Thomas Application Requirements

Classified as "moderately difficult" on Peterson's, the acceptance rate to the University of St. Thomas is 84 percent. First-year Tommies in pre-BSW courses must graduate from high school with four years of English and three years of math. Ranking in the top 50 percent of one's class for a minimum GPA of 2.75 is expected, though the average is 3.61. Freshmen boast a mean SAT score of 1160 and ACT score of 25. Juniors or transfers with 60+ credits graded better than "C-" are welcomed into the Bachelor of Social Work. The Standard MSW Program accepts any bachelor's major that includes prerequisites in Statistics, Biology, and Developmental Psychology. Earning Advanced Standing will require a 3.0 GPA in CSWE-accredited preparation with 400 practicum hours.

The University of St. Thomas enforces an Early Action deadline of November 1st and Regular Decision deadline of January 15th for undergrads. Transfer admission is rolling year-round after October 1st. The MSW Program set the priority deadline on January 10th. Interested entrants file the St. Thomas Application or Common Application wholly online for free. For help, please contact or (651) 962-6150. The checklist requests these:

  • Certified high school or college transcripts
  • Official SAT, ACT, or GRE scores (optional)
  • Personal essay or writing sample of 500+ words
  • Signed Dean of Students reference form
  • Résumé of paid/volunteer work experience
  • Three MSW letters of recommendation

Tuition and Financial Aid

Finishing the BA/BS in Social Work will cost University of St. Thomas students $1,306 per credit or $41,133 annually full-time. Budget for the $230 technology fee, $147 activity fee, and $95 facilities each term. Living in the Twin Cities campus' dorms like Dowling Hall adds $3,275 for room and $2,112 for board per semester. The annual cost of attendance equals $54,647 for residents and $44,593 for commuters. The MSW Program presently bills $799 per credit for price tags of $30,362 to $44,744. The Doctor of Social Work costs $1,131 per credit, or $50,895 entirely.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 92 percent of full-time St. Thomas Tommies share $105.8 million annually for average financial packages of $18,490. Institutional funds include the Academic Scholarship, Transfer Award, International Scholarship, Trustees Scholarship, Dease Scholarship, Habiger Latino Leadership Scholarship, and Schulze Innovation Scholarship. The $2,000 Dollars for Scholars Program from Scholarship America can be matched. Submitting the FAFSA application via code 002345 evaluates EFC for Pell Grants and FSEOG Grants. Gopher State natives dig for Minnesota State Grant, Child Care Grant, and Veterans' Dependents Grant money. Graduate assistantships are available for 10-20 hours at $16/hour. Ranked 193rd in Money, the University of St. Thomas also has an average debt load of $21,500 from Direct, PLUS, and private loans.

Learn more about the University of St. Thomas at the School of Social Work website.