Master of Theological Studies – Franciscan Theology

Admission Requirements

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Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego

Designed for working professionals and recent undergraduates alike, this two-year academic program is offered by the Franciscan School of Theology in partnership with the University of San Diego. It is ideal for those pursuing careers in religious education, parish support, or ministry, as preparation for further academic work, or for those looking to incorporate a knowledge of faith into their existing profession.

The MTS degree program is based in the Franciscan Catholic tradition: a joy-filled faith study that promotes a heart of service, solidarity, and compassion, as well as using faith studies to enact positive change in communities from local to global.

Applications for admission are accepted on a rolling basis. A decision will be recommended by the Review Committee within one week of your application being submitted.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to regulations from the Department of Education, FST at USD is only accepting applications from residents in specific U.S. states and territories for enrollment into our 100% online degree programs. Please check our State Authorization Status List for the states and territories from which we can enroll residents in our 100% online degree programs. Programs are only considered to be 100% online degree programs if they have no physical presence (classes, fieldwork, or otherwise) in those states or territories.

Ideal Program Candidates

Whether you are an aspiring educator who wishes to teach theology or a mental health counselor seeking to reach patients on a deeper level, our program is designed to accommodate a broad spectrum of career goals and interests. Successful applicants possess a strong desire to approach their career or pursuits from a compassionate place informed by faith. While a prior understanding of the Catholic tradition is helpful, it is not necessary.

Students of the MTS program are:

At a Glance

The MTS-Franciscan Theology degree is designed for working professionals. You focus on one -7 week- class at a time, and it is completely asynchronous.

24 Months
36 Units
September 3
August 2

Admissions Requirement

The Franciscan School of Theology welcomes all students who wish to explore deeper meaning in their lives or careers, no matter their backgrounds.
Requirements for applicants to the Master of Theological Studies – Franciscan Theology are as follows:

*Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Vice President for Academic Affairs when compensatory factors are present.

Application Details

Your complete application must include the following:

*Students who wish to transfer credit from other institutions please connect with your enrollment advisor.

**If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, please connect with your enrollment advisor.

Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should do the following:

Applicants are asked to address all three points. An acceptable statement of purpose should be between 500 – 700 words. When writing your response, please remember that this is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your writing skills and academic readiness.

Letter Of Recommendation Requirements

The Master of Theological Studies – Franciscan Theology (MTS – FT) degree involves academically rigorous coursework.

Once you have saved an electronic recommendation, an email request will automatically be sent to the recommender on your behalf. Please advise your recommender to look for this email in their inbox, as well as their spam or junk-mail folder, as emails do occasionally get filtered out.

Financial Aid

The first step in applying for aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Federal School Code for FST is G11792.

We recommend that applicants apply for financial aid when they apply for admission. Please notify the Admissions department as soon as possible if you will be applying for financial aid.

Recipients of financial aid will be notified of their award after their acceptance to FST.

Please note FST’s discounts are only available for On-campus programs.

are you an international applicant?

International applicants must meet additional requirements for admission, including: 

What Happens Next?

Applying to a graduate program can be complicated – which is why we are here to help answer your questions and even pay for your transcripts! If you have questions regarding the application, contact one of our enrollment advisors who will be able to answer your questions and assess your situation. Our enrollment advisors will also assist you with ordering and tracking your transcripts.

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. You can apply and start in any semester (spring, summer, or fall).  Ready to apply?

Special Note: please anticipate that some colleges and universities can take 2 – 3 weeks to prepare and send official transcripts. Your application package is not complete until all official transcripts are received.

Estimate Your Tuition

The tuition cost varies by degree program. For a more detailed breakdown of tuition costs, use our helpful tuition estimator to determine the total tuition for your program of interest.

*Tuition amounts shown on this page, or in other university publications or web pages, represent current tuition and fees. The University of San Diego reserves the right to increase or modify tuition and fees without prior notice; currently enrolled and incoming students will be notified in the event of any tuition changes.

Total Percentage of Eligibility: -$XX,XXX.xx
Financial Aid
Enter the full amount to be used towards tuition over the course of the entire program (not the annual amount).
Enter the full amount to be used towards tuition over the course of the entire program (not the annual amount).
Transfer Credits
The maximum number of transfer credits allowed for this program is 12
Cost Per Unit 0
Number of Units 0
Total Out of Pocket Tuition $0.00


Below is a list of significant dates regarding the registration process, payment deadlines, and other important academic and program deadlines.

Application DeadlineAugust 2
Registration OpensJuly 1
Registration DeadlineAugust 16
Semester BeginsSeptember 3
First Course Start DateSeptember 3
First Course End DateOctober 21
Second Course Start DateOctober 22
Second Course End DateDecember 9
Semester EndsDecember 9
Application DeadlineDecember 2
Registration OpensNovember 1
Registration DeadlineDecember 16
Semester BeginsJanuary 7, 2025
First Course Start DateJanuary 7, 2025
First Course End DateFebruary 24, 2025
Second Course Start DateFebruary 25, 2025
Second Course End DateApril 14, 2025
Semester EndsApril 14, 2025
Application DeadlineApril 4, 2025
Registration OpensMarch 3, 2025
Registration DeadlineApril 18, 2025
Semester BeginsMay 6, 2025
First Course Start DateMay 6, 2025
First Course End DateJune 23, 2025
Second Course Start DateJune 24, 2025
Second Course End DateAugust 11, 2025
Semester EndsAugust 11, 2025


Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego


Our borders are open to international students of all regions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many units is my program?

The online MTS-FT program is a total of 36 units.

Students will enroll in two prescribed courses each semester for a total of six (6) semester units. During your final term, students will enroll in a single 6-unit capstone course.

Is the online Master’s in Theological Studies program considered full-time or part-time?

The online Master’s in Theological Studies program provides 6 units per term, making it a part-time, or 3/4 time, program.