PhD students and professor

Apply for Ph.D.

Our doctoral students work with nationally and internationally known faculty with expertise in a range of topics, including human rights, child welfare, trauma, and international issues, among others.

Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles as researchers and educators in a variety of settings.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Ph.D. program should be highly motivated and self-directed, with values consistent with the profession of social work and a commitment to diversity and marginalized populations. Applicants will be evaluated based on several criteria, including the potential to contribute to knowledge generation and advancement of the social work profession, openness to new ideas, successful professional experience, maturity, and academic promise.

The program is open only to full-time students.

Applicants must have:

  • A master’s degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • An MSW from a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education is preferred.
  • A bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • Two years of post-MSW practice experience is preferred.

The GRE requirement is waived for applications.

The application requires:

  • Three letters of recommendation. These should come from academic sources, research mentors, or professional colleagues/supervisors and assess your academic aptitude, personal attributes, and capacity to successfully engage in doctoral education.
  • A compelling personal statement of approximately six pages that describes your professional background, research interests and career goals after earning a Ph.D.
  • A writing sample that reflects your writing and research skills, aptitude to synthesize literature and other sources of information, analytic ability, and capacity for critical thinking. Examples include a class paper, policy brief, published article, grant application, or newly prepared writing sample.
  • An updated resume.
  • Transcripts from all academic institutions attended.
  • International applicants must also provide TOEFL test scores.

Questions? If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact the Ph.D. Program office at 959-200-3603.

Application Deadline

The deadline to submit your Ph.D. program application is December 15, 2024.

Begin Your Application

Communication and Admission Notification

Communication with applicants regarding the status of an application, requests for additional or missing information, and application decisions will be sent by email. Each applicant must provide a valid email address on their electronic application and maintain that address throughout the application process.

You will receive frequent communication from both the UConn Graduate School and the UConn School of Social Work as an applicant and an accepted student. Please review all communication and respond in a timely manner.

Applicant Decision Notification

School of Social Work faculty review all completed applications and makes admission decisions. When a decision has been made, you will receive an email notification to check your account to view the decision.  Applicants will be notified of decisions no later than mid-April.