Redefining what's possible.
Welcome to our guide for applying to the PhD program. Careful attention to (1) the application materials, requirements, and instructions, (2) the description of standards of behavior, and (3) the Applicant Checklist found inside the ZIP file (also available in the right column), should smooth the entire process. To avoid following outdated guidelines, please be certain to use only current year application materials.
The materials and information needed to apply to the PhD Program in Social Welfare are on this website. Applicants must observe the deadline of DECEMBER 15 for submission of application forms. Early applications are accepted. [Go to end of instructions for mailing address and contact info.]
Most materials are submitted online through the Graduate School application website. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all necessary materials are received. The instructions below note which items are submitted online and which must come by mail.
Annual admission of new students into the Social Welfare PhD Program is limited, and the applicant pool tends to be quite competitive. Applicants who are selected for admission are those who have completed a Master's Degree in Social Work or a related field and whose scholastic achievement, previous experience, and aptitude for social welfare research and scholarship indicate the greatest promise for achieving the objectives of the program. Although an MSW is not required for admission, the Council on Social Work Education states the following: "Faculty who teach social work practice courses have a master's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program and at least two years of social work practice experience in order to teach foundation practice courses in accredited programs" (EPAS 3.3.1 & 3.4.5b). Thus, an MSW can be beneficial when doctoral graduates seek jobs in schools of social work. An effort is made to maintain a balance among the students that reflects a range of interests in social work and social welfare areas of research.
Decision-making process: Faculty members on the PhD Steering Committee make admissions decisions on the basis of the following: aptitude for social welfare research and scholarship as shown by articulation of social welfare research area(s) of concern to applicant and capacity to undertake such training and research, letters of reference, professional experience, commitment to diversity and social justice, institutional resources available to support the applicant's research, scholastic achievement, and scores on the Graduate Record Examination.
Diversity/Social Justice: The PhD Program recognizes the contribution to the intellectual and social enrichment of the program by students with diverse backgrounds. One area to address in research and scholarship statement is information concerning personal history, family background, work experiences, and influences on intellectual development. This information should include cultural and educational opportunities (or lack thereof), social, economic, or physical advantages and/or disadvantages that you have experienced, and the ways in which these experiences have affected your life and decisions concerning social welfare research as a career goal. Include special interests and abilities, career plans, and future goals. Please describe life and work experiences in ethnic or sexual minority communities wherever appropriate in the application materials.
Another area to address in the statement and to ask the individuals writing your letters of reference to comment upon concerns social justice issues. Describe how your scholarship career goals and research objectives are informed by your vision of social justice. See the School Mission Statement and our PhD Social Justice web page for information about the school/program commitment to and goals for furthering for social justice.
Policies: Three policies with which all applicants to the School should become familiar should be carefully reviewed. The first is entitled Essential Skills, Values and Standards of Professional Conduct Important to Admission and Continuance in the School and Profession of Social Work. The next two are located in the Important University Policies section. The second is Academic Performance and Conduct Which May Result in a Review and Possible Dismissal from the School of Social Work. The last is the Unprofessional Conduct Law. All applicants should review these to attain an understanding of the qualities and professional behavior expectations required
Individuals are admitted to the program as first-year, full-time PhD students in autumn quarter only. The University of Washington does not accept transfer credits from other doctoral programs. The deadline for application for the autumn quarter is DECEMBER 15. We cannot evaluate your application until all materials are received. International applicants especially need to note that files will not be reviewed until the GRE and TOEFL scores are received.
The application process provides you with the opportunity to present fully your past experiences, your current status, and your future plans as a doctoral student and social welfare scholar. The application materials are intended to give the members of the faculty a comprehensive picture of your qualifications for admission to the Social Welfare PhD Program. All forms must be downloaded, completed, and uploaded through the Graduate School website (with exceptions noted below). All files should be named with the following format: your lastname-initials-form name (e.g. lastname-ii-sswadmissionsform, lastname-ii-Univ-X-transcript).
The "Application for Admission to the UW Graduate School" is submitted directly online to the Graduate School, and most School of Social Work materials are submitted through this online application.
Application is completed online at https://www.grad.washington.edu/applForAdmiss/. (Fee $75; subject to change without notice.)
Graduate School Contact Information: phone, 206.543.5929; fax, 206.543.8798;
US email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Email for international applicants: email@example.com.
In general, properly qualified students who are graduates of the University of Washington or of other colleges or universities of recognized rank are eligible to apply to the University of Washington Graduate School.
The School of Social Work Checklist serves as official notification of application to the Social Welfare doctoral program. It lists all application materials due to the School of Social Work and to the Graduate School. Applicants must complete the form, sign the bottom, and mail the form to the School of Social Work.
[SUBMIT by MAIL to the Social Welfare PhD Program.]
Download from SSW admissions documents website. [SUBMIT ONLINE.]
Applicants fill out the GPA Worksheet and submit it with the School of Social Work Application Form. Two separate GPAs are calculated: undergraduate and masters. If one of your schools uses a narrative transcript format, indicate that in the appropriate place on the form. Follow the directions on the GPA Worksheet.
[SUBMIT ONLINE .]
Students entering the PhD program must have successfully completed an introductory undergraduate level statistics course within the last five years. It is not necessary to have already met this prerequisite to apply to the program. The prerequisite can be satisfied any time prior to entering the University. [See GPA worksheet for indicating fulfillment.]
The statistics prerequisite course should cover topics such as:
levels of measurement
tests of means
power tests for tests of means
basic graphic expression and interpretation
Chi-square tests of independence and goodness of fit
and bivariate correlation and regression.
One copy of an unofficial transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended must be submitted online as pdfs.
(If you are admitted to the program and decide to accept the offer, you will then be required to provide official transcripts for the Graduate School of your master's degree institution).
If you are enrolled in a graduate program at the time you submit your application, you must send updated transcripts or grade reports for computation of your grade point average upon completion of the degree.
Test scores of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are required by the University of Washington Graduate School as part of the application process. If you have not taken this examination within the past five years or you would like to retake the exam in an effort to increase your scores, you should arrange to take it before November.
|NOTE: Significant changes to the GRE were implemented (in August 2011). See the GRE website for important information. For example, the format and scoring system are changing, and tests must be taken by November 28 to meet our due date.|
Request that the GRE results be sent to the University of Washington. Instructions are included in the Graduate School online application process.
School Code/Departmental Code: 4854
[REQUEST SUBMISSION by ETS directly to the Graduate School.]
The GRE's Aptitude Test measures general scholastic ability for the graduate level. The Aptitude test has three sections: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical (written essay). After finishing the exam, you can request immediate feedback on your test scores.
The GRE website (http://www.gre.org ) contains complete information on testing, a downloadable registration bulletin, and test site schedules. After registering for the GRE, you will receive a free electronic copy of POWERPREP, which is software that provides test preparation for the GRE General Test and Writing Assessment.
A limited number of GRE fee waivers are available for seniors and non-enrolled college graduates who meet eligibility requirements. Fee waivers may be used for one General Test or one Subject Test. To apply for a GRE fee waiver contact the financial aid office of your previous college/university.
For those students who have been out of school for some time, or who are unfamiliar with the GRE, we strongly advise a preparatory course or workshop. For example, the University of Washington Women's Center offers a 3-day, 12-hour GRE preparation course. For more information about these classes, please call (206) 685-1090; email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Include a full resume that provides your relevant educational and employment history including the employer agency and address, your job title, and your dates of employment. If there is substantial discontinuity in your employment experience, please explain on a separate page and attach to the resume. The resume should also list all scholastic or related honors (with dates received), significant volunteer activities, membership in professional organizations, and all published work.
[NOTE: Place your last name and first initial on every page of all documents.]
When you submit your application to the Graduate School, you will at that time identify at least three individuals (and their email addresses) who can provide letters of reference; four is the recommended number of letters and five is the maximum. The Graduate School system will then automatically send each person a notification of request for reference with individualized URLs for response. Those providing references can quickly and easily submit online.
At least two of the persons writing the references, should be academics or persons who can evaluate your capacity to perform independent scholarly study. If you wish to be considered for the Prevention Research Training Program, at least one of the letters of reference must address your commitment to and potential for independent research in the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental health problems.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 permits admitted students to review all pertinent documents in their records, including letters of reference. When you submit your list of names to the Graduate School, you will be required to indicate whether you waive that right.
The research and scholarship statement provides an opportunity for you to give your assessment of yourself as a suitable candidate for admission to the Social Welfare PhD Program. Since the program emphasizes both research and teaching, we are particularly interested to know your views about research in social welfare and about yourself in the role of researcher and scholar educator. Include information on each of the six areas below, but use no more than five double-spaced typewritten pages.
[NOTE: Place your last name and first initial on every page of all documents.]
[NOTE: For consideration as a potential trainee in the Prevention Research Training Program, your responses should outline elements pertaining to your prevention research training background and interests. See the Prevention Training Program section below for content requirements. An extra page (6 pages) is allowed for incorporating these elements into the research and scholarship statement.]
Submit one example of your scholarly writing that provides evidence of your capacity to think analytically and critically, and to express yourself clearly and concisely, and that shows your readiness to undertake doctoral level work that reflects a concern with the advancement of social justice. If you submit a co-authored article, please select one for which you had major writing responsibility and indicate in an attached note the parts of the sample that reflect your input and work. The following are examples of appropriate submissions of scholarly writing:
a. published article, chapter, book
b. master's thesis
c. unpublished research report, conference presentation
d. term paper written in a graduate course
e. training manual
f. grant application
g. legislative testimony.
[NOTE: Place your last name and first initial on every page of all documents.]
[SUBMIT ONLINE. However, if you find that the online system rejects your file because it is too, large, email the file to the SSW Admissions office: email@example.com.]
Applicants who are offered admission to the PhD Program (and are US citizens or legal residents) will be evaluated for participation in this special training program. In your responses to the research and scholarship statement questions 1-6, outline elements pertaining to your prevention research training interests. Specifically address the following:
How does your area of specialization relate to mental health?
What are your prevention research training goals?
Describe previous prevention-relevant research or practice experience, or training as well as career goals related to preventing mental health problems or causes of problems. At least one of the letters of reference must address your commitment to and potential for independent research in prevention and mental health.
For information about the program, go to PhD Prevention Research Training Program. For the instructions for providing information relevant to this special program, go to Applying to the PhD Prevention Research Training Program.
The School of Social Work advises international applicants to submit the application to the Graduate School well before the due date because of the time required for processing international applications. Applications must be completed online (https://www.grad.washington.edu/applForAdmiss/).
An international student is anyone who IS NOT a US citizen or does not hold a US Permanent Resident Visa (i.e., "Green Card or Immigrant"). Individuals who hold a US visa, such as F-1 students, exchange visitors, or any other non-immigrant classifications are considered international applicants. International applicants must use the Graduate School website to determine eligibility for applying to the University of Washington and the School of Social Work PhD Program in particular.
See the Graduate School FAQs for International Applicants for detailed information.
International applicants must upload pdfs of all transcripts on the application site. If you are admitted to the program and choose to come to the University of Washington, you will be required to send a set of official transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
A satisfactory command of the English language is required for admission to the University of Washington Graduate School. Applicants who are not citizens of the United States on the date of admission and whose native language is other than English must meet the following terms and conditions. The TOEFL (or MLT) is required unless one of the specific exceptions listed in the Graduate School Memo 8 is met. Test scores must be less than 2 years old from the test date, and no waivers of this English competency requirement may be given. A minimum score of 7.0 (IELTS), 92 (TOEFLiBT), 580 (TOEFL), 237 (TOEFLC), or 90 (MLT) is required for admission to the School of Social Work PhD Program in Social Welfare.
The Graduate School requires that students achieve a score of at least 55 on the TSE ( alternates 26 on speaking portion of TOEFL8iBT, 7.0 on speaking portion of IELTS, 230 on SPEAK test at UW) before being allowed to teach. The School of Social Work expects most students to be engaged in a teaching assistantship at some time during doctoral studies; therefore, we require all incoming international students to take this test before or during their first year in the program.
For both the TOEFL and TSE, registration forms or previous score reports less than 2 years old may be requested from the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541; email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (See Graduate School Memo 15 for the University's policy.)
The US State Department of Justice and US Immigration and Naturalization Service mandate all schools to verify certification of adequate financial support from each international student. For individuals applying for the academic year 2011-12, see the Graduate School website for the estimated the total cost of study. When the main application form is submitted, all international applicants must fill out and submit the University of Washington Statement of Financial Ability form.
Graduate appointments awarded by degree programs are considered authorized employment. The School of Social Work works with students to ensure financial support in the form of 9-month research or teaching appointments or fellowships from within the University of Washington or from external sources for at least the first 3 years of the doctoral program. These appointments will satisfy the majority of the annual (12-month) financial requirement; applicants are required to provide proof that they have supplemental support.
The School of Social Work meets the the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for accessibility. Our application materials can be made available in alternative formats.
The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran in accordance with University policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations. The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the School at 206-543-5676 or the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or e-mail at email@example.com.
Please note: Application materials must be uploaded and/or postmarked by DECEMBER 15.
Mail the signed SSW Checklist form to:
Social Welfare PhD Program - Admissions
University of Washington, Box 354900
4101 15th NE
Seattle, WA 98105-6299
Routine inquiries about application procedures should be addressed to the School's Admissions Office (206.543.5676); be sure to indicate that your call concerns the doctoral program. Other inquiries about the program should be addressed to Kath Wilham, Assistant Director (206.685.1680; firstname.lastname@example.org). Questions related to research interests or availability of specific faculty should be directed to them.