PhD Program Application Instructions
Welcome to our guide for applying to the PhD program. The application process provides you with the opportunity to fully present 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.
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.
Please pay careful attention to (1) the application materials, requirements, and instructions, and to (2) the description of standards of behavior. To avoid following outdated guidelines, please be certain to use only current year application materials.
All application materials must be uploaded by DECEMBER 1st. We cannot evaluate an application until all application materials are submitted.
*NOTE: The GRE is no longer a required component of the application.
- Info Session - Presentation Slides (20 slides, 4 parts - PhD vs DSW/ research, Why UW and Seattle, program structure, and admissions process)
- Recorded Information Session (19:34 minutes long)
All inquiries about the program and application should be sent to our general inquiry email: email@example.com.
Find answers to some of your questions at FAQ About the PhD Program.
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 3.2.2). 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.
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.
Program Values: 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 the 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.
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.
The School of Social Work meets 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 Disability Services Office at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty members on the PhD Program 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, and scholastic achievement.
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