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Program Admission Deadlines

Annual: January 15th 

* It is required that all interested students talk with us about the program before submitting an application, to discuss research interest, faculty match and fit with the program.

Complete applications may be considered on a rolling basis throughout the spring.

TALK WITH US ABOUT THE PROGRAM  Application Procedures 



Admission Requirements

  • A Master of Social Work degree from an accredited school of social work. In exceptional circumstances, a student with a Master’s degree in a related field may be admitted, however, compensatory MSW level work may be required.

  • At least a 3.0 GPA as evidence of superior academic achievement in undergraduate and graduate education.

  • Priority will be given to students who have completed an introductory statistics course (graduate or undergraduate) in the last two years with a final grade of B or better. At a minimum, the statistics course should have covered probability, descriptive statistics, and an introduction to t-tests and the general linear model.

  • A minimum of two years post-MSW social work or related practice experience is recommended, as certification for most institutions requires instructors teaching practice courses to have some practice experience. This experience should demonstrate the applicant’s professional competence, ability to undertake advanced study, and potential for leadership.

  • Satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), taken within the last five years. Preparatory courses have proven to effectively raise the test scores. For further information, contact the University of Utah Preparatory Program at 801-581-5361 or Students concerned that their GRE scores are less than reflective of their quantitative skills may want to consider enrolling in a statistics course prior to admission so that grades or a letter of support from a professor can be submitted as part of the application.

  • The University of Utah requires a minimum TOEFL score of 80 IBT or 550 PBT or a minimum IELTS score of 6.50. The College of Social Work, due to the intensive need for excellent communication skills, requires a minimum score of 100 IBT or 600 PBT, or an IELTS score of 7.0 to 7.5.

  • A personal Statement of Purpose describing professional interests and career aspirations, reasons to receive advanced research training in social work, major areas of interest in research or social work practice, practice experience in social work, plans regarding financing a PhD program, and post-PhD plans. The Statement of Purpose should be two to three pages in length.

  • Three (or more) academic and/or professional letters of reference from people who can attest to your personal qualifications, character, and dependability. These letters should be submitted directly by the writers, through the online Application for Admission.

  • A sample of writing in the form of a published article, a manuscript that is being submitted for publication, a report that has been completed in connection with a research interest, or a paper that has been prepared specifically for admission to the College of Social Work PhD Program. Some applicants submit a paper that was completed during their MSW studies.

  • A personal Skype interview, if recommended by the PhD Admissions Committee.

  • Completion of the Graduate School Application for Admission, including the upload of all documents requested during the application process. Please note that your application will not be processed without receipt of the non-refundable application fee.




Last Updated: 6/17/19