Program Admission Deadlines
Annual: December 15th, 2021 (Fall 2022 admission)
* 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
The Statement of Purpose offers you the opportunity to articulate your self-assessment as a strong candidate for admission to the College of Social Work PhD Program. The doctoral program focuses on developing your scholarly skills in research and teaching in higher education and thus, your views about social work scholarship as well as your future role as a scholar educator are central to assessing your fit with the program. Please be as specific as possible in answering the questions below. Maximum length: 6 (six) double-spaced pages, font size 12.
[NOTE: Place your last name and first initial on every page of all documents.]
- Discuss your qualifications and readiness for pursuing doctoral studies in social
work. In doing so, provide examples of your ability in the following areas:
a) academic and prior intellectual and scholarly accomplishments
b) analytical thinking and clear communication
c) working with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and perspectives,
d) self-direction and initiative
- Describe the development of your research goals (while in the doctoral program and
long-term) and the questions you hope to address in your research.
a) How does your work experience inform your research priorities and how will your research inform practice and/or
b) How do your research objectives demonstrate your commitment to social justice and/or enhancing social
c) In what ways do you see our doctoral program and the University of Utah as a good fit for your research goals?
Identify any research projects and social work PhD faculty - or faculty in other departments on our campus – with
whom you might be interested in working.
- Articulate how your cultural and educational opportunities; structural or systemic
issues you have grappled with; and your personal and/or professional experiences in
diverse communities inform your research interests and commitment to social justice
- What are your career plans after you complete your PhD. How do you expect to use
the research and scholarly skills developed in the doctoral program?
- Discuss your qualifications and readiness for pursuing doctoral studies in social work. In doing so, provide examples of your ability in the following areas:
- 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.
*NOTE: The GRE is no longer a required component of the application for admission.