- History and Traditions
- Student Involvement
- Life in Madison
- Students with Disabilities
- Focus on Diversity
- How Are We Doing?
- Undergraduate Majors
- Full-Time MSW Program
- Part-Time MSW Program
- Ph.D. Program
- Field Education
- Practice Skills Lab
Ph.D. Admission Information
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year. Please check back this fall for application information for 2018-2019.
The University of Wisconsin Graduate School sets the minimum admission requirements for all prospective graduate students; however, program admission requirements are often more rigorous.
School of Social Work Ph.D. Admissions Committee requires:
- An undergraduate grade-point average of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours. Those entering with a master's degree should have a strong graduate record.
- All students are required to have completed a statistics course and 30 semester credits of social science courses.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores taken within 5 years of application date. Official scores are submitted to the University of Wisconsin - Madison (institution code 1846).
- Evidence of research interest and potential for scholarship in a relevant social problem area. This is demonstrated in a carefully thought-out Statement of Reasons for Graduate Study, and other application materials.
- TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS scores, if applicable, taken within two years of application date. Official scores are submitted to the University of Wisconsin - Madison (institution code 1846). Minimum acceptable scores are:
In addition, the Ph.D. Admission Committee prefers, but does not require, that applicants have an MSW from a U.S., CSWE-accredited program upon entry to the doctoral program.
Apply online to the UW-Madison Graduate School. The School of Social Work's Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare application is a supplementary section found within the online Graduate School application. Admission to the doctoral program requires admittance to both the School of Social Work and the Graduate School. For more detailed information, refer to the Graduate School's Application Process At A Glance.
For details on how to submit your application materials and what the Admissions Committee is looking for in an applicant, please refer to our Ph.D. Application Information Sheet.
A complete application to the Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare includes the following:
Social Welfare PHD Supplemental Application
Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
Three Letters of Recommendation
Official GRE Scores
English Proficiency Test Scores (if required)
Joint MSW/Ph.D. Application
If you are interested in applying for the Joint MSW/Ph.D. Program, you must select “Social Welfare PHD” as your program as you fill out the Graduate School Application. You will be able to indicate you are interested in the Joint MSW/Ph.D. option within the Social Welfare PHD Supplemental Application. You will not be automatically considered for the MSW Program. You will only be considered for the Joint MSW/Ph.D. Program. Read more about the Joint option.
If you would like to be considered for the MSW Program in addition to the Joint MSW/Ph.D. Program, you must also select “Social Work MSW” in addition to “Social Welfare PHD” as your programs as you fill out the Graduate School Application. This will prompt you to fill out both the MSW Supplemental Application and the PHD Supplemental Application, in addition to submitting a separate statement for each program. You must follow the MSW Program’s Application Instructions if you would like to be considered.
Contact the Ph.D. Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the application process.
For information on additional requirements, please see the International Applicant Requirements.