Eligible applicants for the Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare must have an M.S.W. or a related Master's degree from an accredited program. A “related Master's” degree might be in Public Administration, Criminal Justice, Education, Nursing, Public Health, Sociology, Psychology, or other similar programs. Applicants must have a minimum of three years Post-Masters experience working in the human services. They demonstrate their capacity for doctoral study through an excellent academic record, exemplary professional accomplishment, and evidence of scholarly potential. In addition, applicants must have career ambitions consistent with doctoral study, for example a desire to conduct clinical, organizational, or policy research in human service organizations; to design and implement innovative social welfare programs and policies; or to pursue an academic career in social work.
Be sure to follow the Graduate Center’s Application Requirements. When preparing your application, we recommend you consider the following. Your personal statement should demonstrate a clear professional trajectory that focuses on your aspirations as a teacher, scholar, practitioner, or applied researcher. If you choose to include personal aspects of your life that led to a commitment to work in the human services, please link those experiences to your professional development and current scholarly interests. If you have had post-Master's research experiences, elaborate on them. These might include data collection and report writing for your organization; program planning or evaluation; interviewing individual research subjects or conducting focus groups; data management and statistical analysis; or similar research-related activities. If you are a relatively recent Master's degree graduate, discuss any research activities you were engaged in as a student or areas of inquiry that intrigued you in your Master’s program that remain compelling to you. If you have secured funding for research projects or innovative programs, please elaborate on these. Since our students often select topics for their dissertation research that emerge from their experiences as macro- or micro-level practitioners, discuss practice-related issues that might serve as the basis for your work in the program. Over the course of the program, you will learn more about these issues and ways to study them. Or, you may decide to study entirely new questions. At this point we do not expect you to know all the questions that you will wish to pursue, and we certainly do not expect you to have all the answers. Finally, you may have had experiences teaching, developing and/or delivering training programs, or working in an academic or policy advocacy environment. Please write about these experiences in your statement and ways in which doctoral studies will enhance your future work. Additional hints: Make certain that your spelling and grammar are correct and your written presentation is clear and well organized. If there are any discrepancies in your academic performance, please explain them.
Two letters of recommendation should come from people familiar with your professional accomplishments and scholarly potential. We ask for two post-Master's writing samples. These may include publications, conference presentations, evaluation reports, grant submissions, etc. If they are co-authored, please describe your contribution to these efforts. If you are a recent graduate of a Master's Program, you may submit a capstone project or thesis.
An additional writing requirement asks you to submit your responses to the following:
FAMILIARITY WITH SCHOLARS ESTABLISHED AND RESPECTED IN YOUR ACADEMIC SPECIALIZATION
Who are three scholars whose work you consider to be especially relevant to the area you would like to study in the doctoral program? Explain why you consider their work particularly important to your thinking about this issue. Include a list of references with at least one recent publication by each scholar.
(5 to 10 pages)
All materials must be submitted in English, and any foreign documents must be accompanied by official English translations. We do not require GRE scores. Please be sure to include your updated curriculum vitae (CV).