Admission Requirements

Completed Online Graduate School Application Form- The PhD Social Work program is a UMB Graduate program
Please complete all areas of the Online Application.

Fall 2020 Application Deadline: January 15, 2020
[We require an MSW degree for admission to the social work PhD program]
Application Checklist

Send to the Graduate School

  • One (1) set of official transcripts or marks sheets from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended - Each transcript should bear the signature of the registrar and the seal of the granting institution and should include the years of attendance, courses taken, grades received, class standing, and the degree, diploma, or certificate conferred. Although photocopies of credentials are acceptable for initial reviews, the Graduate School must receive official copies of all academic credentials before admitting students.
  • Official standardized score reports (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) - Have the testing agency send directly to the Graduate School, our institution code is #5848 for GRE & TOEFL. The Graduate School normally requires the submission of scores earned on the Graduate Record Examinations (verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores). Many programs may also require scores earned on the GRE Advanced (subject-specific) test or the Medical College Admission Test. See the program description in the catalog to learn which examinations you must take for admission. You must have one set of official score reports sent to the Graduate School from the responsible testing agency:
  • Application for in-state status classification (Maryland residents only) - Access Here.
  • $75 (US) Non-refundable application fee can be paid online or sent directly to Graduate School

Send to your desired program of study

  • 3 letters of recommendation- You must provide three letters of recommendation, preferably from professors or others who can attest to the quality of your academic performance and scholastic potential. Your full name, the semester or session for which admission is desired, and the program to which you are applying must be indicated on the letter or form provided for this purpose. These letters must be sent directly to the program to which you are applying.

Please note: There is a 3,000 character limit to the online form. Letters of reference as well as completed recommendation forms may also be emailed directly to the Program Coordinator - Jen Canapp Each reference should know you well enough to assess your ability to perform in a rigorous educational program at the advanced level. Select references that are able to evaluate your conceptual, analytic, and research skills as well as your ability to apply theoretical and abstract knowledge to social work problems. Ideally, your references should be individuals who hold doctoral (PhD) degrees.

  • Personal Statement**
    Please write a 3-5 page personal statement that describes your career goals and how doctoral education is relevant to them. Discuss also your research interests, and how they relate to the future of the social work profession. Finally, consider what strengths you bring to the School of Social Work PhD Program. (Although the Graduate School Application asks for a 300-500 word statement of goals and objectives, please provide this personal statement instead.)
  • Writing Sample**
    Please provide a copy of a paper or publication you have written. Ideally, this should be a research paper. If your submission is co-authored, please include an explanation of your contribution to the work.
  • Vita**
    Include a copy of your vita showing your educational background, your work experience, and any research projects and publications. Include at the end of the vita the names and qualifications of your three references.

(** = these documents can be emailed in pdf form to the PhD Program Academic Services Specialist
PhD Graduate Assistantship Application (optional)
If you desire to be considered for a graduate assistantship, complete the application form. Several of our faculty members have grants and contracts that support PhD students through Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs). A 10-month, 20-hour per week GRA provides a student with a stipend of over $19,000, health insurance, and up to 10 credits of tuition remission for the fall and spring semesters. Completing the application does not guarantee assignment to an assistantship. Assistantships are assigned on a competitive basis.

Transcripts for Baccalaureate Degree
Please have your undergraduate (baccalaureate) institution send the Graduate School official transcripts for your BA program.
Transcripts for MSW Degree
Please have your MSW institution send the Graduate School official transcripts from your MSW program.
GRE scores
Please ask the Educational Testing Service to mail these scores directly to the Graduate School. You can arrange to take the GRE by contacting the Educational Testing Service at 1.800.GRE.CALL and/or
Please use Institution Code and Name of: 5848 U MD Baltimore and the Department Code and Name of: Social Work when completing your GRE’s so that your score will be forwarded to us directly.
Please refer to the Graduate School web site for international applicant requirements.
TOEFL or IELTS scores
TOEFL information and applications are available from:
Test of English as a Foreign Language
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 899
Princeton, NJ 08540
(The Graduate School’s TOEFL institution code number is 5848; department codes are published by TOEFL)

IELTS test center, exam, and scoring information is available from:
IELTS International
100 E. Corson St., Suite 200
Pasadena, CA 91103
626-564-2954; 626-564-2981 (fax)
The PhD program in social work maintains a strict language requirement for non-native speakers of English. All applicants to the PhD program whose native language and/or language of the home is not English are required to submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). This guideline includes international students/non-native speakers of English who have completed a master of social work or similar degree from a US college or university.
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Graduate School
620 West Lexington Street
5th Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Application Fee
When completing the online application you can pay the application fee by credit card or enclose a check with your application materials in the amount of $75.00 to cover the application fee. The check should be made payable to University of Maryland Graduate School. The application fee is non-refundable.
If you have any questions about submitting an application contact the Program Coordinator at or 410.706.7960. (Fax: 410.706.3448)

Application Checklist
Online Application Form
Application Fee
3 Letters of Reference
Recommendation Form
3-5 page Personal Statement
Writing Sample
Transcripts of Undergraduate Program
Transcripts of MSW Program
GRE Scores
TOEFL Scores (international students)
Graduate Assistantship Application (optional)