Admission Requirements

Apply Now

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

PhD Program Specific Requirements

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.

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


An official transcript from each college or university that you are currently attending or that you previously attended must be provided to the Graduate School. Official, stamped transcripts must be provided in sealed envelopes by the issuing institution. Encrypted, electronic transcripts are accepted in lieu of sealed, paper transcripts. You may include an unofficial, scanned copy of your college transcripts with your online application for early review purposes if you’d like, but official versions are still required for the review process. Send encrypted, electronic transcripts from your issuing institution to: Send official, sealed and stamped transcripts to:

ATTN: Admissions
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Graduate School
620 West Lexington Street, Suite 5110
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-1508

Transcripts (US only) may also be provided through one of the following transcript clearinghouse services:

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.

English Language Proficiency (International Applicants Only) The Graduate School accepts the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) as a measure of English proficiency. Minimum, required scores are 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL, and 7.0 on the IELTS. Scores must be sent directly from ETS (for TOEFL, use institution code #5848) or the IELTS agency to the Graduate School.

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.

Application Fee
When completing the online application you can pay the application fee($75) by credit card or debit card. The application fee is non-refundable.

Letters of Recommendation(3)/Recommender Forms
Please note: There is a 3,000 character limit to the online form. 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.

PhD Graduate Assistantship Application (optional)
If you desire to be considered for a graduate assistantship, complete the GRA 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.

If you have any questions about the PhD Program in Social Work program specific requirements please contact the PhD Program directly or 410-706-7960.

Application Checklist

In addition to the online application form (and fee), make sure that you have submitted all of your supplemental items and have checked all of your desired program’s admissions requirements. Here’s a summary of the requirements:
Online Application & Fee
3 Letters of Recommendation
GRE exam scores(no more than 5 years old; international applicants need to submit results of the TOEFL or IELTS
CV or Resume
Personal Statement
Writing Sample

If you have problems with or questions about the online application process, please contact us at 410.706.7131 or