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Eligibility Requirements for the Ph.D. in Social Welfare

  • 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
  • Applicants must demonstrate the capacity for doctoral study through an excellent academic record, exemplary professional accomplishment, and evidence of scholarly potential.
  • Career ambitions for applicants to this Program must be 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 a career as an academic scholar.

Application Requirements

  • Please follow the instructions listed on the Admissions Page as well those listed below:
  • Personal Statement: 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. 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 advice: 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. Paste your statement in the appropriate field on the online application.
  • Writing Sample: We ask for one post-Master's writing sample. It may include a publication, conference presentation, evaluation report, grant submissions, academic paper, etc. If the writing sample you provide is co-authored, please describe your contribution. No bound materials will be accepted, and all writing samples must be emailed as PDF files to
  • Three Scholars Paper:  We ask for an additional writing requirement that asks for you to respond to the following: Identify three scholars established and respected in your academic specialization 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 (7 to 10 pages).  Paste your response in the appropriate field on the online application.
  • Curriculum Vitae:  Please submit your most recent curriculum vitae.  Include all post-secondary schools you attended and your Grade Point Average (GPA) for each institution.  Also include your employment history, publications, conference presentations, awards, grants received, professional licenses, and membership in professional organizations. Paste your curriculum vitae in the appropriate field on the online application.
  • All materials must be submitted in English, and any foreign documents must be accompanied by official English translations.
  • We do not require GRE scores.

Contact Information for the Graduate Center Admissions Office

Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309
Phone: (212) 817-7470