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Eligibility Requirements for the Ph.D. in Social Welfare

  • An M.S.W. or related Master's degree (i.e., Public Administration, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Education, etc.) from an accredited program
  • A minimum of three years Post-Masters experience working in the human services
  • Demonstrated capacity for doctoral study through an excellent academic record, exemplary professional accomplishment, and evidence of scholarly potential
  • Career ambitions consistent with doctoral study, such as a desire to conduct clinical, organizational, or policy research in human service organizations; design and implement innovative social welfare programs and policies; or career as an academic scholar

Application Requirements

  • Please follow the instructions listed on the Admissions Page as well those listed below:
  • Personal Statement: Focus on how your career led you to want to apply to a doctoral program. If you choose to include personal aspects of your life, please link those experiences to your professional development and current scholarly interests. If you have had post-Master's research experiences, elaborate on them. If you are a relatively recent Master's degree graduate, discuss research you engaged in as a student or areas of inquiry that intrigued you in your Master’s program. If you have secured funding for research projects or innovative programs, please elaborate on these. Write about 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. 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.
  • Three Scholars Paper:  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. Your paper should be 10 to 12 pages in length. *If you encounter any issues submitting this piece, please email
  • Writing Sample: Provide one post-Master’s writing sample.  It may be a journal publication, conference presentation, evaluation report, grant submission, academic paper, etc. If the writing sample you provide is co-authored, please describe your contribution to the work. *If you encounter any issues submitting this piece, please email
  • Curriculum Vitae:  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.

All supporting materials need to be uploaded into the online application. All materials must be submitted in English, and any foreign documents must be accompanied by official English translations.


Contact Information for the Graduate Center Admissions Office


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