Persons seeking admission to the PhD program must submit their application online through the University of Georgia Graduate School website.

The School of Social Work (SSW) will begin accepting PhD applications for Fall 2025 in July 2024. All applicants, who are accepted into the program, will receive full funding from the SSW, however, additional UGA funding awards may be available to applicants who apply by the first application deadline. Below are the program application deadlines:

  • November 1, 2024: SSW PhD program FIRST deadline to be eligible for additional UGA funding (through the UGA Graduate School)
  • December 1, 2024: SSW PhD program FINAL application deadline (all materials must be submitted)

All Graduate School and departmental requirements, including test scores, must be submitted by this date. See below for further information.

Admission Requirements

MSW Degree Requirement

All persons who hold or will have earned an MSW degree by the time they begin doctoral studies are eligible to apply to the PhD program; the addition of two years of post-MSW professional work experience would present a stronger application.

Testing and GPA Requirement

Applicants are not required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); however, a competitive score may strengthen your application. Scores must be no more than five years old. Please note, however, that the five-year requirement on test scores does not apply to students who received an MSW degree from UGA. Applicants should also have an overall undergraduate grade point average of no less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and an overall graduate (MSW) GPA of no less than 3.5 is also recommended.

SSW Departmental Requirements for Admission

The vita/resume, professional goals statement, scholarly writing sample and letters of recommendation should be uploaded to the Graduate School application portal when you apply.

  1. Vita/Resume
    A copy of your vita/resume is required.
  2. Professional Goals Statement
    The PhD Admissions Committee considers the personal statement to be a significant part of the application. This statement will be used to assess your writing skills, research interests and potential, career goals, and overall fit with the PhD program. The statement should be no more than 5 pages and address the following questions:

    • How have your unique biography, academic training, and practice experiences informed your desire and ability to pursue a PhD in social work?
    • What are the primary areas of research you would like to explore during your doctoral training? And, what is the significance of these lines of inquiry within social work and beyond?
    • What specifically attracts you to the University of Georgia social work PhD Program?
    • Please identify any faculty within the School of Social Work or at the University of Georgia who are well positioned to support you in exploring your research interests. If your research interests are inter- or trans-disciplinary, please articulate linkages with those other fields.
    • What are your career goals and how would a PhD in social work help you achieve those goals?
    • Are there any other factors that should be considered in the evaluation of your application?

    Please organize your personal statement as a cohesive essay, rather than a list of discrete answers to the questions posed.

  3. Scholarly Writing Sample
    Applicants must submit a recent, single-authored, scholarly writing example that provides evidence of the individual’s capacity to conceptually organize material in a coherent and logical manner, to write clearly and concisely calling upon prior scholarship and/or theory, and – more generally – to demonstrate the applicant’s readiness to undertake doctoral-level work. The submission should be a “clean” copy (i.e., free of editorial markings).The following are examples of appropriate submissions of scholarly writing:

    • published article, book chapter, or book
    • master’s thesis
    • unpublished research report or white paper
    • term paper written in an upper level graduate course
    • grant application

    If an appropriate example of a recent writing sample is not available, the applicant should prepare a paper of 6-10 pages in length, excluding references; word-processed; and double-spaced. Scholarly literature should be cited and referenced appropriately. APA-style is preferred, but other accepted academic styles are allowed. If the published article is a first-authored paper, the applicants should highlight their specific contribution.

  4. Letters of Recommendation
    Applicants will submit three recommendation letters that speak to your potential for success in the doctoral program, your aptitude for research and teaching, and your capacity to engage in collaborative research. Recommendations from individuals who have supervised your research and scholarly work (e.g., research project supervisors, thesis advisors, professors) tend to be the most useful during the selection process and should comprise the majority.Recommendation letters should be submitted online via the Graduate School admission web site. In addition to the recommendation letter, the online form on the web site should be completed.

Please follow the above instructions and suggestions carefully to ensure that your application materials are submitted correctly and in a timely manner for review.

Admissions Webinars

Supplemental Information for International Applicants

International applicants must supply supplemental information to the Graduate School when applying. See the International Application Information on the Graduate School website.


If you have any questions about our Ph.D. program or would like to visit us on the UGA campus, please email or call 706-542-5461.

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