Baylor > Social Work > PhD > How to Apply

How to Apply

Admission to the PhD program is a highly selective process. The admissions committee selects seven students every other year that have: (1) clear interest in developing theory, policy and research skills in a substantive area relevant to the field of social work; (2) a superior academic record in all previous work; and (3) the maturity, intellectual ability and readiness for doctoral study.

Prospective students are invited to apply for admission to begin course work in June 2015.

The PhD Admissions Committee will review applications completed by the following dates in 2014: January 15, March 1, June 1, September 15, and December 15. At each of these review sessions except the final one, the committee will decide to offer admission, deny admission, or let the application remain active until the next review session. Applications that remain active may be revised (for example, a higher GRE score or a new writing sample) prior to a subsequent deadline. Financial aid decisions may not be finalized until after the September or December review session. Applicants will be notified if all available seats for the June 2015 cohort have been filled prior to the September or December review session.

See Admissions Infographic for visual explanation.


The components of an application are as follows:

1)     Graduate School Application

      Fill out the Baylor Graduate School Online Application

a.     Personal statement

      An electronically submitted personal statement of 7 to 10 pages that:

  explains your motivation for and expectations of doctoral education in social work

  includes particular assets that you would bring to the school and to the profession, as well as areas in which you would most like to grow academically and professionally

  specifies your areas of academic and research interests

  describes briefly your understanding of integration of faith and ethical social work practice, supported by existing literature

b.   Sample of scholarly writing
One example (not exceeding 25 pages) of a recent, single or co-authored work of scholarly writing that provides evidence of your capacity to think analytically and critically about a social welfare issue. The following are examples of appropriate submissions:

  published article

  book chapter

  other excerpt

  unpublished research report

  a paper written in a graduate level course

  grant application

c.    Resume' or Curriculum Vitae
Include a list of publications and professional presentations.

d.   Submit Application Fee

2)    Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
Scores are valid for five years from the time the test is taken.

3)    Three letters of recommendation
At least two references should come from faculty who can attest to the applicant’s superior ability and potential. A third reference should come from a supervisor, director or someone that could provide insight into the applicant's ability and achievement in social work to date.

4)    Transcript of a master's degree from an accredited University (a Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program is preferred but not required)
Exceptions may be made for applicants without a MSW but with a master's degree in a related field and experience working in social service settings or for applicants from countries without university accreditation but with exceptionally strong credentials. 

5)    Foreign national and permanent resident applicants: English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. Scores are valid for two years from the time the test is taken.