Fully Funded PhD in Social Work at University of Denver

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About Fully Funded PhD in Social Work 

The Graduate School of Social Work is home to one of the nation’s oldest social work PhD programs, but nothing about it is old-fashioned.

We see ourselves as more than social work researchers; we’re social justice scholars, educators and policy experts whose work responds to today’s most pressing community needs.

There’s never been a better time to embark on a PhD in social work. Social work job opportunities in academia are plentiful, and given the social challenges of the 21st century — challenges such as the growing wealth and achievement gap in the U.S. and the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations worldwide — the need for social work research and scholarship is greater than ever.

Fully Funded Financial Support

Most students are admitted to our PhD program with a competitive funding package that typically provides four years of financial support.

Years 1 & 2: In the first two years, PhD students receive a graduate assistantship, which includes a living stipend, 100 percent tuition waiver and a health care subsidy.

Year 3: Students receive a pre-dissertation fellowship, which includes a living stipend. (A tuition waiver is no longer necessary because all classes are completed during the first two years of the program.)

Year 4: Students receive a dissertation fellowship, which includes a living stipend. We also support students in seeking adjunct teaching roles, research assistant roles on funded faculty projects, and external fellowships.

PhD Application Requirements

To apply to the GSSW doctoral program, you must have one of the following:

1.1. a master’s degree conferred by a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

1.2. a master’s degree in one of the social sciences and demonstrated evidence of substantial professional experience in the social work field

2. In addition, you must have:

2.1 a clear interest in developing advanced theory, policy and research skills in a substantive area relevant to the field of social work

2.2 a superior academic record in all previous work

2.3 the maturity, intellectual ability and readiness for advanced study

3. Two years of post-master’s practice experience is strongly preferred, but not mandatory.

4. You may submit unofficial transcripts for an initial review of your application. If admitted, you must provide official transcripts from all institutions attended before GSSW orientation day.

5. Include with your application a PDF of your resume

6. You are required to submit three letters of recommendation, preferably from academic, research or professional supervisors/colleagues.

7. The PhD Admission Committee considers your Statement of Professional and Educational Intent to be a significant part of your application. Respond openly and honestly to each section. The average statement length is seven pages.

8. Submit a sample of your writing completed within the past five years. This may be a published article, a manuscript prepared for publication, a re-worked paper from a graduate program or a newly prepared sample. The writing sample should demonstrate scholarship, command of literature, critical thinking and research skills.

9. You must submit an online application to be considered for our PhD program.

10. If your native language is not English, you must submit test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or C1 Advanced.

  • TOEFL score of 95
  • IELTS score of 8
  • C1 Advanced score of 200
  • Copy of passport
  • Financial verification form with a bank letter or other official verification showing how your tuition and living expenses will be financed.

NOTE: the GRE is no longer required for admission into the PhD program.

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Application Deadline

The application deadline is February 1, 2024.

Official Notification

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