FAQ - PhD
1. Do I have to take the GRE?
No. The GRE is no longer an admissions requirement for the PhD in Social Work program. Students are required to complete and pass a statistics exam as part of the application. The GRE is optional. Visit our How to Apply page for more information.
2. I've already taken a statistics course. Am I still required to take the statistics exam as part of the application?
Yes, to be considered for admission to the PhD in Social Work program, all applicants must complete and pass the required statistics exam with an earned grade of B or better. There are modules that students can use as a refresher prior to taking the exam. The modules and exam are free for students.
3. How do I include my required statistics exam results in my application?
Our admissions team reviews all statistics exams regularly. For those who successfully achieve the required score within two attempts at the exam, results will be added to their application administratively - no additional action is needed on the applicant's part. This will show on the status portal once the application has been submitted.
4. Do I need to be connected to a faculty member's research interests to attend?
You do not need to be connected to a faculty member's research interests to apply, though any faculty member who chairs a student's dissertation research committee needs to have sufficient expertise in the topic to guide the student's research and writing. Some students and faculty have had to negotiate the topic to find one of sufficient interest to both and also within the realm of the faculty member's expertise.
New students have opportunities to meet doctoral faculty during orientation and in the weeks following to assess mutual research interests and establish mentor-mentee relationships. As a prospective student, you are encouraged to review the research interests of doctoral faculty during the application process in order to be proactive in communicating with potential mentors.
5. Can I apply to the program as a transfer student?
At the discretion of the Program Director, elective credit may be approved for courses taken at another doctoral program. It is possible, but unlikely, that other credit hours can be transferred.
6. As an international student, am I eligible to enroll in the program?
Yes, though students enrolled in the PhD in Social Work program are required to attend all synchronous online courses which meet on Monday and/or Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 pm CST regardless of the individual time zones in which students may reside.
Additionally, it should be noted that you will be solely responsible for obtaining a visitor's visa if one is required for you to attend the mandatory in-person orientation at the start of the program.
Information regarding required documents for international applicants can be found here.
English proficiency exam requirements are detailed here.
7. When should I submit my application?
Applications for the 2025 cohort will open Fall 2024. To be considered for admission, a complete application - including all necessary materials, transcripts, and the required statistics exam - must be submitted by the application deadline.
8. When are students admitted to the program?
Final admission decisions are released to eligible applicants via email in late March every other year in odd years (2023, 2025, etc.)
9. How many students are admitted into the program?
Five to seven students will be admitted into the program every other summer in odd years (2023, 2025, etc.).
10. How does the online curriculum work?
The program is designed as a 10-semester curriculum and is taught primarily in an online classroom using synchronous, high-definition videoconferencing technology. At the beginning of the program, admitted students are required to attend a four- to five-day orientation session on the Baylor campus in Waco, Texas prior to the start of their summer semester classes.
Throughout the program, students will attend all of their classes online. Classes meet via videoconference each week on Monday and/or Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 pm CST. Students must be present to be a part of the class. During synchronous class sessions, students see and talk with each other as well as the instructor in real time. Classes are conducted much as they would be on campus, except that students are able to attend from anywhere in the world.
11. Will I be expected to teach while enrolled in the program?
All PhD in Social Work students must teach a course (bachelor's or master's level) during the fall semester of their 3rd year as a part of the requirements for SWO 6353 - Teaching Practicum.
12. How long will it take to complete the PhD in Social Work program?
Students should be able to finish the program in three to four years.
13. How much does the program cost?
There are three primary components to the cost of the program: tuition and fees; technology and books; and travel.
1) Students admitted into the PhD program will receive funding to cover the costs of tuition and fees for the full degree - up to 5 years.
2) Students will need an up-to-date computer, video camera (usually built into a laptop computer), a headset, and hard-wired access to the Internet. A wireless connection is seldom reliable enough for sustained participation in the virtual classroom. Most semesters students will be enrolled in two classes that require one or more textbooks.
3) Students are required to be on campus for five days at the start of the first summer semester. Travel and hotel arrangements are the responsibility of the students*. We expect to make arrangements with at least one hotel that will give students a modest Baylor discount.
*Should an admitted international student require a visitor's visa in order to attend the in-person orientation, procuring the required visa will also be the sole responsibility of the student.
14. What kind of financial aid can I anticipate?
Students admitted into the PhD program will receive funding to cover the costs of tuition and fees for the full degree - up to 5 years. Once enrolled in the program, students may also have the opportunity to receive additional stipends for grant funded research positions with Baylor PhD faculty. Students are made aware of the process as opportunities become available.
15. Can I work while I am in the program?
Yes. The online curriculum and evening class times provide the flexibility needed to allow students to continue working while enrolled in the program.
16. Are there paid teaching opportunities available for PhD in Social Work students?
Doctoral students enrolled in the PhD in Social Work program may apply to teach one or more courses in our Online MSW Program as adjunct faculty members. Students living within commuting distance of campus may also apply to teach in the residential BSW and MSW programs. The application process is administered by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Criteria include sufficient knowledge and skills in a subject area and at least two years of post-MSW practice experience for practice-related courses. Prior teaching experience is preferred.