How to Apply
The application for the Summer 2023 cohort of the PhD in Social Work program is now closed.
The application for the Summer 2025 cohort is expected to open in Fall 2024.
To learn more about our program and the application process, fill out our inquiry form.
Baylor University is an NC-SARA approved institution.
Admission to the PhD program is a highly selective process. The admissions committee selects up to seven students every other year that have:
- Clear interest in developing theory, policy, and research skills in a substantive area relevant to the field of social work
- A superior academic record in all previous work
- The maturity, intellectual ability, and readiness for doctoral study
A completed application includes:
1) Garland School of Social Work (GSSW) Required Statistics Exam
- The statistics exam is required in order for an application to be considered complete. The GRE is not required.
- Applicants must complete the exam with an earned grade of B or better.
- Applicants are allowed only two attempts to earn the required score on the exam.
- There are modules that can be used as a refresher for students prior to taking the exam. The modules and exam are free for students.
- Click here to access the review modules and required statistics exam.
Note: A passcode for the exam will be provided once you begin an application to the program.
2) Personal statement
A personal statement of 7-10 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 interest
- briefly describes your understanding of the integration of faith and ethical social work practice, supported by existing literature
3) Sample of Scholarly Writing
A sample (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 excerpts
- unpublished research report
- a paper written in a graduate-level course
- grant application
4) Resume or Curriculum Vitae
This should include a list of publications and professional presentations.
5) Three letters of recommendation
At least two recommendations should come from faculty who can attest to the applicant’s superior ability and potential. A third recommendation should come from a supervisor, director or someone that can provide insight into the applicant's ability and achievement in social work.
6) Degree Bearing Transcripts from Previously Attended Universities
A Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program is preferred but not required. Applicants without an MSW will be considered if they have exceptionally strong credentials, a master's degree in a related field, and experience working in social service settings. Exceptions may also be made for applicants from countries without university accreditation but with exceptionally strong credentials.
The Graduate School requires applicants to submit transcripts from every institution which has granted a bachelor's degree and higher. Transcripts should indicate the degree granted. If the transcript does not list the degree and date conferred, applicants must also submit a proof of degree (certificate, diploma, etc.).