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Joint MSW/Ph.D. Admissions

Applications for admissions to all graduate programs at the University at Albany are handled through the Graduate Admissions Office. Step-by-step instructions for preparing your application are available. You can keep track of specific application requirements and deadlines for admission to the full and part-time Joint MSW/Ph.D. Program on the Graduate Admissions Program Deadlines and Requirements page.

Online Application Information and Deadlines

Fall Admission

All application materials must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by January 30 for all Joint, Full and Part-Time Programs.Two Students in School of Social Welfare graduate class

Required Materials

All applications for the Joint MSW/Ph.D. Program must include:

1). Official Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work completed and attempted.  Transcripts must be sent directly to:

Office of Graduate Education
University at Albany
UAB, Room 121
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222

2). References from (3) individuals who can speak to the applicant's abilities in the following areas:

  • Potential for professional social work
  • academic performance
  • human service/employment experience
  • capacity for a career in research or teaching in social welfare

3). Personal Statement

A three to five page (3-5) page personal statement (double spaced, 12 point font) that incorporates requirements for both the MSW and PhD Programs:

For the MSW Program

Statement reflecting on the definition of social work and the school's mission as noted below, that includes the questions following:

Social Work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participating in legislative process. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; research and evaluation; of social and economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of all these factors (From National Association of Social Workers Website)

The mission of the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany is to further social and economic justice and to serve people who are vulnerable, marginalized, or oppressed. This mission is implemented through education, knowledge development, and service that promotes leadership for evidence-based social work with a global perspective.

  • Describe your reasons for pursuing a career in social work.
  • How does your work & or volunteer experience prepare you for starting a professional degree program in social work?
  • Given the mission of our school of social welfare, explain why you think you are a good fit for this school.

For the Ph.D. Program

Statement must address the following three areas:

  • Educational background and professional experience
  • Substantive areas of interest for research, evaluation and/or teaching
  • Professional goals including how the doctorate in social welfare supports achievement of these goals.

4). A Curriculum Vitae

5). GRE Score (our institution code 2532). 
We do not have a minimum requirement for GRE's. We like to see 144 or higher on the quantitative and 153 or higher on the verbal. Lower scores may be balanced with excellence in one or more of the other components of the application that we review. We only require the quantitative and verbal scores.

6). For international students only TOEFL Score (our institution code 2532). 
An applicant must have a minimum TOEFL score of 80 to be considered for admission.  And a minimum score of 100 to be considered for a graduate assistantship.

7). Graduate Assistantship Application (optional). 
Please note an applicant must apply for an assistantship at the same time s/he completes the online application.

Additional Requirements

In order to qualify for the Joint MSW/Ph.D. program, students must:

  1. Have a satisfactory record in all coursework;
  2. Complete satisfactorily the research tool requirements;
  3. Complete at least two acceptable substantive courses outside the School of Social Welfare;
  4. Complete satisfactorily the qualifying examination, including a doctoral essay;
  5. Complete satisfactorily the pre-dissertation research requirement;
  6. Submit an acceptable dissertation based on independent research.

To learn more about the program and applications process, email or call the School of Social welfare at (518) 442-5380.