Graduate Information: Doctoral

Admission to the doctoral program requires the applicant to hold an M.S.W. degree from an accredited school of social work and to have completed a minimum of one year of successful professional practice subsequent to the attainment of the master's degree. The M.S.W. prerequisite is based on the assumption that acquisition of the core knowledge, values and skills of the profession and professional socialization are accomplished during M.S.W. study.

The practice requirement is based on the assumption that mastery of social work practice provides a common set of experiences basic to producing scholarship and research in social work. Occasional exceptions may be made for applicants with an advanced degree in a related field and who have extensive subsequent practice or research experience. M.S.W. graduates without subsequent practice experience who wish to proceed directly from a master's to a doctoral program will be considered if they have demonstrated exceptional performance during their M.S.W. program and have the written endorsement of their M.S.W. chair for immediate doctoral study. Admission is selective and determined by the quality of the total application.

Admission is selective. NCSSS seeks to enroll those who will be successful in all aspects of the Ph.D. program and competent as future social work scholars, researchers or educators. Application portfolios are reviewed against the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of the applicant's readiness for doctoral study including:
    1. capacity for critical and analytical thinking;
    2. ability to understand and apply a broad range of conceptual frameworks such as philosophy, sociology and practice theory; and
    3. facility for strong, clear, cogent and concise critical and analytical writing. These capacities may be demonstrated in previous academic work, especially that of the M.S.W. program, test scores and writing samples such as scholarly works, monographs and agency manuals.
  2. Evidence of personal qualifications indicative of a high level of motivation and capacity for independent study and reflective of a strong identification with the social work profession, its values and standards. Evidence of these qualities may be demonstrated in previous volunteer and employed work experience, the purpose statement or the views of those providing recommendations.
Applications are accepted for full-time or part-time status for fall semester and for part-time status only for spring semester.