Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


PhD in Social Work

We accept applications to the PhD in Social Work program for a Fall term start only. Applications are due January 1.

You must submit:

  • A Completed Application Form
    We prefer that you submit your application form online. You may also download an application form and mail the completed form to:

    Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 800
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Students who have already applied to a graduate or professional program at Loyola University Chicago should fill out the reapplication form.
  • Official Transcripts
    Applicants must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work. To be eligible for admission, your transcript must show an earned MSW degree or a MSW degree in progress, as well as a minimum GPA of 3.o on a 4.0 scale. Certified copies of transcripts are acceptable; faxed copies of transcripts are not considered official. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request these transcripts; we have them on record.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    If you supply your recommender's email address as part of your completed online application form, then your recommendation letters may be submitted online. Or, your recommenders may mail them to:

    Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 800
    Chicago, IL 60611

    We ask that you submit only three letters of recommendation.  Recommendation letters can come from academic, professional or volunteer sources.  One of each is recommended.  If you graduated less than 5 years ago, at least one reference should be from an academic source.
  • A Statement of Purpose
    Please answer the following questions in a double-spaced, typed essay:
    1. What are your areas of professional specialization or interest?
    2. What are your research interests and activities?
    3. How have these interests evolved from your prior educational and/or professional activities?
    4. Within your area(s) of interest, what do you consider to be the major psychosocial, service delivery, social policy, and/or research issues for the social work profession to address?
    5. What do you hope to gain through your doctoral study and your likely professional activities after you have completed the PhD program?
    6. At this stage in your professional career, what do you regard as your greatest strengths, abilities, and accomplishments?
    7. What are the areas in which you have the most to learn?
    8. How do you think enrollment in the PhD program will build on your strengths and/or help you grow in new areas?
  • Test Scores
    An official GRE or Official Miller Analogy Test scores report must be submitted directly from the testing service. To learn more about the GRE, visitwww.ets.org/gre/; to learn more about the MAT, visit www.milleranalogies.com.
  • Application Fee
    A $50 application fee is required for applications submitted by mail. If you complete the online application form, the application fee is waived.
  • CV/Resume
  • Research Paper/Writing Sample
    The ability to communicate effectively is essential for successful completion of the PhD Program. To assist the admissions committee in its assessment, applicants must submit an academic writing sample. The writing sample will be used to evaluate an applicant’s analytic skills, writing style, critical thinking, and ability to deal with complex material. Writing samples should not be more than 20 pages in length (ideally 10-15 pages). Jointly authored work or jointly authored grant proposals are not acceptable. For theses, you can choose a section that reflects the criteria we are looking for.

    Examples of materials that might be submitted include a paper written for a course (within the last two years), a paper published (single author) in a professional journal (within the last three years), a report that demonstrates your writing skill and the above criteria, or a paper specifically prepared for the doctoral application. Such a paper may be a literature review of a topic you wish to explore as a doctoral student providing a rationale for why this topic should be studied.


There are a number of opportunities for students to apply for and receive financial assistance and scholarships

Individual research fellowships and scholarships within the School of Social Work are awarded on a merit basis and must be applied for via the director of the doctoral program.