Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


PhD in Social Work

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

You must submit:

  • A Completed Application Form
    You may submit your application form online
  • 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 an MSW degree in progress, as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0 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 1200
    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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. program will build on your strengths and/or help you grow in new areas?
  • Test Scores
    As of September 2021, the GRE is neither required nor considered for application to the SSW Doctoral program. This change is consistent with the School of Social Work's commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion of local and international students.
  • CV/Resume
  • Research Paper/Writing Sample
    The ability to communicate effectively is essential for the successful completion of the Ph.D. Program. The writing sample will be used to evaluate an applicant’s analytic skills, writing style, critical thinking, and ability to deal with complex material. Applicants need to prepare an 8-10 page literature review with citations in proper APA format on a topic they are interested in pursuing as a dissertation topic. Review the current literature in the field to demonstrate your knowledge in this area and how it supports the research ideas you might wish to pursue in your doctoral studies.
  • International Students: Admission Requirements

For more information

Contact: sswphd@luc.edu


Doctoral students are eligible to receive tuition waivers to cover their first two years of required course work.  Health insurance is included.  The School of Social Work may also match the tuition waiver with an $18,000 stipend per year.  The stipend requires the doctoral student to work 10 hours per week with a faculty member who shares similar research interests. 

Financial assistance may be available through grants depending on the availability and needs of the principal investigator. 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.