Admission Requirements

General Requirements

The following are admission requirements of the School of Social Work and/or the University Graduate School.

  • A Master's degree in social work (MSW) from an accredited school of social work or a closely related field. Prior social work experience is highly desired. Please note that PhD graduates who would like to teach clinical or direct practice courses in an accredited social work program must have two years post-MSW direct practice experience.
  • Evidence of superior academic achievement in undergraduate education, including at least a 3.00 (upper division) undergraduate GPA and at least a 3.5 graduate GPA. All official transcripts must be sent directly to Florida International University, Office of Admissions, P.O. Box 659003, Miami, FL 33265-9003.
  • Quantitative and verbal scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Official GRE scores must be sent directly to the University Graduate School. (GRE material may be obtained directly from the Office of Admissions or from Educational Testing Services.)
  • For students for whom English is a second language, a TOEFL score of 550 or more.
  • Successful completion (with a grade "B" or better) of one or more graduate-level courses in research methodology or statistics, as documented in the official academic transcripts
  • Three letters of reference from academic and/or professional sources.
  • Two samples of writing (e.g., published articles, research reports, book reviews, manuscripts submitted for publication, or papers prepared specifically for admission to the Ph.D. Program).
  • A personal statement describing applicants' reasons for wishing to pursue doctoral studies at this time, their background and experience, their doctoral research and specialization interests (important), and their career goals following receipt of their Ph.D.
  • Applicants who do not meet all admission requirements but demonstrate outstanding abilities or accomplishments may also be considered; however, exemption from particular requirements may need to be requested from the University Graduate School.
  • An admission interview may be requested.

Evaluation Process

The Admissions Committee reviews only completed applications files. Determination of the applicant's intellectual capacity and research potential is based mainly on the GPA and GRE scores and the academic references. Assessment of motivation, knowledge of the field, and personal qualities is based on a review of work experience information, the personal statement, the letters of reference, and possibly an admissions interview. Evaluation of writing ability is based on a review of the personal statement and the writing samples.

Transfer of Credits from Previous Course Work

Students in the Ph.D. program cannot substitute or obtain waivers for required courses. The Ph.D. Coordinator may consider the transfer of doctoral level courses (not part of a previously earned degree) toward the completion of a maximum of six elective (or supervised research or independent study) credit hours. Students must explain in writing how the previous course or courses are directly related to the current area of doctoral study.