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PhD Admission

Admission Information

The primary purpose of the application process for the PhD Program in Social Welfare is to select students who show the greatest potential for scholarship and for future contributions to the field of social welfare in Hawai‘i and the Pacific Basin. In addition to requirements set forth by the University of Hawaiʻi Graduate Division, the Thompson School PhD in Social Welfare Committee looks for evidence of the following when reviewing applications:

  1. Education. Applicants are required to have a Master of Social Work degree from a CSWE accredited school/program, or related Master’s degree.  Prerequisite courses in social work will apply for non-MSW students.  Applicants with MSW degree from foreign countries are required to get their master’s degree approved by the International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service of the Council on Social Work Education, which can be found here.  Students are urged to obtain 2 years post-MSW experience in social work which will allow them to teach social work practice courses at a CSWE-accredited school of social work upon graduation.
  2. Scholarly capacity. Applicants are expected to show capacity for advanced academic work and potential for scholarship. The ability to work independently and develop competence to design and carry out rigorous research studies relevant for social work is a critical expectation of the PhD program. Applicants are expected to demonstrate excellent writing skills, and evidence of analytic skills, research interest and capabilities, as part of the admissions application.
  3. Work experience. Applicants with at least two years of experience working with a multicultural population will be preferred.
  4. Career goals. Applicants’ interests and career goals should be compatible with the stated focus of the PhD program.

Beginning with Fall 2022 Admissions, all applications for admissions at the Department of Social Work will be using SocialWorkCAS.  SocialWorkCAS

An application fee of $45 will be charged by SocialWorkCAS in addition to application fees charged by the University of Hawaii at Manoa Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions offices.

The SocialWorkCAS application fee will not be charged until you submit your application.  Start your application now and pay when you are ready to apply!

Click on SocialWorkCAS to create your account.

SocialWorkCAS Applicant Help Center

SocialWorkCAS Quick Start Guide and FAQs.

Tuition and Fees

Please refer to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Records & Registration ( website for current information regarding tuition and fees.

For more information, please review the information on this site, or contact Jennifer Kishida, PhD Program Assistant, at


Admissions Information Sessions

Thank you for your interest in the PhD program.  There are currently no PhD information sessions scheduled.  Please check back later for updates to the schedule.

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