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PhD Application Procedures

To apply to the PhD in Social Welfare program, follow these steps:

  1. Complete and submit the UH Manoa Graduate Division application.
  2. Pay the UH Manoa Graduate Division application fee and submit your transcripts for any colleges/universities you attended outside of the UH system. Transcripts may be unofficial, but please keep in mind that official transcripts will be required if you are accepted into the program.
  3. Complete and submit an application to the PhD in Social Welfare program. Information about the online submission process will be posted here in October 2021. The online submission process will require a $45 application fee (this is separate from the Graduate Division application fee). The PhD in Social Welfare application will include the following:
    1. PhD Program in Social Welfare Application for Admission form,
    2. Resume/CV
    3. Statement of Purpose: The statement of purpose should not exceed 5 double-spaced typewritten pages, using a font no smaller than 12 points.  Please be as specific as possible in answering the questions below:
      • Discuss your qualifications and readiness for pursuing doctoral studies in social welfare.
      • Describe you view of the role of research in social welfare.
      • Describe the area of specialization around which you wish to concentrate your study and research. In specifying your area of research interest, please identify social welfare graduate faculty who might be useful to you in exploring your topic area.  Indicate any special projects of research emphasis at the Department of Social Work or within the larger University that you view as helpful resources.
      • Describe the development of your interest in research and the relation of that interest to your professional area of specialization.
      • Illustrate how your personal history, family background, and intellectual development have influenced your decision to pursue social welfare research as a career goal. As appropriate, note cultural and educational opportunities that you have experienced and any educational, social, or economic disadvantages that you have had to overcome.
      • What are your career plans? Specifically, how do you expect to use the research and scholarly skills developed in the doctoral program?
    4. One example of your academic or scholarly writing: Examples of academic or scholarly writing are: an academic paper, thesis, publication, or research proposal.  Your writing sample should be single-authored or first-authored by you.  If no examples of your academic or scholarly writing are currently available, please write a paper as though you would submit it for publication in a professional journal.  Do not send PowerPoint presentations or case notes.  Your writing sample should:
      • Demonstrate conceptual and analytic skills
      • Use appropriate and consistent citation and referencing format
      • Demonstrate writing ability
    5. Three recommendation letters: Recommendation letters from faculty or supervisors with a PhD, which evaluate the applicant’s ability to do scholarly work on a doctoral level, are strongly recommended.
    6. GRE scores*: Submission of GRE scores is required of all applicants.  Applicants should make arrangements to take the GRE several months prior to the application deadline.  Test scores cannot be more than five (5) years old.
      *The GRE requirement of PhD admissions has been waived for the Fall 2022 admissions cycle due to COVID-19. 
    7. TOEFL scores: Students who speak English as a second language are required to submit evidence of fluency in English as measured by the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination.  Official scores should be sent directly to the Graduate Division office.  The Educational Testing Services (ETS) code for UHM is 4867.  Test scores cannot be more than two (2) years old.

Deadline for receipt of all materials is January 15.

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