Ph.D. in Social Work Admissions

Thank you for your interest in applying for the PhD Program in Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington. The deadline to apply to the program for Fall 2024 is January 15, 2024. To apply to the program, applicants must apply both to the Graduate School at UTA as well as directly to the School of Social Work PhD Program.


Ph.D. Students

Step 1

Apply to the UTA Graduate School for the Social Work PhD Program:


All Admission Application Forms can be found at the ApplyTexas website. More information on applying to the UTA Graduate School can be found on the UTA Graduate School website. Your application to the Social Work PhD Program cannot be reviewed until the appropriate form below has been completed.


  1. Based on your situation, complete one of the appropriate online forms below to apply to the Graduate School at UTA. How you complete this application depends on where you received your master’s degree.


      • If you graduated with a master’s degree from a university other than UT Arlington, you must complete the online Application for Admission form at Applications for Fall 2024 will be available starting July 1, 2023.
      • If you already earned a master’s degree from UT Arlington, you would need to complete the online Application for Readmission Form.
      • If you are currently a UTA master’s student and will graduate from UTA during the upcoming spring or summer semester, you will need to fill out the Request to Change Graduate Program Form.


  1. Request that your transcripts for all graduate and undergraduate programs be sent directly to the UTA Office of Admissions, Records and Registration. For more information on how to submit official transcripts, go to

Step 2

Complete and submit the following documents to the UTA School of Social Work PhD Program:


In order to complete your application, the following documents will need to be submitted to the School of Social Work through the links below. The application materials can be submitted starting October 1, 2023.


  1. Application Summary Form. This form will ask you for information such as your Mav ID, ApplyTexas application number, and academic history. These will be generated at the time you complete your ApplyTexas application.

  3. Three Professional References through the Recommendation Contact Form.


    • Submit the names and email addresses of the people who you will ask to write you a letter of recommendation. They will be provided a link to submit their letter.
    • You are encouraged to submit these names as early as possible in the process to allow the people writing the recommendation for you to have sufficient time before the application deadline.
    • It is best to select people who can speak to your ability to succeed in a PhD program. Many people get letters from former professors or people they have worked with on research-related projects. If you do not have these available, it is best to seek references from someone who understands doctoral education. This is not a personal reference.
    • You are encouraged to discuss your goals and experiences with your references to help them decide what to include in the letter they will write for you.


  1. Upload the following documents through the Application Materials Form.



    • The purpose of this sample is to assess your ability in academic writing, including critical thinking, synthesizing research information, and your ability to convey a message. As people have different experiences, this can take many forms, it can be something you have published (academic or non-academic), a paper written for a class, a policy brief, etc. 
    • You may submit up to two writing samples, but only one is required. For example, you may wish to submit two if you graduated many years ago and feel your non-academic writing is a better reflection of your current ability, or if you published an article with multiple authors and want to demonstrate your ability to write independently.
    • In general, your writing sample should be less than 10 pages. If you have a much longer sample, such as a thesis, you may submit an excerpt of the written work.
    • If you have a question about what is acceptable to submit, contact the PhD Program Director at


    • Statement of Educational and Professional Goals - This statement should be approximately 3-4 pages and should address the following questions: 


    • Why do you want to pursue a PhD in Social Work? How does a PhD advance your professional goals?
    • What are the specific topics or issues that you would like to research as a PhD student? Are there specific questions you want to answer through research?
    • What experience do you have working in research?
    • Why do you believe UTA would be a good place for you to pursue your PhD? Which specific faculty might you like to work with in the UTA School of Social Work? 

If you have any questions throughout the application process, please reach out to Administrative Assistant, Monisa Caldwell ( or  PhD Program Director, Poco Kernsmith (

Helpful Links and Contact Information

All new PhD students start in the fall semesters only.  We only have a full-time PhD program at this time.  Full-time PhD students receive funding for three years through a combination of tuition payment, fellowship awards and stipends for graduate assistants and graduate teaching assistants. See FAQs for more information.

Admissions decisions to the PhD program is based on the quality of application and supportive materials. Click here to view criteria used for evaluating applications to the PhD program.
UTA Application information can be found at the following website:


For additional information contact the School of Social Work’s Admissions Office at 817-272-1044 or email

Get In Touch with SSW Admissions

Poco Kernsmith, PhD
Professor and PhD Program Director

Monisa Caldwell
Administrative Assistant I


Questions About School of Social Work Admissions?

Get information about School of Social Work Academic Programs, Admissions Requirements, Complete Future Student Interest Form, and more.