FAQ

Do I need a master’s degree in social work to be admitted to the Ph.D. degree program?

You may have a degree in another profession/discipline and still be accepted into our program. Our admissions criteria only require that you have an earned master’s degree in social work or a related profession/discipline. Applicants whose career goals are to teach in a university setting should be aware, however, that an M.S.W. and practice experience, along with the Ph.D., are often minimal job requirements. In addition, Council on Social Work Education accreditation standards currently require that individuals who want to teach practice courses must have an M.S.W. and at least two years of post-M.S.W. practice experience.

What if I am not sure if a doctoral degree is what I really want?

Students interested in exploring doctoral education or testing their capacity for doctoral work may take courses as a nondegree-seeking student while completing the application process. If admitted to the program, up to six credits taken under this status can be applied toward the degree.

Can the program be taken on a part-time basis?

We do not offer a part-time Ph.D. option. Although you may complete a portion of course work on a part-time basis, at some point during the completion of the 39 hours of required course work credit, you must complete two back-to-back semesters (fall/spring or spring/fall) of nine credits each.

Is financial support available?

Full-time enrollment is required for financial aid consideration, and financial assistance is based on availability of funds and the financial needs of students. Generally, financial assistance through the School of Social Work is available for the individual’s first two years of study. Financial assistance may include both a stipend and tuition support. The doctoral program director works with students in identifying sources of funding for subsequent years of study.

Can I transfer credits from another program?

Up to six transfer credit hours may be granted for courses completed in a Ph.D. program at another university, provided they were not applied toward another degree and meet content requirements of this curriculum. Requests for transferring more than six credits will be reviewed by the Ph.D. Program director.

Are there opportunities to gain teaching experience while in the doctoral program?

The VCU School of Social Work makes a concerted effort to provide doctoral students with opportunities to teach in its B.S.W. and/or M.S.W. programs.

What is the deadline for admissions?

We review application materials on a rolling basis; however, priority for admission and financial aid will be given to those individuals whose application materials are received by Feb. 15. Please refer to the VCU Graduate Bulletin for more information.