Berkeley Social Welfare prefers applicants to doctoral study who hold a master's degree in social work or social welfare, or have comparable preparation in a closely related field, and who show evidence of intellectual and other qualifications essential to successful doctoral study.
In reviewing applications we seek to determine whether the applicant’s particular objectives can be met in our doctoral program at Berkeley.
To be considered for admission to the Social Welfare PhD Program, all applicants must:
1) Satisfy the minimum requirements for admission to graduate study at Berkeley.
2) Have a master's degree in social work or social welfare, or comparable preparation in a closely related field.
3) Demonstrate evidence of intellectual and other qualifications essential to successful performance in the doctoral program, including scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and examples of scholarly written work.
4) Demonstrate English language proficiency to do graduate work (i.e., a satisfactory score on the TOEFL exam or other acceptable equivalent evidence) if you are an international applicant from a country or political entity where English is not the official language.
Applicants to doctoral study are evaluated on 1) academic background and preparation as reflected in the undergraduate and graduate GPAs, transcripts, and scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); 2) research and teaching potential, as reflected in the curriculum vita, examples of scholarly written work, and letters of recommendation; and 3) appropriate fit of research interests and career goals with faculty research areas and PhD program goals.
Admission to the Combined MSW/PHD Program
Berkeley Social Welfare’s MSW-PhD Combined Program option is designed specifically for individuals who possess a strong interest in and exceptional capacity for research and scholarly work and who wish to pursue a continuous program of graduate study leading to the MSW and the PhD degrees.
Combined Program students pursue a challenging and ambitious course of study that leads to completion of the MSW degree in two years while simultaneously laying a foundation for advanced doctoral study. A minimum of three years of full-time course work and at least one additional year to complete the dissertation are required.
In addition to the requirements for the PhD, combined program students complete the course work and field placements required for the MSW degree in one of the specialized MSW program concentrations. Certain course substitutions are made in the MSW curriculum for Combined MSW/PhD students in order to reduce redundancy of material as they segue into the doctoral portion of the program. For example, students normally substitute PhD statistics and research courses for the MSW research sequence, and may count units from PhD courses and tutorials towards part of the overall units required for the MSW degree.
Admission to the MSW-PhD Combined Program option is highly competitive and restricted to new applicants to graduate study only. Current MSW students who are interested in pursuing doctoral studies are encouraged to discuss their interests with the chair of the Doctoral Program and other faculty members to possibly prepare for applying to the doctoral program upon completion of the MSW.
All applicants to graduate study at Berkeley apply directly through the UC Berkeley Graduate Admissions Online Application.
The online application becomes available in early September each year. Berkeley Social Welfare only admits for the fall semester each academic year; no spring or summer admissions are offered.
Application Deadline for Fall 2018 Admission
Friday, December 1, 2017 at 8:59pm PST
The system will log out automatically at 9:00pm PST on Friday, December 1st. No late applications are accepted under any circumstances. All application materials, including transcripts, written statements, letters of recommendations, and resume must be uploaded as PDFs into the online application by the application deadline.
Admissions Decisions and Notification
All applicants to the PhD Program and Combined MSW/PhD Program will be notified of decisions and offers of funding support in early February.