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Application Materials — Letters of Recommendation, Doctoral Program

Three or more letters of recommendation are required as part of the admissions application. These letters should attest to your academic ability, writing and communication style, nature and quality of past work performance, commitment to social work values, and capacity for scholarly contribution.

At least two letters of recommendation should be from your past professors or others who are familiar with your academic work.

One letter of recommendation may be from someone with whom you have worked in social work, human services, or a related field. If you have held a paid position in social work within the past two years, that letter should be from your supervisor or director for that position.

You do not submit these letters yourself. Instead, within the UNC Graduate School application system, you provide the name and email address for each person whom you have asked to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. The application system will automatically send an email to each person, providing instructions for that person to upload the letter of recommendation into the application system.

Note: The persons who are writing your letters of recommendation must upload their letters before the application deadline for the program to which you are applying. Otherwise, your application will not be complete. Please ensure that each person submitting a letter of recommendation for you is aware of the deadline.

Your letters of recommendation should address one or more of the following areas:

  • Your professional experience and performance
  • Your intellectual, conceptual, and analytic abilities
  • Your interest in, aptitude for, commitment to, and (if applicable) experience with social work research
  • Your commitment to social work values