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Admissions to the Doctoral Program


Information request form


Admissions requirements

To be considered for admission to the Doctoral Program, applicants must have:

  1. A master's degree in social work from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, or, less preferably, in a related discipline.
  2. Evidence of strong academic ability.
  3. Evidence of commitment to the values, goals and purposes of the social work profession.
  4. Evidence of two years of work experience in human services (may be waived in special circumstances).
  5. Evidence of a direction for and commitment to social intervention research.
  6. A strong commitment to a research career.

Currently, we are not accepting applications to the MSW/PhD Continuum Program. Instead, we encourage interested applicants to apply to our MSW program, and later to our PhD program following completion of the MSW degree.

Application deadline

The Doctoral Program admits students only once each year. The application system will open August 1, 2020, for Fall 2021 admittance. To be considered for admission, application materials must be submitted by December 15, 2020, after which time the application system will be closed. The Admissions Committee will review only completed applications. Once the Committee has determined which applicants are eligible for admission, qualified applicants will be nominated for University fellowships or other University financial assistance. The Admissions Committee will work to make all admissions decisions by mid-March.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that the PhD program has only one deadline for Fall 2021 admittance, which is December 15, 2020. The Admissions Committee will begin screening applicants for award and admission recommendations at this time. 

Application requirements

Early applications are encouraged. Applicants must complete and submit a Graduate School application online. To apply online, please click here  to go to the Admissions portal.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

The Admissions Committee will review only completed admission files. Applicants will be notified, via e-mail, if materials are missing from their application packet and will receive confirmation once their application is complete.

For more information, please visit UNC's Graduate School website.

Telephone Information Sessions

You may request a telephone information session with the Associate Dean for Doctoral Education to discuss your research interests, receive answers to specific questions, and obtain an overview of the program.  

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact the Doctoral Program Coordinator.


Contact information 

Brenda Vawter
Doctoral Program Manager
(919) 962-6477

Mimi Chapman, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Doctoral Education, School of Social Work

Please include "Doctoral Program" in your email subject line.