Admissions Policies and Procedures
In the PhD application packet, we include information on how to apply to the PhD program. Please read all of this information very carefully. For prospective students applying to the combined MSW/PhD program, you will also need to complete the MSW application.
Full-time Study Only
Students applying to the Combined MSW/PhD and PhD programs will be admitted on a full-time basis only.
Size of Cohort
To ensure that all our PhD students receive high quality mentoring, we typically admit 3 – 4 students annually. About 35% of applicants are admitted.
- 1. All applicants to the PhD program are required to have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- 2. For applicants who took the GRE exam prior to August 1, 2011, we prefer a score of at least 575 for the verbal section and for the quantitative section OR a composite score of at least 1,150. http://www.takethegre.com/prior-test-format For applicants who took the revised GRE exam after July 2011, we prefer a score of 155 for the verbal section and for the quantitative section OR a composite score of at least 310. A minimum analytic writing score has not been established. For general information on the GRE, go to http://www.ets.org/gre
- 3. Applicants should have completed an introductory statistics course and received a grade of B or higher. An introductory statistics course includes graphing techniques for presenting data, descriptive statistics, correlation, introduction to regression, prediction, logic of statistical inference, elementary probability models, estimation and tests of significance. Research methods courses taken in a MSW program typically do not meet the criteria for an introductory statistics course. Applicants who have not taken an introductory statistics course must complete one before beginning the Combined MSW/PhD and PhD programs. Under unusual circumstances, a highly qualified applicant may be conditionally admitted into the program without having taken a statistics course (e.g., has a high score on the quantitative section of the GRE or taken other mathematics courses). However, applicants still must successfully complete an introductory statistics course the spring or summer semester prior to beginning the MSW/PhD or PhD program. An introductory statistics course is offered at the University of Iowa during the summer.
- 4. For applicants with English as a second language and/or who are not US citizens, a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 100 (internet-based exam), 250 (computer-based), or 600 (written exam) is required prior to admission. Automatic waivers of the TOEFL requirement are granted for people who have completed a bachelor’s degree (or higher) at an accredited university in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada (excluding French Quebec), Africa (English speaking), Australia, or New Zealand. For further information, go to http://www.ets.org/toefl/. Applicants are strongly advised to sit for the examination no later than December 1 to allow sufficient time for their scores to reach us by the program deadline. Applications with missing GRE scores cannot be reviewed.
- 5. Applicants to the PhD program only are required to have a MSW or a master’s degree in a related field, such as public policy, public health, sociology, psychology, political science, economics, education, nursing, or anthropology.
Admission and Selection Process
We begin accepting applications September 1 for the following academic year. Applications are due on February 1. Admission decisions are made in February. Typically, all applications are evaluated on the same day. Applicants are notified of our decision by April 1 in writing.
We evaluate applicants based on their potential to independently conduct and disseminate scholarship that contributes to policy or practice and on their potential to prepare students to educate future social workers. Because we are only able to provide mentoring and support to a limited number of applicants, some qualified applicants unfortunately are declined admission. Occasionally, applicants who are declined are encouraged to reapply in a subsequent year. Some years we have had a waiting list. If you are placed on the waiting list, you will be notified of this decision by April 1. Please notify the School immediately if your address, phone number, or e-mail changes