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PhD Application Checklist

Thank you for your interest in our Ph.D. Program!  Below are the steps you need to follow to submit your application. The University of Houston uses ApplyWeb for the processing of graduate applications. Proceed to the link below to create an ApplyWeb account, submit an application, review a submitted application, and access post-submission functionality.

Click here to start or return to your application

The following will be needed to complete the application:



The Application Fee for the Ph.D. Program is $50.00 for domestic applicants and $80.00 for international applicants. The fee is submitted with the online application. 


For the application process: For faster processing time, we recommend uploading a copy of your official transcripts from all institutions you have attended. You can either scan a hard copy as a PDF or request an official PDF from your institution if they have that option. Follow the UH Graduate School’s scanning instructions. We will not accept grade reports or unofficial transcripts.

After admission is offered: You will not be able to enroll without the official transcript(s) showing undergraduate degree conferral sent directly to the UH Graduate School. The Graduate School provides information on how to submit official sealed paper or electronic transcripts after admission is offered. Additional instructions for international applicants can be found here.


TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores are required from international applicants to satisfy English proficiency requirements. The UH school code for the TOEFL is also 6870. Please see the UH Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency page for more information on the requirement.

The GRE is not required for admission into the PhD program.


Letters of Recommendation are submitted electronically. You will be asked to provide e-mail addresses of three to four persons who are familiar with your competencies and your potential for doctoral education within the online application. It is recommended that two (2) references be from doctoral-degreed tenure track faculty (i.e., current and/or former graduate level professors from your master’s program). Your references will receive an email with instructions for completing an online recommendation form. Please inform your references to be prepared to attach a letter to accompany the form.


The Research Statement should inform the committee of a specific primary research interest you plan to pursue during your doctoral education. This statement should reflect your aptitude to pursue innovative, creative, and relevant approaches to address contemporary issues within the field of social work. It should also include a statement about your interest in the PhD program and how your interests align with our Ph.D. Program Goals,which are to “prepare social work researchers, scholars, and educators to advance the knowledge base of the profession.”

As you develop your research statement you may discuss your relevant background, skills, and experiences that have informed your research interests. Additionally, the research statement should include a discussion of your professional aspirations and how pursuing a Ph.D. degree at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work, will help you achieve your goals. It is critical that your research interests fit well with what our college and faculty can offer so that you may obtain valuable research experience and socialization to academia or other research settings. Therefore, it is essential that you identify at least two (2) faculty members at GCSW who can provide you with research and mentoring opportunities. You may visit our faculty directory for a current listing of our faculty members to assist you in determining your research interest. Please be sure to include faculty members in your research statement and your rationale for identifying them. The research statement should be double-spaced and 4-6 pages in length.

Writing Samples should be double-spaced, and may include one or more of the following, not to exceed 3 samples. For multiple authored works, specify your contributions to the submission:

  • A publication
  • A research paper from the master’s program you attended
  • A research proposal or evaluation from the workplace (must be authored or co-authored by you)
  • If you do not have any of the above, write a literature review or a research proposal not to exceed 25 pages

The Vita/Resume should include your name and contact information, educational background, professional experience, professional and academic memberships, community involvement, awards, professional presentations, and professional publications.


International Applicants are strongly encouraged to upload the following documents, which will be required to obtain a student visa if admitted:

  • A scanned copy of a passport size photo
  • Copy of Passport
  • Letter of Financial Backing
  • Please visit the UH Graduate School’s International Students pagefor more information on visas, transcripts, and the English proficiency requirement.


The deadline to submit your Fall 2024 application and all supporting material to the PhD Program is December 15th, 2023. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the Ph.D. Admissions Committee. You are encouraged to begin the application process early.

All records and documents submitted to the GCSW become property of the University and may not be returned. The application fee covers part of the cost of handling the application and is therefore non-refundable.

Click here to start or return to your application