Social Work | Doctor of Philosophy Degree

At Saint Louis University's School of Social Work, students earn a degree in the distinguished fields of social work, applied behavior analysis or criminology and criminal justice, fields that empower people to use their knowledge to touch the lives of others.

Deeply rooted in a mission of social justice, the School of Social Work within the College for Public Health & Social Justice is a leader in integrating social work practice and education.

Both day and evening courses at the graduate level are offered to help meet your educational goals.

School of Social Work College for Public Health & Social Justice
Application Deadline for Beginning Term The Application Package Apply Online
Final Deadline (Fall admission):
January 15
-- Application Form
-- Resume/CV
-- Application Fee
-- Statement of Purpose
-- GRE scores
-- Three (3) Confidential Reference Letters (Two [2] should be academic references)
-- Academic Transcripts (undergraduate; Master if applicable)
-- Interview (available, but not required)

(Advantages of the web application)
No Admittance
No Admittance
Dir. of Graduate Admissions: Kristi S. Richter

Tel. No.: 314.977.2752
School of Social Work Director:
Don Linhorst, MSW, Ph.D., ACSW
Program Director: Michael Vaughn, Ph.D.


 Required Additional Application Materials for International Students

Applicant Criteria

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A master's degree in social work or closely related field.

Application Components

 The application consists of eight components:

  1. Application Form
  2. Resume
  3. Application Fee
  4. Professional Statement
  5. Confidential Reference Forms
  6. Academic Transcripts (undergraduate; Masters if applicable)
  7. Interview available, but not required
  8. GRE scores (not required if applicant holds doctoral-level degree)
  9. Academic Writing Sample

Additional Application Materials for International Students

  1. TOEFL Scores
  2. Financial Support Statement
  3. Student Visa

TOEFL or IELTS requirements: A minimum score for the school of social work is 580 on the paper-based TOEFL (PBT), 92 on the internet based TOEFL (IBT) or 6.5 on the IELTS. Test results must be included with the application.

International students must demonstrate full financial support during their time as a student in the MSW Program. A letter from a financial sponsor is required. International students may apply for a scholarship through the School of Social Work Financial Aid. Scholarships through the School of Social Work are considered partial awards and are for tuition only.

International students must meet other requirements for their student visa. For a detailed explanation of these requirements international students are required to work with the International Center of Saint Louis University. 

Rankings/Honors: SLU School of Social Work is a Top 50-Ranked program by U.S. News and World Report.

Credit Hours/Coursework: The Degree Requirements consists of 72 credit hours of classroom courses and research.

The Ph.D. degree consists of 72 credit hours, as follows:

  • Core Curriculum (18 credit hours)
  • Elective Curriculum (42 credit hours)
  • Dissertation (12 credit hours)

Career Possibilities: Most social workers specialize in an area of practice including:

  • Social work
  • Criminal Justice
  • Applied behavior analysis

Career Services

About the Social Work Faculty: Students must have a willing faculty member to be a mentor. Applicants should learn about the research disciplines of the School of Social Work faculty and encouraged to reach out to faculty members that have similar research interests. | Social Work Faculty

Scholarships & Financial Aid: All full-time students in the program will be awarded a graduate assistantship for two years that includes a waiver of tuition, stipend of $18,000.00 per year, and health insurance. A total package valued at over $75,000.00. There will be partial scholarships (up to 50 percent of tuition costs) available for part-time doctoral students. Scholarship & Financial Aid  | Student Financial Services at SLU | Affording Graduate Education at SLU

Program Description & Highlights: Our school is built upon an unwavering commitment to social justice. A leader in integrating social work practice and education, the school boasts faculty members who have made substantial contributions to the profession. Our interactive teaching methods are aimed at integrating community-based practice with classroom activities and discussions. Small class sizes facilitate an atmosphere of intellectual dialogue that fosters relationships between students and faculty. The School of Social Work provides students, faculty, and community agencies funding and opportunities to directly address issues of social justice. | Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social Work

School of Social Work Application Review Process: All applications are considered on an individual and balanced basis. 

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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