Our application process is completely electronic. All documents should be submitted through the application portal.
All application components (including recommendations) must be received by the deadline in order to be considered.
Apply to the University at Buffalo School of Social Work using our electronic graduate application system.
Be sure to select either the "PhD in Social Welfare" program or "MSW/PhD (Social Work/ Social Welfare)" dual-degree program from the drop-down menu, since each program has different application questions. If you do not see your program listed, it means that it is not currently open. Check our deadlines page for information about when program applications open and close.
On the application form, you will be asked to send electronic recommendation requests to three professional references who are best able to assess your capabilities and skill in the following domains:
At least two references should be faculty with earned doctorates. Do not use personal friends, relatives, friends of the family or other personal relationship sources. In addition, do not use clients or individuals you provide services to, or therapists or other individuals you receive services from.
When you send the requests, your recommenders will receive an email with a link to complete the brief evaluation form and upload their letter of recommendation for you electronically. You will receive a notification email when a recommendation has been received.
Plan ahead to give your references enough time to submit their recommendations before the deadline.
On the application form, you will be asked to identify two to three possible faculty mentors. You should look for individuals whose research interests compliment your own. View our faculty profiles to read more about their research and view their CVs.
Copies of transcripts should be uploaded to the application portal. Please note:
If you prefer to send official transcripts instead of uploading copies, you may do so. Note that official transcripts will take longer to arrive, so be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. All transcripts MUST be received in the School of Social Work admissions office by the posted application deadline.
If accepted to the program, you will be required to submit final official transcripts from all schools attended (except from the University at Buffalo) if you have not already.
Official transcripts must be mailed to:
University at Buffalo
School of Social Work- Admissions
685 Baldy Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1050
or sent via secure and official electronic delivery to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you will be able to upload your up-to-date curriculum vitae or resume to your application checklist. This should contain information such as (but not limited to): relevant education, work experience, presentations, publications, and other professional involvements.
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you will be able to upload your PhD research statement to your application checklist.
This statement should be 2-3-pages, double-spaced, and should explain:
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you will be able to upload your writing sample to your application checklist. This must be a sole-authored paper written in English; the paper may be from a previous class or a new composition regarding an issue relevant to social work or social justice. The paper should be academic in tone and include citations per APA style. Research-based papers are preferable.
On May 18, 2021 the University at Buffalo Graduate School Executive Committee approved an extension of the temporary suspension of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) requirement due to the current environmental context and COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this suspension, the UBSSW PhD and DSW programs are waiving the GRE requirement for the 2021-2022 application cycle (Fall 2022 applicants).
For applicants who have already taken the GRE, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your having taken the exam. However, we felt this change was necessary during these challenging times. In order to maintain consistency and fairness for all applicants this year, GRE scores will not be included or taken into consideration as part of your application.
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you can find the secure payment link, allowing you to pay the non-refundable application fee by credit card or e-check.
The PhD application fee is $75. The MSW/PhD application fee is $100.
After your application is complete, we may request an interview. Interviews would be conducted by members of the faculty and would take place via videoconferencing technology (Zoom, Skype, etc.).
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you will be able to upload your MSW application essay to your application checklist. This is a key component of your application. Your essay should reflect strong technical writing and critical thinking skills. Write a full essay answering ALL questions in the Application Essay Guidelines.
If you have a previous felony or criminal conviction, please read our felony disclosure statement before applying.
Domestic students will also have the chance to upload an optional statement to be considered for additional funding through the Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship.