Checklist for the Ph.D. Application Process

Deadlines for Fall Admission:

Graduate School materials: January 2nd of each year.
Ph.D. Program materials: January 2nd of each year.
All materials must be received by the deadline for full consideration.


or mail to:

Graduate School
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee P.O. Box 413,
Milwaukee, WI 53201


Complete the UWM Graduate School application form on-line at: https://apply.wisconsin.edu.

Personal Statement

Complete this as part of the UWM Graduate School on-line application form.


Submit official copies of transcripts from all colleges, universities (except UWM), technical schools, and diploma programs you have attended. Copies must be sent directly from the respective institutions.


Submit application fee. An additional evaluation fee is required for international applicants.


Send the following materials via surface mail to Prof. Steve McMurtry, Social Welfare Ph.D. Program Director, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 786, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0786 or via email to mcmurtry@uwm.edu.

Graduate Record Exam Scores

Submit an official copy of your Graduate Records Exam (GRE) results. At least one score must be from within the last 5 years. Visit the GRE website (www.ets.org/gre) for more information about registration and preparation. There is no minimum required score, but most successful applicants have Verbal and Quantitative scores at the 50th percentile or higher. GRE scores are REQUIRED and may not be waived or replaced by those from a different examination.

Letters of Reference

Submit at least three but no more than four letters of reference from individuals who can speak knowledgeably about your ability to meet admission criteria and your potential for success in the Ph.D. program. Go to Letters of Reference link for instructions on submitting letters of reference and to download copies of reference forms. All references must be completed on the forms supplied, and additional comments should be submitted on the official letterhead of the employing organization of the person completing the reference. At least one letter must be from a current or previous work supervisor, and a second must be from a current or former instructor of a graduate-level classroom course.

Writing Sample

Submit a sample of your writing that demonstrates your knowledge of relevant theory, practice, and/or research, your ability to think analytically, and your writing skills. Published works reporting research results are best, but please indicate your precise role in the project if you submit a co-authored publication. Also acceptable is a sole-authored student paper, if written within the past five years. The following materials are NOT acceptable evidence of your scholarship: bibliographies (even if annotated); group projects; book reviews; teaching/content outline for classes; abstracts without full text.

Curriculum Vitae or Résumé

Submit an up-to-date copy of your curriculum vitae or résumé. The copy should contain information on all post-secondary education, including institutions, degrees and dates of completed programs of study plus institutions, dates, and types of study that did not lead to a degree. It should also include a complete record of your employment in criminal justicr or social work and related areas, including dates and employing organizations, plus information on all employment, even if unrelated to social work, for the past five years.

Materials for International Students

Complete all additional requirements for international applicants. Refer to Center for International Education website (www.international.uwm.edu) or contact them directly at isss@uwm.edu or 414-229-4846. A checklist for graduate applications can be found at this address.

Thank you!