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Doctoral Program Frequently Asked Questions

What makes me a good candidate for the doctoral program?

NYU Silver doctoral students are competitively selected from a national pool of highly qualified applicants whose portfolios contain documented evidence of progress or potential for progress in key areas of social work research. The admissions committee favors candidates who have a strong academic background, clearly defined statement of research interest, experience in supporting research study/design, and post-MSW practice experience.

How important are GRE scores? Does the doctoral program have a minimum score requirement?

Students applying to the Silver School doctoral program must score competitively on the Graduate Record Exam. The admissions committee does not require applicants to score within a specified range, but it does compare scores among applicants, particularly scores on the analytic writing and quantitative skills sections. Lower test scores on some applications might be compensated with higher grade point averages, more extensive research and practice experience, or stronger recommendations.

What funding is available to PhD students?

Accepted full-time students are typically awarded the Dean’s Fellowship, which includes full tuition and registration fee waivers, graduate student health insurance, and a competitive stipend for the first two years of the program (while the student is in coursework). Part-time students may be eligible for some support on a case-by-case basis.

Upon completing coursework, students are responsible for maintaining their matriculation in the program by paying for one credit per semester until their dissertation is successfully defended.

Can I keep my full-time job while in the doctoral program?

Full-time students are strongly discouraged from maintaining full-time employment. NYU Silver’s coursework and mentored research practicum require a full-time commitment, and the stipend should assist with many cost-of-living expenses.

What teaching opportunities are available to doctoral students?

NYU Silver doctoral students are eligible to teach in the School’s BS and MSW programs upon achieving candidacy status in the program, which requires that coursework be completed and the comprehensive written exam passed. It is preferable that the student have performed strongly in the course Learning and Teaching in Social Work (PHDSW-GS.3033). Students wishing to teach must also obtain certification from their faculty mentor/dissertation chair that potential teaching assignments will not interfere with academic progress.

Does the NYU Silver doctoral program offer a joint MSW/PhD program?

No, the Silver School does not offer a joint degree program. Applicants to the doctoral program must have obtained a master’s degree in social work (MSW) prior to enrollment.

I have a master’s degree in a field other than social work. Can I still apply to the PhD program?

No, a master’s degree in social work is a requirement for admission.

Does the PhD program accept transfer students?

No, students may not transfer from other doctoral programs. The Silver School program is unique and may therefore differ greatly from other PhD programs in social work, making a transition unfeasible.

When and where are doctoral classes held?

All doctoral courses are held in-person at NYU’s main Washington Square Park campus. Class meeting times vary each semester but are typically offered during the day and evenings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Can I audit a doctoral course before applying to the program?

Yes, doctoral courses are open to non-matriculated students. However, students wishing to audit must submit a non-matriculating student application to the Doctoral Program office for prior approval.

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