PhD Program Frequently Asked Questions

Accepted full-time students are typically awarded the Research Fellowship, which includes full tuition and registration fee waivers for required coursework, graduate student health and dental insurance, and a competitive stipend. 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.

NYU Silver PhD 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 participating in a research study, and post-MSW practice experience.

Students applying to the Silver School PhD 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.

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 living expenses.

NYU Silver PhD 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, the qualifying exam passed and a successfully defended proposal. 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.

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

Masters Degree (MSW is preferred) with a graduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher, based on a 4 point scale

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

All PhD 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 throughout the week.

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

No, the PhD Program does not provide on-campus housing.  Students interested in learning more about affordable housing (on or off campus) should visit the University Housing and Dining webpage for further information.

Yes. You can contact the PhD Program Student Ambassadors who are enthusiastic, well-informed, student representatives who work together with the PhD Program Office to promote opportunities available to prospective students within the program and across the university.