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PhD Admission

Admission Information

The primary purpose of the application process for the PhD Program in Social Welfare is to select students who show the greatest potential for scholarship and for future contributions to the field of social welfare in Hawai‘i and the Pacific Basin. In addition to requirements set forth by the University of Hawai‘i Office of Graduate Education, the Doctoral Program Committee of the School of Social Work looks for evidence of the following when reviewing applications:

  1. Education. Applicants must have a Master of Social Work degree from a CSWE accredited school/program of social work prior to beginning the PhD program. (Students are urged to obtain 2 years post-MSW experience in social work which will allow them to teach social work practice courses at a CSWE accredited school of social work upon graduation.) Exceptions are made to this requirement for applicants from countries without accreditation provided they produce evidence that their master’s degree is approved by the International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service of the Council on Social Work Education: or for allied master’s degreed applicants with strong credentials and with experience working in social work settings. (Prerequisite courses in social work will apply for non-MSW students.)
  2. Scholarly capacity. Applicants are expected to show capacity for advanced academic work and potential for scholarship. The ability to work independently and develop competence to design and carry out rigorous research studies relevant for social work is a critical expectation of the PhD program. Applicants are expected to demonstrate excellent writing skills, and evidence of analytic skills, research interest and capabilities, as part of the admissions application.
  3. Work experience. Applicants with at least two years of experience working with a multicultural population will be preferred.
  4. Career goals. Applicants’ interests and career goals should be compatible with the stated focus of the PhD program.

Application Procedures

Applicants for admission to the PhD program at the UH Mānoa School of Social Work must submit two (2) separate applications:

  1. The UH Mānoa Office of Graduate Education for admission to the University.
  2. The School of Social Work for acceptance into the PhD program.

You can read more details about the application process on PhD Application Procedures page.

Please note that both applications require official transcripts to be submitted as part of the application.

Tuition and Fees

Please refer to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Records & Registration ( website for current information regarding tuition and fees.

For more information, please review the information on this site, or contact Jennifer Kishida, MSW and PhD Program Assistant, at or (808) 956-3831.

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