Application Requirements


At Simmons University, we take a holistic approach to reviewing applications. Our admission team will consider your personal, professional, and academic experiences concurrently to evaluate your preparedness and potential for success in the program.

Application Items

Your application for the online DSW program must include the following items.

  • Online Application: Complete the online application in its entirety.
  • Résumé: Show relevant paid and volunteer experience in the human services field both pre- and post-MSW.
  • Transcripts: Provide transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you have attended, regardless of whether or not a degree was earned. This includes community colleges, institutions you may have attended as a non-degree student, or schools where you enrolled but withdrew from classes. If you have any questions when determining if you need to submit a transcript as part of your application, please reach out to your admission counselor. Failure to submit transcripts from all postsecondary institutions can result in dismissal from the program.

    Transcript requests can take time to process. We recommend submitting your requests as soon as possible. If you are requesting your official transcripts by mail, please send them to:

    Simmons University
    Application Processing Center
    PO Box 30096 [015-004]
    College Station, TX 77842

    Many schools issue transcripts electronically. If this option is available, provide the email address or select “Simmons University — SocialWork@Simmons” if listed as an option by the vendor. This will expedite the delivery of your transcripts and the review of your application.

    Important Note: An MSW from a CSWE-accredited institution is required for admission. Please note that the MSW program you earned your degree from must have been accredited during the time you attended (regardless if the institution earned CSWE accreditation at a later date).
  • Recommendation Letters (2): A minimum of two (2) recommendations is required; a third recommendation is optional. Please note, the admission committee may request a third letter of recommendation when an additional perspective is needed to assess candidacy.
    Preferred sources include a faculty member who can speak to your readiness for doctoral education and a doctorally prepared professional supervisor or manager who has directly observed your work. Letters from friends, family members, co-workers, personal counselors or therapists, or clergy will not be accepted.
  • Statement of Professional and Educational Intent: Address each of the prompts below and incorporate supportive evidence where necessary in a three- to five-page double-spaced essay using 12-point font. Please identify each section of your essay with the corresponding letter prompts below.

A.  Reflect on your commitment to social justice. Identify which social justice principles you hold deeply, and provide examples of how these principles have informed your personal and professional growth. Include instances where your work demonstrated dedication to these principles.

B.  Using those examples you shared in prompt A, explain how they have prepared you for the Simmons DSW program. Discuss specifically how the DSW program might assist your professional growth towards your commitment to the application of social justice in your future work. Also discuss how your aspirations connect with a specific interest that you might pursue for your capstone.

C.  Describe your assessment of your professional identity, professional use of self, and how you hope the DSW program will help you advance both.

Previous Doctoral Education

If you are enrolled in or have been enrolled in another doctoral program (i.e., DSW, PhD, PsyD, etc.), you must provide the following materials in addition to the general application requirements listed above: 

  • A letter of good standing from the dean or program director of the program in which you are currently or were previously enrolled.
  • A personal statement explaining the reason for leaving your current or previous program and pursuing a DSW at Simmons.

Please note: Although students may transfer into the DSW program, our curriculum is such that we can not accept transfer credits from other doctoral degree programs at this time.

Upcoming Admission Deadlines

We offer three start dates annually, in January, May, and September. Our admission team accepts and reviews applications year-round. Decisions will be granted within 4-6 weeks from the application deadline for which applicants apply.

September 2024

Priority Application Deadline
May 30, 2024

Final Application Deadline
July 5, 2024