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 each institution you attended, whether a degree was earned or not. This includes community colleges.

    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 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 the prompts below and incorporate supportive evidence where necessary in one cohesive three- to five-page double-spaced essay using 12-point font.
    • Reflect on your preparation for the Simmons DSW program.

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

    • Explain how earning a DSW will further your career aspirations.Should you need to cite any sources, please follow American Psychological Association (APA) style.

  • Interview (by invitation): In some cases, the admission committee may request a phone interview as part of the admission process.

  • Test Scores: There is no standardized testing requirement for the online DSW program. However, if English is not your first language, you must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic score that demonstrates satisfactory proficiency. If you earned a college-level degree in an English-speaking country, this requirement is waived.
    • TOEFL: A minimum score of 600 on the paper test, 250 on the computerized test, or 105 on the internet-based test is required. Simmons must receive your scores directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS).

    • IELTS: A minimum score of 7.0 on the academic test is required. Score reports must be official.

      If you have questions about these requirements, contact an admission counselor at +1-855-523-7779.

  • Application Fee: The $50 application fee is nonrefundable and can be paid electronically as part of the online application. If you submit your application before the Round 1 application deadline, your application fee is waived. If you submit your application before the Round 2 deadline, the fee is reduced to $30.

    Application fee waivers are available for applicants affiliated with nonprofit organizations such as City Year, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and Teach for America. Military personnel, veterans, and their spouses are also eligible for fee waivers. Contact an admission counselor at +1-855-523-7779 to request instructions for obtaining the fee waiver.

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.