The Institute for Clinical Social Work


Ph.D. Program

ICSW welcomes applicants from many backgrounds and with an array of professional ambitions. If you are interested in joining our Ph.D. program, please review the guidelines below. To discuss exceptions to any of these guidelines or procedures, contact us at (312) 935-4232 or info@icsw.edu.


Admissions Standards

Minimum requirements for consideration for the Ph.D. program include:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited graduate school of social work, counseling psychology, or a master’s degree in a closely related field.
  • Graduate program grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Personal therapy experience is not required as a prerequisite for admission, though such experience is favorably considered.
  • At least baseline licensure in the State where they practice (i.e., LSW, LCP, etc.) by the time ICSW classes begin; applicants without baseline licensure may be admitted on the condition that they receive baseline licensure by the start of classes. Once classes begin, we expect students with baseline licensure to be working actively toward receiving terminal licensure (i.e., LCSW, LCPC), following their State’s guidelines regarding clinical supervision.
  • An active weekly clinical caseload; ICSW doctoral students need to discuss their clinical work regularly, both in class and in consultation with members of the faculty.

Admissions Procedure

Applicants who meet the above criteria and are interested in applying to the program are welcome to apply online. During this process, applicants are asked to submit:

  • Application Form
  • Statement of Purpose (Guidelines)
  • Sample of Written Case Material (Guidelines)
  • Three academic or professional Letters of Recommendation (Guidelines)
  • Transcripts from all graduate colleges or universities attended
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Non-refundable $100 application fee ($50 for applications received before January 1)

Based on the above materials, applicants who appear well qualified for the program will be invited on-site for the remainder of the application process, which includes an in-person interview with ICSW faculty members and critical thinking assessment.


Application Deadline

Applications are accepted year-round. To be considered for the upcoming academic-year, we encourage you to submit the general application by March 1 for all programs.