The Institute for Clinical Social Work

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Chicago, Hyde Park,

Loma Linda, and Online


Ph.D. Program

ICSW invites applicants from diverse backgrounds and with an array of professional goals. If you are interested in joining our Ph.D. program, please review the guidelines below. For questions regarding 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)
  • Clinical Philosophy (Guidelines)
  • Three academic or professional Letters of Recommendation (Guidelines)
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate colleges or universities attended
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Non-refundable $100 application fee

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

Hard copies of materials should be sent directly to:
Chair of Admissions
Institute for Clinical Social Work
401 S. State St., Ste. 822
Chicago, IL 60605

* Official electronic copies may be sent to Elizabeth Oller, at eoller@icsw.edu


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.