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PhD Program Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements:

1. Hold a Master of Social Work degree or an equivalent Master’s degree with a B+ average from an accredited program in a university of recognized standing.

2. Demonstrate competency in basic statistical methods.

Note – Upon admission to the program all incoming doctoral students are required to take SWK 4506 Quantitative Data Analysis for Social Workers OR pass an equivalent competency exam with a grade of at least A to fulfill this requirement.

3. Possess educational and professional experience that will indicate a capacity to undertake research-oriented post-graduate work.

4. Demonstrate English language proficiency (ELP).

Applicants who graduated from universities outside Canada where English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of their application.  Please arrange to have official test scores sent to the University of Toronto, Institution Code 0982.

Testing options and minimum requirements include:

  • TOEFL Paper-Based Test Score of 580 and TWE Score of 5
  • Internet–based TOEFL Test Score of 22/30 for both the Writing and Speaking Sections, with an overall TOEFL Score of 93/120
  • IELTS Minimum required score: 7.0 (Academic) with at least 6.5 for each component
  • The Certificate of Proficiency in English (COPE) – Required score: 76 (with at least 22 in each component and 32 in the writing component)
  • International ESL Program, School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto Required score: a final grade of B in Level 60
  • Cambridge English – C1: Advanced and C2: Proficiency Required score: 185 overall with at least 176 for each component. Applicants should send their results electronically to the University of Toronto through Cambridge English website.

For more information on the English language facility requirement please see the School of Graduate Studies web site.

Applicants educated at non-Canadian institutions should note that their educational background will be assessed for equivalency with a University of Toronto degree as described above. Please visit the International Credential Equivalency web page and select a country from the list to which international credentials are for masters and doctoral admissions at the University of Toronto.

Candidates are accepted for admission based on an assessment of their ability to complete the academic requirements of the program. Experience and professional achievements are considered, although greatest weight is placed on demonstrated academic performance.