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PhD Social Work - preparing for application, help!


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Hey Everyone-

I'm a long time PhD dreamer and finally decided it is time to actually apply for a program. I really do not have people in my life who have pursued this level of education and I feel pretty lost.

For example, I'm looking at university website's and seeing that application deadlines are Dec/Jan mostly - I assume that means they will not be re-opening until next Dec/Jan (Dec 2019/ Jan 2020)? Or is it similar to undergrad programs where a application season opens again for a different semester start?

I have my MSW from University of Michigan, 2015 .GPA 3.8, advanced standing, policy focus. I have worked since then in case management at a hospital, and currently in long term care at a continuing care retirement community. I am very analytical and love data - my (very loose) research interests are to make SW a more subjective field where possible to earn wider respect for the field. I'm also interested in organizational policy development. I enjoy teaching as well and have been part of some staff training in both of my post MSW jobs.

I have reached out to a few professors from undergrad and  my Masters program who are willing to write a reference. To them my strong writing skills are what have stood out.

I know I should be trying to publish something, and I have little formal research experience other than what was completed for assignments in my Masters program statistics course.

I have not taken the GRE yet, plan to take in the next few months.

The head of my undergrad SW dept. suggested I look at Top 10 PhD programs because of the rank of my MSW school.

I was also accepted to Columbia and UPenn MSW programs.


Any advice from anyone out there??? Looking for honesty here

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