PhD

Program Overview

Our PhD Program balances theory-driven research based on strong methodological and analytic skills. Graduates are prepared to be productive researchers and skilled teachers in prominent schools of social work, and we offer competitive support for qualifying students. Designed for students to obtain their degree in three to five academic years, the first part of the program consists of core doctoral coursework, including epistemology, statistics, systematic reviews, and qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as substantive elective classes, followed by independent research culminating in the dissertation process. Coursework in our interdisciplinary program promotes strong critical and inter-professional thinking, and integrative, evidence-based approaches to social problems, drawing from a solid social science theory base. Pedagogical skills are developed through combined approaches of mentoring and classroom teaching, supplemented by training through the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. The graduation requirements and curriculum enhance our intensive, research-driven approaches to build and test new practice paradigms with a focus on systems change. We prepare students for exciting roles in which they will contribute to the development of knowledge in the field of social welfare and the profession of social work.

Research and Funding Opportunities for Future Students

The College of Social Work has an exceptional faculty, recognized for their work in the fields of child welfare, gerontology, marriage and family supports, juvenile justice and corrections, disabilities, immigrants and refugees, women/gender roles, health, mental health, and substance abuse.

We have two curriculum delivery strategies (onsite and distance) with the same program requirements, standards of rigor, and expectations for students. Our flexible coursework options enable students to maintain their roles in the community. Both full-time and part-time students are admitted each fall semester to our regular campus program, in existence since 1972. Our summer-intensive Technology-Enhanced Doctorate (TED) began in 2000, with a new cohort admitted every four to five years.

The College of Social Work and the Center for Public Policy and Administration have established a dual degree program that offers the PhD in Social Work and the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees. The purpose of this partnership is to prepare students in a unique interdisciplinary fashion to assume leadership roles in nonprofit organizations or institutions of government concerned with the social welfare of the public. Applicants must follow admission requirements and be accepted by both programs.

Please feel free to contact our office with specific questions, as we always welcome an opportunity to talk with applicants and students.