Skip to content

PhD Scholarships

Applicants to and students currently enrolled in the PhD Program at the University of Utah College of Social Work are encouraged to apply for these scholarships.

American Indian and Alaska Native Scholarships in Social Work

These scholarships were established in 1970 to support students of Alaska Native and American Indian ethnicity. These social work scholarships are made possible through a number of funding sources, including the University of Utah President’s Office; Tribal Nations and Councils; practicum agencies; the Indian Health Service; Bureau of Indian Affairs; and the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For details, please contact Bethany Bingham at 801-581-5571 or

Bordenave Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Jeannine Bordenave, a 1981 MSW graduate, in memory of her mother, Lucille Bordenave. The award is made to a deserving student who has excelled academically, who is in need of financial assistance, and who meets the University’s definition of a nontraditional student.

Louise Browning Scholarship Fund

Louise Browning was a respected faculty member and inspirational mentor at the College of Social Work for many years. The Browning Scholarship provides financial support to a deserving student in the College of Social Work who demonstrates need.

James C. & Lucile P. Hunter Scholarship

College of Social Work students interested in international, immigrant, and refugee issues are considered for this scholarship, which was endowed by Paul and Rosemarie Hunter in memory of James C. and Lucile P. Hunter. James and Lucile both had a high regard for education, Lucille teaching school all of her life and James reentering college after his retirement as a highway patrolman for the State of Utah. College of Social Work BSW, MSW, or PhD students with an interest in one or more of the previously mentioned areas and who demonstrate need are encouraged to apply.

Florence Smith Jacobsen Scholarship

A generous gift from Florence S. and Ted C. Jacobsen established the Jacobsen Scholars program at the CSW in 1998. The emphasis of study for Jacobsen Scholars is academically-based community scholarship and service that focuses on issues of concern to women, with particular emphasis on strengthening families. Whenever possible, recipients work in collaboration with the Belle S. Spafford Endowed Chair at the CSW and the University’s Lowell Bennion Community Service Center. Click here for the Florence Smith Jacobsen Scholarship application.

Lou Ann B. Jorgensen Scholarship

This scholarship supports PhD students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship at the doctoral level. Dr. Jorgensen gave generously of her time and energy in her work with doctoral students while she was associate dean and she continued to support the College in many ways throughout her lifetime.

Hank Liese Scholarship

Colin Brown and Hank Liese were 15-year-old plebes together at Culver Military Academy in1964. A few decades later, upon Dean Liese’s retirement from the College of Social Work in 2017, Mr. Brown established a scholarship in his dear friend’s honor. This scholarship is a tribute to their friendship and their shared love of education. Dean Liese hopes it will provide support for social work students returning to school after careers in other fields, as he once did.

William McPhee Scholarship

This endowment was established in 1989 by Dr. William McPhee, a former CSW faculty member. The scholarship is awarded to a PhD student who demonstrates outstanding promise in the area of social work research. It provides support to assist the student with their own dissertation.

Jamal O’Jack Scholarship

Dr. Stanislav O’Jack established this scholarship in memory of his wife, Jamal, who was pursuing a doctorate through the College at the time of her death; she would have graduated with the class of 1993. As a PhD student, Ms. O’Jack was interested in mental illness, depression, AIDS, and the delivery of mental health service in rural areas. The award is given to a graduate student who demonstrates promise in the field of mental health practice or research.

Edward Yukio Okazaki Memorial Scholarship

Family and friends established the Edward Yukio Okazaki Award in Edward's memory.  Over time this endowment has grown to support a scholarship as well.  It is given to a student who demonstrates achievement and promise in gerontology.

PhD Matching-Dollar Scholarship

The College of Social Work participates in a matching challenge scholarship, creating a 2-to-1 dollar match and generating over $150,000 in scholarship support through the years.

Gilbert Teemley Smith Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Amanda Barusch established this scholarship in honor of her father, Gilbert Teemley Smith.  The award supports first-generation College of Social Work graduate and undergraduate students, particularly those with a strong commitment to serving the Mexican-American community.

Suazo Social Justice Scholarship

This scholarship was established to honor the late Senator Pete Suazo. Senator Suazo dedicated his life to furthering the cause of social and economic justice for all people. The College of Social Work and the Suazo family are proud to provide this scholarship to a full-time student who has financial need and who demonstrates a strong commitment to and leadership potential in issues of social and economic justice.  

Julia M. Watkins Endowed Scholarship

Following two years of generously supporting annual scholarships for social work students, College of Social Work alumna Dr. Julia Watkins, along with her husband Dr. Dennis A. Watkins, established this endowed scholarship in 2021 with a gift from the Dennis A. and Julia M. Watkins Foundation. The Julia M. Watkins Endowed Scholarship supports deserving students in the BSW, MSW, or PhD programs who have demonstrated financial need.

Robin Arnold-Williams Public Policy Endowed Scholarship

John D. Williams initiated this endowed scholarship in 2018 in honor of his late wife, esteemed CSW alumna Robin Arnold-Williams. Family and friends quickly added their own generous contributions to this honor in tribute to Robin’s life-time commitment to public service. John and a cadre of donors hope this scholarship encourages others to follow in Robin’s inspiring footsteps.

Last Updated: 2/5/24