In the 48-credit-hour program, students are prepared for positions in academia where they can teach and, most importantly, continue advancing research in the social work field. The curriculum focuses on research, statistical analysis, and theory and emphasizes a strong.
About The Program
Doctoral students work with world-class faculty at a Carnegie Research Tier 1 university.
Focus is on improving your skills as a researcher, educator, grant writer, and policymaker.
Generous funding covering tuition for the first three years of the program.
Numerous Graduate Teaching Assistant and Graduate Research Assistant positions.
Our doctoral program is designed to produce high-ranking scholars who will make significant contributions to the knowledge base of the profession in social work academia.
Tenure-track faculty positions in top research universities or primary teaching faculty positions in colleges and universities
Social welfare policy research positions in public and private institutes, hospitals, advocacy organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies
University and college administrative positions (deans, department chairs, etc.)
Administrative leadership positions in family services, human resources, public welfare agencies, hospitals, treatment centers, mental health clinics, and more
Students will matriculate as full-time students taking in-person classes (part-time options available on a case-by-case basis).
You do not need an MSW degree to earn the Ph.D. degree (although most students admitted have the MSW degree and/or experiences in human services).
Most students complete the 48-credit-hour program in four years and many complete it in three years.
In the first year, students complete foundation courses in research, statistics, theory, and policy. In the second year, students develop an area of specialization and take courses in advanced research and statistics grant writing and elective courses. In the third year, students work on their dissertation.
1st Year (18 Course Hours)
Fall – Required Courses
SOCW 6373 Theory and Model Building in Social Work Research
SOCW 6340 Advanced Research Methods in Human Services
SOCW 6347 Intermediate Statistics
Spring – Required Courses
SOCW 6341 Advanced Statistical Methods in Human Services
SOCW 6348 Qualitative Research Methods
SOCW 6396 Social Work Education: Principles and Skills
2nd Year (18 Course Hours)
Fall – Required Courses
SOCW 6328 Social Policy Research and Analysis
SOCW 6367 Data Analysis and Application
SOCW 6393 Grant Writing
Spring – Required and Elective Courses
SOCW 6395 Psychometric and Measurement Methods in Human Services
3rd Year (12 Course Hours)
Fall & Spring
SOCW 6390 Dissertation Tutorial
SOCW 6399 Dissertation Hours
SOCW 6699 Dissertation Hours
SOCW 6999 Dissertation Hours
Why Choose Us?
The Ph.D. program is ranked among the best nationally, with graduates serving as deans, professors, department chairs, scholars, and researchers around the world.
Doctoral students have the option to teach BSW and MSW classes, earning extra income.
Incoming doctoral students receive a multi-year funding package covering most of their time in the program. In addition, many fellowship awards, stipends, GTA, GRA, and other funding sources help cover expenses.
Interdisciplinary research opportunities are available with other disciplines in the University.
Students can earn national visibility, with opportunities to publish research and work with faculty known as leaders in the social work field.
While in the program, many of our students earn a national reputation, receiving fellowships, scholarships, and grants for their research and publications.
To be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program, an applicant must have:
A Master's Degree:
Master's Degree in Social Work
Applicants who do not have a Master's Degree in Social Work are expected to have work or volunteer experience in human services and complete an introductory social work course and diversity course prior to beginning the program.
Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work documenting:
Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 minimum, on the last 60 hours as calculated by the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration
Masters GPA of 3.4 minimum as calculated by the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration.
A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score that evidences an ability to do satisfactory graduate work.
Curriculum Vitae outlines (1) work and volunteer experiences in human services; (2) participation in professional organizations and conferences; and (3) publications, if applicable.
Statement of academic goals consistent with the goals of the Social Work Ph.D. Program goals.
A professional writing sample that provides evidence of the applicant's writing skills and critical thinking skills.
Three letters of recommendation, preferably from persons holding Ph.D. degrees, addressing the applicant's skills in the areas of analytical thinking and writing skills.
If English is not the applicant's first language, a minimum TOEFL iBT total score of 90 with a writing sectional score of at least 23 must be submitted.
An interview will be conducted with applicants meeting the basic admission criteria above.
An application for admission, transcripts of previous academic work, and Graduate Record Examination scores must be submitted to Graduate Admissions. An additional separate application and supporting materials must be sent to the Graduate Advisor, Ph.D. in Social Work Program.