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PhD in Social Work

A social work doctoral education prepares students for leadership roles in social work research, social work education, social policy, planning, and administration.

Our PhD program equips students with tangible skills to use rigorous scientific methods to develop and disseminate knowledge, teach the next generation of social workers, and help serve their communities.

Goals and Objectives:

Grounded in social work values and related theories, our social-justice oriented students are prepared for leadership roles in conducting high impact interdisciplinary work, educating students, and meeting the changing needs of a global social work landscape. We provide a hands-on, supportive approach to students with advanced academic training that will allow them to develop as scholars of the profession. Earning a PhD in social work typically takes three to five years, depending on the student.

To develop leading scholars who:

  • influence and define knowledge on social work values and related theories;
  • are well versed in qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, and intervention research;
  • have real-world impact on policies and practices commensurate with the profession’s social justice-orientation; and
  • understand and address the changing needs of a global world.

Each entering doctoral student is assigned a faculty as her/his academic advisor. The assignment of a student’s advisor is based on the focus interests of the student and those of a faculty member. A student’s academic advisor will work closely with the PhD Program Director in supervising the student’s progress during her/his first-year of study.


Meet our PhD Students

Learn more about our students and their research areas of interest.

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