The goal of Qualifying Papers is for doctoral students to become independent researchers and scholars. In preparation, students advance critical thinking and writing skills related to scholarly research.
The Qualifying Papers procedures have two components:
- Comprehensive Literature Review
- Scholarly Paper Draft
Students are expected to take up to one semester to complete the Comprehensive Literature Review, containing a synthesis and critical discussion of a theoretical framework and empirical research in the student’s focus area.
Students are expected to be the lead author and write all Scholarly Paper draft sections for the intended journal publication. The Scholarly Paper may either be a systematic review, drawn from the Comprehensive Literature Review from the first component or involve an empirical analysis of data. The program encourages students to interconnect these two components by relating both to the same or a similar topic to allow for streamlining and full comprehension of a substantive area in the social work field. Students who have passed their Qualifying Papers have achieved a sufficient level of knowledge to begin the dissertation stage and continue refining their research skills.