PhD Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the focus of the School of Social Work PhD Program?
We emphasize training students to become researchers and teachers in U.S. universities and social service organizations, and also to assume leadership positions in the development of social work internationally. We stress an interdisciplinary approach to education that includes cutting edge instruction on diverse research methods, teaching philosophy and practices, and the development of substantive expertise in subject area selected by the student. We purposely select small class cohorts to foster an individualized and collegial approach to PhD education.
How long does it take to complete the PhD Program?
The time needed to complete a PhD varies considerably, depending on issues such as full-time versus part-time study and whether a student engages in study during the summer months. In general, allow about 21/2 years of full-time study to complete required coursework, 6-12 months for a qualifying examination and qualifying paper, and at least one year for your dissertation. This suggests a 4-5 year time commitment as the minimum for completing your degree.
What kinds of financial assistance may be available to me?
Most PhD students receive financial assistance from the School of Social Work or the University to support their study. Such financial assistance usually is in the form of research or teaching assistanceships, and many students also apply for and receive fellowships or other support from organizations outside the University. Financial assistance offers are provided at the time that a student is accepted into the program, and generally extend for multiple years.
What kinds of opportunities will I have as a PhD student?
As a major research and teaching program in the field, the School of Social Work provides a wealth of opportunities for students to work directly with leading social work researchers and teachers. In addition to providing you with excellent courses, we are committed to assuring that all PhD students receive opportunities both to work on faculty research projects and to teach. All students also receive individualized research guidance on their own work, both through individual research courses and at the dissertation stage. When you are ready to enter the job market, we also will provide extensive guidance to prepare you.
What do I need to do in order to apply?
The application for PhD study can be completed online. In addition to application forms, you will need to provide university transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume or vita, and a statement detailing your rationale for and goals in PhD study. International students also are required to complete TOEFL tests.