Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

School of Social Work

Graduate Study
Social Work - Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work is an interdisciplinary program rooted in the historical, epistemological, and philosophical bases of social work. It is designed to prepare social workers for leadership positions in the profession as educators, researchers, policy makers, and/or administrators. It places emphasis on the development, analysis, and application of social work knowledge related to professional practice, and is designed to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the social work profession and field of social welfare.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


The doctoral program in social work invites applications from experienced social workers who hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited graduate program. Applicants must provide evidence of outstanding professional competence, academic excellence and a capacity to develop concepts and articulate issues related to the social work profession, and an interest in advanced social work research, education, and practice. Applicants with outstanding academic records may be admitted to the program provisionally and permitted to make up deficiencies on a collateral basis.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Social Work

The program requires 21 credits in post-master’s social work education, including the completion of a research internship. Students must also take 18 credits of course work outside the School of Social Work including 6 credits of statistics and 12 credits in a social science discipline or focused cognate. In addition, students must complete a comprehensive examination administered by the student’s guidance committee, complete 24 credits of dissertation research, and successfully defend the dissertation.