Graduate Degree

Social Work - Doctor of Philosophy

Social Work - Doctor of Philosophy
Plan Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Doctor of Philosophy
College of Social Science
Social Work

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

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 academic performance via transcripts and standardized test scores, and a capacity to develop concepts and articulate issues related to the social work profession via two writing samples. Students are asked to provide a personal essay that articulates their 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

1. All of the following courses (18 credits):
SW 900 Doctoral Proseminar in Social Work 2
SW 901 Knowledge Construction in Social Work 3
SW 905 Historical and Current Analysis of Social Work and Social Problems 3
SW 911 Research Sequence Practicum I 2
SW 912 Research Sequence Practicum II 2
SW 920 Evaluation of Social Work Services and Practice 3
SW 930 Social Work Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Methods 3
2. Complete a minimum of 6 credits in statistics at the 800 or 900 level as approved by the student’s guidance committee.
3. Complete 15 additional graduate-level credits in a focused cognate or social science discipline, of which 3 credits can be in social work.
4. Pass a comprehensive examination administered by the student’s guidance committee.
5. Complete 24 credits of SW 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.
6. Successfully defend the doctoral dissertation.