PhD Program

Cyntia Franklin 1

Cynthia Franklin

Welcome! The PhD program in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin prepares its graduates for successful academic careers as social work educators and researchers.

Our school is consistently ranked as one of the top ten schools of social work in the country. We provide the best of the best in learning and living environments. At our school, you will have the advantages of a smaller learning community within a large, world-class, research-one university located in a city known for its vitality, music, creativity and laid-back style.

Doctoral graduates of the school excel in their careers and are known in the United States and throughout the world (see map pdf) as esteemed scholars and leaders in many fields of social work practice. I invite you to learn the important work that some of our alumni are doing. I also invite you to learn about the interests and promising work of our current graduates by browsing their profiles and watching this video.

Our curriculum is practical to the skills that you will need for your future job prospects within academia. The curriculum includes course work, research and teaching experiences, an opportunity to master individualized content and original research, and chances to publish in leading journals. Upon graduation, we want you to be confident and prepared for your future. For this reason we also give you career advice and specific coaching to develop interviewing skills and a competitive CV and portfolio for the academic job market.

phd quick facts

Click on the image for more facts and figures about the PhD program

We want to see you reach the dreams that motivated you to work toward the PhD degree. While in our program, you will be personally mentored by our world-renowned and interdisciplinary faculty. Working within any of our research institutes, you will also have numerous opportunities to develop research competencies while solving the critical social problems of the day. Finally, you will gain teaching competencies through assistantships and opportunities to teach your own classes. I encourage you to learn more about these opportunities by reading this fact sheet (pdf), and by browsing the doctoral pages under the Admissions tab.

At the Steve Hicks School of Social Work you will find the best of the best in learning and living while earning your PhD.

I personally invite you to contact Sherry Melecki, our graduate program coordinator, at or 512-471-3925. If you would like an information packet mailed to you, please complete this form.  We welcome your questions as you discover the next steps for your career.


Cynthia Franklin, PhD, LCSW
Stiernberg/Spencer Family Professor In Mental Health
Associate Dean for Doctoral Education