Doctoral Program in Social Work

The mission of the Doctoral Program in Social Work at the Steve Hicks School is to train the next generation of scientists and stewards of the social work discipline who are dedicated to advancing social justice and social change. We seek to prepare an exceptional cadre of scientists to provide leadership and education for the profession and conduct rigorous transdisciplinary research with the principal aim of advancing social work practice, eliminating social and health inequities, and enhancing human well-being.

In pursuit of its training mission, the Doctoral Program in Social Work at the Steve Hicks School has the following programmatic goals:

  • Recruitment and Retention: Recruit and retain the most outstanding student scholars who demonstrate a commitment to social work research and represent a diversity of backgrounds and experiences.
  • Curriculum: Maintain a rigorous curriculum that provides a strong foundational education in critical and scientific thinking, scientific epistemology, social work theory, research methods, and pedagogy.
  • Research Training: Provide intensive mentoring and hands-on experiences in the conduct of methodologically rigorous scientific research, as well as ample opportunities for research communication and dissemination.
  • Mentoring and Advising: Support students through mentoring and advising that encourages intentional pursuit of: a) a transdisciplinary education; b) a content area of expertise relevant to human well-being and social or health equity; c) a program of research that advances the social justice mission of social work, and; d) hands-on experience in social work curriculum development and instruction.
  • Community: Cultivate a diverse scientific community within our School whose members advance the mission of social work and model social work values through service, advocacy, collaboration, and leadership.

Application to the PhD program requires admission to both UT Austin Graduate School and the Steve Hicks School. A single online application is needed. Admission to the PhD program is competitive. We encourage early application.

Find information about course load, program of work and graduation requirements.

Learn more about our current PhD student cohort, their academic interests and areas of research.

Learn more about doctoral candidates in the job market, browse their CV’s and find out their teaching and research interests.

The Steve Hicks School of Social Work (SHS) at The University of Texas at Austin is recruiting two doctoral student fellows for our pre- and post-doctoral training program funded by a T32 award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Join Our Community

Our doctoral students are passionate for community-engaged research and ready to be social work scientists, educators, scholars and leaders in the field.