The PhD in Social Work offers an interdisciplinary curriculum with emphasis on advanced research methods and statistics. The program requires 47 credit hours excluding dissertation.

Required Coursework

Foundational CoursesCredit hours
Colloquium on Social Work Education and Research2
Theories of Social Work: From Conceptualization to Application3
Three foundational seminars in research methods:
> Research Methods I: Quantitative Methods
> Research Methods in Minoritized Populations
> Research Methods III: Qualitative Methods
Two foundational seminars in quantitative data analysis:
> Quantitative Data Analysis I
> Quantitative Data Analysis II
Pedagogy in Social Work3
Specialization Area Seminar3
Elective Courses
Research practicum or one advanced research methods course or one advanced statistical methods course3
One advanced research methods course or one advanced
statistical methods course
Writing practicum or one elective3
Four additional electives of the student’s choosing12

Typical Progress for Full-time Students

Year 1
  • Theories and Social Work
  • Data Analysis I
  • Research Methods I
  • Colloquium on Social Work Education and Research
  • Data Analysis II
  • Research Methods III
  • Research Methods in Minoritized Populations
  • Colloquium on Social Work Education and Research
  • Elective
Year 2
  • 2 Electives
  • Pedagogy in Social Work
  • Area of Specialization Course (Comp. exam prep)
  • 2 Electives
  • Elective
Year 3
  • Elective
  • Research in social work
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
Year 4
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
Course work completed2 yearsNone
Comprehensive exam passed1 yearNone
Dissertation proposal approved3 yearsNone
Application to candidacy approved3 years6 years
Dissertation defended4 years2 years after candidacy
  • The Doctoral Program in Social Work is a full-time, in-residence program. We do not offer part-time or distance-learning options
  • No more than 20% of the required credit hours can be taken on a credit/no credit basis (CR/NC). A student must perform at a B- or better level for the course to count. An overall 3.0 GPA (Grade Point Average) excluding dissertation courses is necessary in order to graduate.
  • At the time of application for candidacy, all course work that is included in a student’s program of work must have been taken within the previous six years.
  • Additional requirements for candidacy include successful oral defense of the comprehensive examination paper and submission of a first-authored manuscript to a peer-reviewed scientific journal
  • The 99-hour rule: The university charges nonresident tuition to all students, resident and nonresident, who have accumulated more than 99 doctoral hours.

For more information, go to the Graduate School page

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