Mission Statement

The Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare prepares students for careers in research, university teaching, and leadership in social welfare. Through a combination of courses, seminars, individual and collaborative study and research, as well as opportunities to teach, students are assisted to develop and strengthen their skills in methods of scientific inquiry, to deepen their understanding and analysis of social problems and public issues, and to contribute to the knowledge base of social welfare by evaluating the effects of social welfare interventions at all levels.

The majority of applicants to the Ph.D. Program are social work practitioners. However, the Ph.D. degree is not a “clinical” degree. It is first and foremost a research degree. At minimum, its graduates have demonstrated advanced knowledge of a social problem/social issue/social theory, an intervention level/practice model, and research methodology through the conduct and defense of an original dissertation. Most graduates have obtained positions as faculty members in schools of social work across the country.