About the Program

The PhD in Social Work Program is committed to educating doctoral level leaders in the areas of research, practice, organizational administration and management, and the preparation of the next generation of BSW and MSW social work practitioners. Organized around a developmentally integrated curriculum that attends to both methodological rigor and issues of social justice, students are prepared to engage in independent research and scholarship that informs social work practice at multiple levels. Students will demonstrate skill at conceptually and theoretically framing, investigating, and analyzing complex systems, social problems, human behaviors, and intervention outcomes through a trauma-informed lens. The goals of the program further strive to assure the promotion of social justice in ways that assist individuals, families, groups, communities, and larger societies in maximizing their potential and well-being.

Within the broad goal of preparing advanced social work scholars, practitioners, and agency leaders, the educational objectives of the doctoral program are to prepare our students to:

  1. Demonstrate comprehensive mastery of a substantive area of social work.
  2. Exhibit expertise in producing independent research that informs social work practice, service delivery, advocacy, and system change.
  3. Integrate the values and ethics of the social work profession in teaching, scholarship, and service.
  4. Conceptualize, critically evaluate, and construct theory to advance social work knowledge, education, and practice.
  5. Demonstrate the capacity for leadership and advocacy focused on promoting social justice.