Program Curriculum

The core curriculum is designed to provide students with expertise in conducting independent research, social work theory development, organizational leadership, and the dissemination of social work knowledge in the form of scholarship and social work education methods. The program requires a minimum of 37-credit hours of class-based graduate study, plus a dissertation. The curriculum consists of eleven 3-credit hour courses, one 4-credit hour course, and a 3-credit hour elective option. The 3-credit hour elective option allows students to choose an extended learning opportunity outside the School of Social Work in an area of individual interest and expertise. Upon completion of class-based courses, students are required to enroll in a 2-credit hour continuous matriculation course (SW 799) each semester until the completion of all degree requirements.

Part-time Program

This year-round doctoral program is designed for the working professional. Part-time students must be enrolled in at least 6 hours of course work each semester. Two courses are offered each semester (fall, spring, and summer). A semester consists of fourteen (14) weeks. Three hour classes are held in the afternoon and evening on the same day each week. Students are expected to complete the required coursework over a two-year period. Students are expected to complete all requirements and successfully defend their dissertation within five years from the start of program matriculation.

Curriculum Design

Year 1

SW 719 Social Work Practice: Theory Development and Analysis
SW 725 Empirical Inquiry for Social Work Research

SW 733 Qualitative Inquiry for Social Work Research
SW 743 Quantitative Research Design for Social Work Research

SW 745 Qualitative Data Analysis for Social Work Research
SW 747 Quantitative Data Analysis for Social Work Research

Year 2

SW 735 Seminar in Dissertation Development I
SW 737 Social Policy Analysis and Change

SW 79 Theories of Organizations and Leadership in Social Work
SW 753 Social Work Education: Issues and Methods

SW 771 Seminar in Dissertation Development II

Choice of one of the following:

  1. SW 780 Social Work Research Practicum
  2. SW 755 Social Work Teaching Practicum
  3. Three credit, doctoral-level course for an outside institution (preapproval-required)


SW 799 Continuous Matriculation