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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

PhD Program

About the Program

The doctoral program at the Graduate School of Social Work trains master's-level human service professionals to become social work researchers, educators and policy experts.

Founded in 1968, GSSW's PhD program is among the oldest social work doctoral programs in the nation. It enrolls students from all parts of the United States and around the world.

As doctoral students, you're encouraged to develop a solid understanding of the theories, social interventions and policies that guide research in your substantive area.

The program emphasizes:

  • knowledge development through advanced coursework in theory, policy and research methodology;
  • research competencies through required and elective courses, graduate research assistantships and dissertation research;
  • collaboration with faculty working in diverse, substantive areas including high-risk youth, child welfare, gerontology, mental health, substance abuse and poverty; and
  • teaching skills through a teaching practicum, elective courses and faculty mentoring.

GSSW Doctoral Program 40th Anniversary Celebration

Watch the keynote speakers from the GSSW Doctoral Program 40th Anniversary Celebration—"Answering the Carnegie Initiative Call to Action: Rethinking Social Work Doctoral Education," held May 2, 2009.

George Walker (PhD), senior vice president for research development and graduate education, dean, University Graduate School at Florida International University

Ann Nichols-Casebold (PhD), interim dean, professor and associate vice president for research development, Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Richardson (PhD), former chair and professor emerita, educational studies, University of Michigan School of Education