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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

PhD Course Descriptions

SOWK 5000    Seminar in Professional Social Work Issues

Examines the dilemmas and challenges confronting the social work profession and social work education. Examines the nature of professional education, the nature of the profession itself and the forces internal and external to the profession that have an impact on education for social work. Among the topics addressed are history of social work education and the profession, current professional issues and the impact upon practice and education.

SOWK 5001    Social Work Knowledge Integration and Publication

Introduces students to integrating knowledge for social work scholarship through the use of tools that support academic argumentation and exposition. It provides students with the skills, expertise, and readiness necessary to compose a number of scholarly documents, including academic publications and the dissertation proposal. The course focuses on the preparation and writing of the comprehensive examination proposal as an example of such documents. The major product of the class is a paper designed to meet the requirements of the comprehensive examination proposal. Advisors and mentors participate in class presentations and critiques as a part of preparing the student for their ongoing scholarship.

SOWK 5110     Introduction to Advanced Quantitative Research Method

Introduces students to quantitative approaches to conducting social research. The course includes material related to measurement, sampling, research design, data collection, and data analysis. While each of these topics encompasses technical issues to be mastered by doctoral students, the logic and underlying rationale of these research methods is of prime importance in this course. A second component of the course requires students to define and begin to develop a substantive area of intended study and research during their enrollment in the doctoral program. Elements of articulating a substantive research area and steps toward defining key research questions in a topical area are reviewed. Aspects of conducting literature reviews leading to the articulation of a substantive research area are discussed in class sessions.

SOWK 5111     Quantitative Methods for Assessing Social Interventions

Social work researchers are in a unique position to contribute to knowledge about the causes of individual and societal problems and to test interventions that seek to prevent or ameliorate such problems. A variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods are used to advance knowledge about etiological factors contributing to individual and social problems and to assess the outcomes of specific social policies and practice strategies. This course presents a detailed examination of quantitative methods and designs that are useful in assessing the effects of social interventions. Measurement, sampling, and design issues in generating and testing research questions and hypotheses are explored. Experimental, quasi-experimental, and survey research designs are assessed and applied to practice and policy issues and problems. Special emphasis is placed on developing skills necessary to conduct intervention research.

SOWK 5120    Introduction to Advanced Qualitative Research Method

This course provides a substantive doctoral-level review of content on qualitative research methods and strategies. It is developed for students from social science disciplines. The content includes the nature of the method, the epistemological implications and assumptions, and appropriate applications. Student learning and evaluation includes the experience of developing a research proposal based on qualitative methodology and conducting data collection for a mini-research project. This class is a prerequisite for SOWK 5121 Qualitative Data Analysis. This course is required for social work doctoral students. Students from other departments may register for the course with permission from the professor.

SOWK 5121     Qualitative Data Analysis

The focus of this course is on data analysis and interpretation, demonstration of the science of the analysis, and presentation of findings in oral and written forms. Students are expected to conduct qualitative analyses on textual data they collected as part of SOWK 5120 or as a result of some other qualitative data collection experience. Over the course of the term students will learn to code and analyze their data, interpret findings, orally present those findings, and write a final paper in which they demonstrate a rigorous engagement with qualitative data analysis and the literature relevant to their topic.

SOWK 5130    Mixed Methods Research in Social Work

This course introduces doctoral students to mixed methods research in social work and the social sciences. Students will explore mixed methods as a third research paradigm that strategically combines both quantitative and qualitative methods within a single inquiry. The course encourages students to actively reflect on previous qualitative and quantitative research training. Specific topics for the course include: history and language of mixed methods research; relevant paradigms and epistemological debates; mixed methods design and research questions; and analysis and dissemination considerations.

SOWK 5201    Statistical Methods in Education, Psychology, and Social Work

Examines the use and interpretation of statistics in educational and human services research, including descriptive and inferential statistics.

SOWK 5202    Correlation and Regression

Examines correlational and multiple regression research designs and their application to social work and social science problems. Prerequisite: SOWK 5201.

SOWK 5203   Multivariate Analysis

Provides a conceptual understanding of common multivariate statistical techniques as applied to research in social work and the social sciences. Prerequisite: SOWK 5201.

SOWK 5300    Social Science Theory and Philosophy of Science

This foundation doctoral level course introduces traditional issues and recent developments in the philosophy of science, and provides an overview of social science theory and theoretical frameworks. It will examine philosophical questions on scientific inquiry and the consequences modern science imposes on our basic understanding of knowledge and nature. The course analyzes and critiques the social-and-behavioral-science foundations that undergird the social work knowledge base and current social work theories.

SOWK 5301   Social Work Theory in Research and Practice

Examines how theories, conceptual frameworks, perspectives, and models are used specifically within social work research, education, and practice. This course explores how theories are used in research and in social work interventions on individual, family, group, organizational, community, and policy levels. The course analyzes and critiques the social work knowledge base and the current state of social work theories. SOWK 5300 is the pre-requisite for this course.

SOWK 5500   Pedagogy in Social Work Education

Examines philosophies, theories, and pedagogical models that are utilized in social work education. It explores how various perspectives shape the approaches and techniques used and how these, in turn, impact classroom effectiveness and issues of classroom management. The course incorporates concepts and develops skills based on evidence-based teaching.

SOWK 5403    Advanced Social Welfare Policy Analysis

Applies analytical techniques to development of social welfare policy stressing the ability to formulate a policy hypothesis (i.e., a statement, in testable form, of a basic premise undergirding a policy position) and to reach conclusions based on analysis of empirical evidence related to the policy hypothesis.

SOWK 5700    Teaching Practicum

Provides an opportunity to work with a faculty mentor on issues associated with course design, classroom instruction, and student evaluation. Students may register for two sections of 5700 during their program, but a minimum of one section is required.

SOWK 6990   Comprehensive Exam Preparation

This course is for students who have completed all of their coursework, but who are working on their comprehensive examination proposal or comprehensive exam. Students at this point in the program should be focused on completion of their comprehensive exam. Students should enroll in SOWK 6990 through the quarter in which they successfully pass their comprehensive exam. Once students pass their comprehensive exam, they should register under the Continuous Enrollment mechanism (see Continuous Enrollment section below). Course credits for SOWK 6990 do not count toward the required 135 credit hours required for the doctoral degree, but rather are a placeholder to keep the student continuously enrolled until the time when the student meets the requirements for Continuous Enrollment. While tuition is not charged for SOWK 6990, students will be assessed a $4/credit hour technology fee.

SOWK 6991    Independent Study

Students undertake special study in a defined area of interest with faculty consultation. By arrangement. 8 qtr. hrs. maximum.