PhD in Social Work, Social Work PhD Programs, PhD Programs in Social Work

The PhD in Social Work is a higher academic degree for social workers who wish to further their careers. As a PhD candidate you will gain experience at the doctoral level in education, training in advanced practice, teaching, supervision or research. Whether you are interested in becoming a more qualified social worker at the practical level or wish to pursue research, a PhD provides you with the necessary tools to enhance your professional career.  The degree typically leads to more leadership roles in academic teaching and research or in social work.  You can influence important policy developments at local or international levels with a doctorate degree.  As a social worker you strive to serve people who have multiple or complex needs.  With a PhD in Social Work, you will undoubtedly be instrumental in furthering social policy for delivering necessary health and human services.  Social work takes a variety of people and resources to create positive life change. Social workers help others view problems from all sides to overcome adversity.  Promoting social work education is a way for socially conscious people to make a significant difference in the world through service and leadership.  A social worker’s success is often defined by the opportunities people enjoy thanks to their intervention. Social workers champion access, equality and fairness.  The social work profession was established more than 100 years ago to provide as many people as possible with the tools and support they need to overcome adversity, such as poverty, illness, addiction, abuse, discrimination, etc. and reach their full potential. The profession also works to modernize current systems and customs that limit the ability of individuals and groups who may be vulnerable and assists them in leading fulfilling and productive lives.

The curriculum in doctoral programs strongly emphasizes social problem areas such as, research methodology, and social policy courses. The overall goal is to integrate the acquisition of basic knowledge, methods of empirical testing, and application to real-world situations. As well, students will be provided with advanced research skills related to their chosen area of social problem specialization.  Course materials concentrate on several priority areas of social work concern, including aging, women’s issues, family policy, mental health, income maintenance, and issues related to diverse populations. Students in the PhD program are primarily involved in essential areas of study, such as social welfare, social science theory, research methods, and social policy. These core courses are provided by the doctoral program. A social work doctorate program prepares students for research-oriented academic roles in social work that contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.

Program graduates will be able to conduct research and analysis relevant to social work practice and policy for a specific service population.  Dissemination of such knowledge to researchers, educators, social work practitioners, and policy makers helps to pave the way to policy reform for the betterment of social work as a whole. Professionals with a PhD in Social work are often sought out to speak at national as well as international conferences in order to share experiences related to the common goals of social work – to effect positive change for the future.

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