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Ph.D. in Social Work

Degree Requirements

Doctoral program requires an enrollment of 54 credit hours, as follows:

  • 27 credit hours of required coursework
  • 9 credit hours of electives
  • A qualifying paper
  • A comprehensive examination process
  • Completion of a dissertation

The curriculum is designed to provide standard core content for all students and also to give flexibility for students to develop particular expertise in chosen areas of inquiry and research methods. Required social work doctoral courses provide a common base of knowledge and skills. Electives, the Qualifying Paper, the oral comprehensive exam, and the dissertation allow greater focus and specialization. The cumulative effect of coursework and the Qualifying Paper should be to create a clear area of specialization or emphasis. The dissertation involves detailed scholarly investigation within this area. Students are not required to use the same or similar topic and methodology developed in the Qualifying Paper for the dissertation. However, doing so is the most efficient way to proceed through the program.

It is realistic to expect that the PhD Program can be completed in 4 years. Incoming students with GRA or GTA appointments of 50% or more may take a maximum of two courses (SW 978 and SW 980) in the first semester, and are highly encouraged to take only two core courses (SW 979 and SW 981) in the second, spring semester. Students must plan carefully with their enrollment advisor, because core courses are offered only once per year. The following section depicts the recommended schedule for completion of the program.

Curriculum

Recommended completion schedule for all students with GRA or GTA appointments of 50% or more, which is Full Time for KU purposes.

TAB: Year 1

Fall

Spring

Summer

One Elective (3 hours)

TAB: Year 2

Fall

Spring

One Elective (3 hours)

Summer

Begin work on Qualifying Paper

One Elective (3 hours)

TAB: Year 3

Fall

Submit Qualifying Paper for grading

Form Dissertation Committee

Enroll in Research Hours as needed

Spring

Defend Dissertation Proposal (Oral Comprehensive Exam)

Summer

Begin or continue Dissertation, and complete in spring or summer of Year 4

NOTE:  Variations in the above recommended schedule can be made with approval of the Program Director. For example, due to employment or other obligations, some students take as few as one course in some semesters. These students need to assess their plan to graduation carefully. Other students may have less than 50% GRA or GTA appointments, and could take 3 courses in the first year, with approval.


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Questions?

Ashley Anguiano Gomez
Recruitment Coordinator
Twente Hall Room 101
785-864-4768
Send an email