...because people deserve lives with dignity™

Ph.D. in Social Work

The goal of the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare doctoral program is to prepare students to become leaders nationally and internationally in advancing social work practice and policy through research, teaching and scholarship. Our students graduate from the program with the critical knowledge and skills they need to become innovative stewards of the discipline who generate and disseminate knowledge as researchers, scholars and educators.

Program Highlights

  • Work with highly productive, nationally and internationally renowned faculty with expertise in aging, child welfare, child mental health, adult mental health, corrections, juvenile justice, spirituality, diversity and poverty. Our doctoral faculty have national and international reputations in their fields. Faculty grants grants for research and training in these topic areas exceed $6 million annually.
  • Gain critical methodological, pedagogical and research skills and expertise through funded appointments as graduate research and teaching assistants and high quality doctoral courses. The curriculum is designed to provide core training in research methodology, theory, policy and teaching pedagogy. In combination with funded appointments, students develop expertise in their chosen areas of inquiry and research methods.
  • Experience on-going mentoring from faculty to assist in navigating the program's milestones (coursework, qualifying paper, dissertation, job search), networking with leaders in the field, publishing in high impact peer-reviewed journals, and presenting at national and international conferences. Current Ph.D. in social work students report that faculty accessibility and interest in doctoral students is very high and particularly comment the high quality of the faculty-student mentoring relationship.

2017-18 Doctoral Candidates Seeking Fall Appointments



Becky Hofer
Director of Graduate Admissions

Margaret Severson
PhD Program Director

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