Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD Student poster presentation at SSWR Conference


PhD students at the KU School of Social Welfare graduate with the critical knowledge and skills they need to become innovative stewards of the discipline. They generate and disseminate knowledge as researchers, scholars and educators.

Get Started

Ready to pursue your doctoral degree in social work at KU? Request a PhD program guide.

PhD Application Timeline

We admit a new social work PhD cohort every other year. Applications for the fall 2024 cohort closed in January 2024. The application for the fall 2026 cohort will open in October 2025.
PhD students and faculty at SSWR conference poster presentation

PhD Degree Requirements

Through a rigorous curriculum, real-world research experience, and individualized mentoring by world-renowned scholars, KUSSW Doctoral Program graduates develop the knowledge and skills to drive discovery and advance the field of social work. 

PhD Curriculum
PhD Student presentation at End of Year DEI Celebration

PhD Student Funding  

Full-time doctoral students are guaranteed four years of tuition support, as long as the student remains in good standing in the program.

PhD Funding

Support for a Successful Journey

PhD Students at end of year DEI celebration

Individualized Support

One-on-one faculty mentoring and support throughout the program.
Faculty and PhD student presentation

Added Value Opportunities

Students engaged in research, active PhD Student group, numerous opportunities to provide input and help shape and improve school policies and procedures.
End of the year DEI celebration

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

DEI Council, RISE, more than 100 events with specific focus on social justice topics, annual DEI end of the year celebrations, culture that acknowledges, supports, and honors diversity.

Study Social Work at KU

KU's School of Social Welfare offers social work degree programs at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels: BSW, MSW, DSW and PhD. Learn more.