PhD Funding


If enrolled in full-time study, the KU School of Social Welfare will guarantee four years of tuition support for students in the Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) program, as long as the student remains in good standing in the program.

In addition, students may perform duties as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) or Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) or a combination of the two, making up a 50% appointment. Students apply for these competitive GRA and GTA opportunities, which will pay a stipend on top of guaranteed tuition. Occasionally, funding may include a higher percentage appointment and/or a fellowship. Many of the GRAs receive funding through one of our research centers or research projects. Students can also apply for competitive fellowships offered outside of KU to support their scholarship.

Research funding opportunities are often available through individual faculty research projects in many areas. Applicants are asked to name their fields of interest to help match student interest with available funding opportunities.

In addition, many of our students take advantage of opportunities to teach as GTAs. These students are carefully mentored and supported to strengthen their teaching approaches and skills.

"KU SSW offers varied research training opportunities with talented researchers backed by solid financial support," said a recent doctoral graduate.

PhD Program Applications for Fall 2024

The next PhD program application opens on Oct. 1, 2023. Applications are due by Jan. 5, 2024. Learn more about how to apply to the PhD program.

Amittia Parker, PhD student, presenting poster at DEI End of the Year Celebration

Toni Johnson Racial Justice Dissertation Award

The Toni Johnson Racial Justice Dissertation Award provides financial support for one or more PhD students engaged in dissertation research pertaining to racial justice.

Learn more

Apply to the PhD Program

We admit a new PhD cohort every other year. The next cohort applications will open Oct. 1, 2023 to Jan. 5, 2024 for a fall 2024 start date.

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.