Degree Requirements & Curriculum


PhD Classroom

Degree Requirements

Doctoral program requires an enrollment of 64 credit hours, as follows:

  • 31 credit hours of required coursework
  • 15 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, 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.

Curriculum

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

Fall

  • SW 911 PhD Seminar I
  • SW 978 Research Design and Methods
  • SW 980 History and Philosophy of Social Work
  • SW 981 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods I

Spring

  • SW 911 PhD Seminar I
  • SW 985 Theory for Research: _____
  • SW 979 Methods of Qualitative Inquiry I
  • SW 983 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods II

Fall

  • SW 912 PhD Seminar II
  • SW 975 Racial Equity & Social Justice in Research
  • SW 982 Social Welfare Policy
  • SW 989 Methods of Qualitative Inquiry II
  •  
  •  

Spring

  • SW 912 PhD Seminar II
  • SW 976 The Practice & Politics of Writing
  • SW 987 Teaching Social Work: Philosophy and Methods
  • Elective (3 hours)

Fall

  • One Elective (in or out of SSW) (3 hours)*
  • One Elective (3 hours)*
  • SW 990 Graduate Research

Spring

  • SW 990 Graduate Research

*Electives can also be taken during summer semesters.

Fall

  • SW 999 Dissertation

Spring

  • SW 999 Dissertation

Students typically enroll in 6-9 hours of SW 999 each semester through completion of Dissertation. 

Fall

  • SW 911 PhD Seminar I
  • SW 978 Research Design and Methods
  • SW 980 History and Philosophy of Social Work
  • SW 981 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods I

Spring

  • SW 911 PhD Seminar I
  • SW 985 Theory for Research: _____
  • SW 979 Methods of Qualitative Inquiry I
  • SW 983 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods II

Fall

  • SW 912 PhD Seminar II
  • SW 975 Racial Equity & Social Justice in Research
  • SW 982 Social Welfare Policy
  • SW 989 Methods of Qualitative Inquiry II
  •  
  •  

Spring

  • SW 912 PhD Seminar II
  • SW 976 The Practice & Politics of Writing
  • SW 987 Teaching Social Work: Philosophy and Methods
  • Elective (3 hours)

Fall

  • One Elective (in or out of SSW) (3 hours)*
  • One Elective (3 hours)*
  • SW 990 Graduate Research

Spring

  • SW 990 Graduate Research

*Electives can also be taken during summer semesters.

Fall

  • SW 999 Dissertation

Spring

  • SW 999 Dissertation

Students typically enroll in 6-9 hours of SW 999 each semester through completion of Dissertation. 

NOTE: Currently, the School of Social Welfare does not provide fully online undergraduate or graduate degree options. In response to the pandemic-related needs of students and instructors, a portion of our courses (i.e., all required courses and many, but not all, of our electives and mini courses) have been made available in synchronous, online format (i.e., through Zoom). Enrollment in these online courses is limited and prioritized to students with health concerns. 

The continued availability of these online courses is regularly evaluated, considering the severity of the pandemic and university guidelines. To facilitate student planning, the School has committed to maintain these limited online offerings through the 2022-2023 academic year. As circumstances change, their availability beyond the 2022-2023 academic year cannot be assured. 




PhD Program Director