Students In Research

Students have the opportunity to be highly-involved in research at the KU School of Social Welfare. Find more resources about students in research below.

MSW Research Scholars

Work closely with a faculty member or researcher to learn about the research process and to enhance critical thinking about social problems and their solutions. MSW research scholars typically work on research for both the fall and spring semesters and are awarded a $2,000 tuition stipend. 


BSW Research Courses

SW 540. Introduction to Social Work Research

This course provides students with the basic concepts of research processes and methods utilized in addressing social work problems. It will cover quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research but emphasize quantitative methods. Students will learn various aspects of research, including reviewing the literature, formulating a research problem and research question, conceptualizing the research, constructing measurement instruments, understanding measurement reliability and validity, sampling, and various research designs such as survey and experimental (pre-, pure-, and quasi-) designs. Students will become familiar with social work research ethics and will recognize the importance of sensitivity to diversity, oppression, and marginalization through each of the research processes. After understanding the basic concepts and processes of research, students will be able to read and critically analyze empirical research articles with an eye towards evidence-based social work practice. Prerequisite: Must be admitted to the School of Social Welfare. MATH 101 or LA&S 108; a grade of B or better in SW 220.

MSW Research Courses

SW 740. Applied Research in Multi-Level Social Work

This generalist research course introduces MSW students to fundamental concepts in social work research to support empirically-informed practice. In keeping with the mission of the school, this course emphasizes research knowledge and skills necessary for effective social work practice that advances personal and collective strengths and resources, honours human diversity, promotes empowerment and justice, and reflects critical and creative thinking. We continually transform practice and policy across multiple systems by translating and applying evidence. This course contributes to the overall generalist preparation of the student for advanced professional practice by providing skills necessary for critical thinking and the continual improvement of practice and policy approaches. This course also strengthens students' capacity for evaluating practice-informed research and research-informed practice. Understanding how knowledge is generated, what standards apply, and how translation occurs is critical to professional practice. Thus, students come to appreciate the accumulation and integration of knowledge for use in practice, the need to critically examine what they are being taught, the gaps in the current knowledge base, and the demand for future knowledge development. Prerequisite: Must be admitted to the School of Social Welfare.

Upcoming Student-Focused Research Events