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Ph.D. Program Components #

Five major curriculum components comprise the structure of the Ph.D. program. These components are designed-both individually and as a strategically integrated course of study-to challenge and extend the knowledge and skills of doctoral students to the highest level.

  1. 1

    Core Social Work Courses:

    Exploration and critical assessment of current knowledge and values

  2. 2

    External Minor:

    Intensive and focused study through an academic discipline other than social work

  3. 3


    Courses: Designed to build a mastery of quantitative and qualitative methods, measurement, and statistics Internship: Investigation of viable research questions, typically tied to a faculty or community research project

  4. 4

    Qualifying Exam process:

    Assessment of the student's ability to analyze and apply material from doctoral coursework to a student chosen topic in the form of a paper and an article critique

  5. 5


    The design, implementation and completion of an independent empirical study that extends the knowledge base of the social work profession

The strong interdisciplinary thrust of the PhD program is supported and guided by an advisory committee for each candidate’s course of study, composed of faculty and researchers from throughout the University whose intellectual and research interests parallel those of the student.

Doctoral students help staff research projects, participate with faculty in grant proposal preparation, and co-author scholarly publications. They are involved in projects that are improving the quality of human services in Indiana and beyond. In turn, research grants help provide financial support for doctoral students, and faculty engaged in research provide the ideal mentors for doctoral students. The rate of publications and conference presentations by the School’s faculty has increased, many with doctoral student co-authors. The IU School of Social Work is committed to producing the finest, most thoroughly prepared social work leaders who will make significant contributions to the field.