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Graduate: Social Welfare

  • Program Overview

    The Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare

    The primary purpose of the Ph.D. program is to produce scholars who can use systematic methods to develop through research, and disseminate through teaching and writing, knowledge concerning social welfare problems and policies.

    Drawing upon the social, behavioral and health sciences as well as social work knowledge and experience, the graduates of this program will have the skills to expand the base of tested knowledge that can guide the profession of social work in its efforts to address major social problems.

    A second purpose is to develop leaders and educators who can effectively contribute to contemporary social work practice as defined in this school’s mission statement, which can be found at:

    The core of this program is education for scholarly research leading to careers as teachers, researchers, and policy analysts with a focus on the content areas of health, mental health, and substance abuse. The strength of such a program lies in its location within the Health Sciences Center. This is a natural setting in which to bring together the basic sciences and theoretical disciplines in applied policy/program analysis and thereby contribute to research in the social dimensions of health and mental health.

    Program Structure and Content
    The structure of this program consists of 12 required classroom courses (36 credits) as follows:

    Statistics I and II

    Research Methods I and II

    Qualitative Research

    Social Welfare Policy Analysis I and II

    Social Welfare Administration

    Knowledge Building in Social Work: The Philosophy of Applied Social Research

    Social Science Theory for Social Welfare

    Seminar and Teaching Practicum in Social Work Education

    Dissertation Seminar I and II

    Also required are three electives (9 credits), a research practicum of 10 hours per week for two semesters under mentorship (6 credits), a comprehensive exam and the production and defense of a scholarly dissertation. Fifty four credits are required for graduation. In the first three years, students take three courses each semester. The full-time program is designed to be completed in a minimum of four years.

    Once all coursework and the comprehensive exam have been completed successfully, students select a preliminary dissertation chair and committee and develop an approved dissertation proposal. The student is then advanced to candidacy and begins dissertation research. The fourth year is spent on completion of the dissertation and defense.

    The Part-Time Option
    Students who are approved for the part-time option take a minimum of six credits each semester until the 54 credit sequence has been completed. However, in order to meet residence requirements, they must take nine credits in each of two consecutive semesters during the program. Part-time students take their comprehensive exam at the end of the semester when 36 credits of required course work are completed (usually the second semester of the third year). Once all coursework and the comprehensive exam are completed successfully, part-time students select a dissertation chair and committee. In the fourth year, they develop an approved dissertation proposal. They are then advanced to candidacy. Dissertation research begins in the fifth year.

  • Admissions

    Admission requirements of the Social Welfare Department

    Admissions of new students is currently suspended. 

  • Degree Requirements

    Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Social Welfare

    A) One year in residence

    B) Satisfactory completion of all required and elective courses (54 credits)

    C) Satisfactory completion of research and teaching practicum

    D) Satisfactory performance on the comprehensive qualifying exams

    E) Advancement to candidacy by vote of the doctoral committee upon successful completion of all course work and the comprehensive exam

    F) Completion of a dissertation

    G) Successful defense of the dissertation

    A program summary booklet is available describing the Ph.D. program in detail, its curriculum and requirements for admission. To receive a copy of this booklet , contact the School of Social Welfare’s Ph.D. program office in writing or by telephone at (631) 444-2138.

  • Facilities
  • Faculty
  • Contact

    Social Welfare Department

    Jacqueline B . Mondros, Health Sciences Center, Level 2, Room 093 (631) 444-2139

    Doctoral Program Director and Interim Chair
    Iris C. Fineberg, Health Sciences Center, Level 2, Room 093 (631) 444-3146

    Doctoral Program Coordinator
    Jamie Weissbach, Health Sciences Center, Level 2, Room 089 (631) 444-3146

    Degree Awarded
    Ph.D. in Social Welfare

     Health Sciences Center Bulletin


    Admission of new students is currently suspended.