Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Social Work Ph.D.

School of Social Work
College of Education and Human Development
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
School of Social Work 105 Peters Hall 1404 Gortner Avenue St. Paul, MN 55108 (612-625-1220; fax: 612-624-3744)
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 64
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The PhD program in social work prepares students to provide intellectual leadership for the social work profession through advanced levels of scholarship, research, theory development, and policy analysis. Students are expected to acquire skill in research design and statistics and to develop a comprehensive knowledge of social work and social welfare history, theory, and policy. The PhD program does not focus on the development of advanced skills for clinical practice. However, students gain knowledge of practice theory and research related to social work practice. Many graduates assume positions as university faculty. Consequently, the program offers opportunities for students to acquire skills in teaching and curriculum development.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
A master's degree is required.
Special Application Requirements:
Priority application deadline is early January in the appropriate year. Final deadline is early March. Applications received by second deadline will be reviewed and applicants accepted on a space-available basis.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 100
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
28 to 32 credits are required in the major.
8 to 12 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 2 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
The PhD program emphasizes mastery of student and program determined objectives rather than an accumulation of course credits. Degree requirements vary according to the student's background and educational goals. A minimum of 40 credits plus 24 required thesis credits beyond the MSW are required. Required courses include core seminars in social work research, social welfare history, social welfare policy, and theory and model development; a teaching course; a supervised research practicum and practicum seminar (two-semester sequence); supporting program courses (12 credits of supporting program course work is required - eight credits must be taken outside of social work while four credits may be taken in social work); and statistics courses. Students must also have teaching experience in the School of Social Work while in the program. Students are expected to attend PhD Colloquia and research colloquia for at least the first two years of their participation in the program.
Required Courses
SW 8875, Research Practicum, must be taken two semesters for a total of four credits.
SW 8871 - Social Work Research Seminar I (3.0 cr)
SW 8872 - Social Work Research Seminar II (3.0 cr)
SW 8875 - Research Practicum (2.0 cr)
SW 8861 - Theory and Model Development in Social Work (3.0 cr)
SW 8855 - Social Policy Formulation and Analysis (3.0 cr)
SW 8851 - Social Welfare History and Historical Research Methods (3.0 cr)
GRAD 8101 - Teaching in Higher Education (3.0 cr)
Required Statistics Courses
6 credits of graduate level statistics coursework, as approved by the Program Director.
Supporting Program Coursework
Students must take 12 credits of supporting course work in consultation with their advisor. 8 credits must be taken outside of social work while 4 credits may be taken in social work.
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Education and Human Development

View sample plan(s):
· Social Work PhD Sample Plan
View PDF Version:
Search Programs

Search University Catalogs
Related links.

College of Education and Human Development

Graduate Admissions

Graduate School Fellowships

Graduate Assistantships

Colleges and Schools

One Stop
for tuition, course registration, financial aid, academic calendars, and more
SW 8871 - Social Work Research Seminar I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Concepts/methods of social research. Issues in social science, social work research, and knowledge development. Development of research questions. Sampling, measurement, data collection in qualitative/quantitative research. prereq: Soc wk PhD student or instr consent
SW 8872 - Social Work Research Seminar II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Methods/design of quasi-experiments, surveys, descriptive research. Grounded theory. Analysis of quantitative/qualitative data. prereq: 8871 or instr consent
SW 8875 - Research Practicum
Credits: 2.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Experience in conduct of research, following completion of 8871 and 8872. Students work under faculty direction. prereq: Soc wk PhD student or instr consent
SW 8861 - Theory and Model Development in Social Work
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Intervention research methods, contemporary social work practice models. Direct intervention in systems, from individual to community. Theoretical, value, empirical foundations of practice models for intervention research. prereq: Soc wk PhD student or instr consent
SW 8855 - Social Policy Formulation and Analysis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Application of theoretical perspectives, conceptual frameworks, and research methodologies to analysis of social issues and analysis/formulation of social welfare policy. prereq: Soc wk PhD student or instr consent
SW 8851 - Social Welfare History and Historical Research Methods
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Methods of historical research in, and survey of, history/evolution of social welfare/work, using primary/secondary source materials. prereq: Completed research courses for soc work PhD student or [equiv research methods courses, grad student]
GRAD 8101 - Teaching in Higher Education
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Teaching methods/techniques. Active learning, critical thinking, practice teaching, and preparing a portfolio to document/reflect upon teaching. Readings, discussion, peer teaching, e-mail dialog, reflective writing, co-facilitation of course. prereq: Non-Degree Students: contact pffcollege with questions about registration. If adding a section after first class meeting, contact your instructor as soon as you enroll.