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Social Welfare



The Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare is guided by the past achievements and future aspirations of the human services professions. On one hand, we remain committed to social work's historic role in developing effective change strategies at the individual, agency, community, national, and international levels. On the other hand, the Program strives to produce scholars who are expert in using research to answer leading edge, practice-relevant questions of the future. As a result, our graduates successfully compete for academic positions in public and private universities and occupy influential positions in social service agencies and foundations. Read recent news from our faculty, students, and alumni.


The Program's unique emphasis on answering research questions that arise from the world of practice, promoting the research skill repertoire of students, and linking classroom work to the complex challenges of practice are only part of our rich tradition. The program does not privilege any particular research methodology or approach. Instead, we offer courses in both quantitative and qualitative methods and analysis and encourage students to deepen their research skills through elective courses in advanced and mixed methods.


Our faculty members are experts in a wide range of social problem areas such as child welfare, aging, public education, entitlement services, criminal justice, health care, and mental health. Faculty and students are fully engaged in the policy and practice issues of the day, and student scholarship explores social welfare concerns that emerge from their own experiences in the field. Within this shared devotion to enquiry and social problem solving, our faculty is committed to mentoring students in all aspects of the craft of social research.