Students can access the current semester's courses via the Dynamic Class Schedule on CUNYfirst.

Required Courses Descriptions

Knowledge Building in Social Welfare (SSW 70000)
This course brings students to an advanced level of understanding issues in social work research. The course covers the nature of empirical knowledge, critical thinking, and the ontology, epistemology and, methodology of various research approaches. Presentations by doctoral faculty members and Ph.D. candidates will illustrate methodological pluralism as closely linked to decision making about methods researchers employ in actual studies. Students will consider the philosophical context and ethical issues in social work research; problem/issue formulation, and the elements of a well-conceptualized, comprehensive, and critical review of the literature that organizes existing knowledge related to a problem/issue of interest. 

Social Welfare Policy and Planning I. (SSW 71000)
In this course, students develop an advanced capacity to analyze and think critically about social welfare policy though exposure to ideological frameworks, economic concepts, and political theory. The course then looks at the impact of social welfare policy (tax, spending, etc.) on service delivery and agency practice. Racism, sexism, heterosexism and decision making power are examined as analytic variables rather than descriptors and applied to explore disparities within social welfare program as well as differential welfare state outcomes. The frameworks presented provide students with the skills and knowledge to analyze the impact of changes in social welfare policy on individual, families and communities; to contextualize social work practice and to advocate for social change.

Social Welfare Policy and Planning II. (SSW71100)
Inequality of access to society’s resources, rewards, and privileges based on the often intersecting socially defined categories of race/ethnicity, gender, immigration status, sexual orientation/identity, class, and disability is a prominent and persistent feature of social arrangements in the United States. These inequalities and the societal values, norms, ideologies, and economic arrangements that underpin them have had a pervasive and powerful influence on social policy across all spheres of social functioning throughout the nation’s history. This course considers the relationship between US social policy and social inequality based on the above-described socially defined categories. More specifically, it gives a platform for students in their advanced capacity as a social policy analyst to critically examine the extent to which US social policies and their underpinning factors impose and/or supports social inequality to the detriment of the affected in areas such as the economy, health care, housing, immigration, criminal justice, education, and the labor market.

Methods of Quantitative Research (SSW 75100)
The course introduces knowledge and skills needed to design and carry out research that addresses social needs, problems, and social work interventions using quantitative research designs. The course focuses on problem formulation, developing research questions and hypotheses, conceptualizing phenomena, basic sampling, survey research, and pre-experimental, quasi-experimental, and experimental designs. The course will address the strengths and limitations of quantitative research designs and various sampling techniques. The focus is on the logic and design of such studies rather than on data analysis methods addressed in other courses in the program.

Methods of Qualitative Research I. (SSW 77000)
The purpose of this course is to introduce doctoral students to the field of qualitative research and prepare them in the skills, techniques, and knowledge necessary to undertake independent research using this methodology. The course focuses on five qualitative research perspectives: narrative, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case studies. These methods are valuable for collecting rich textured data; discovering themes and categories from textual data; and developing mid-range theories that explain how people experience and work through various problems. This course aims to familiarize students with the different ways of knowing and doing qualitative research on a more advanced level, culminating in the written and oral presentation of a qualitative research proposal.

Methods of Data Analysis (SSW 76000)
This course introduces concepts and provides experiences that enable students to gain a solid understanding of statistical procedures. The goal is to enable students to conduct univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistical analysis of data. This is a course in basic statistical methods used throughout social sciences. It will cover both descriptive and inferential statistics. Class sessions combine lecture and in-class exercises. The statistical computing package used for the course is an open source program called “R.” SPSS or SAS is often used for courses like this one. Major benefits of “R” are that it is free and versatile. Having one free software that does it all, rather than needing many types of expensive software to accomplish the same task, makes it an obvious choice. The course also introduces different software packages throughout, so student become accustomed to reading different formats of the same thing.

Advanced Statistics (SSW 76100)
This is the second statistics course in a two-course sequence. The major content of the course will have to do with a set of statistical models called analysis of variance (ANOVA) and regression. These models are used frequently in all of the social sciences, including social work, education, and psychology. They are also used by public health researchers and others interested in trying to determine if a dependent variable is a function of one or more independent variables. Thus, the course covers material that those interested in quantitative research should find extremely useful. The course may also provide an introduction to some of the more popular, cutting edge techniques used in social science today, such as multilevel modeling, mediation, moderation, structural equation modeling and path analysis.

Program Design and Administration (SSW 70000) 
Social work is largely an organization-based profession. Policy mandates and practice innovations are implemented most often by and through organizations. The capacity to analyze organizations and organization environmental forces as they impact on service implementation and innovation is a critical skill for those seeking to develop knowledge for social work practice. This course aims to assure that students have mastery of the key streams of organization theory and their application in human service organizations. It focuses on the major schools of organization theory and their utility in understanding the functioning and dynamics of human service organizations.

Dissertation Seminar (89900)
The Dissertation Seminar supports Level 2 students in their submission of the Second Examination and prepares them for the next steps in their progress towards degree completion during Level 3. This includes issues in forming a dissertation committee, writing a dissertation proposal, submitting an IRB/HRRP application, and developing a realistic time line for completion of the dissertation. It includes professional development activities, including how to write an effective CV, preparing abstracts for conference presentations and papers, writing articles for publication, securing dissertation and other funding, navigating the job market for academic and non-academic employment, pilot research, and other undertakings to maximize the student’s post-graduation experience.

Dissertation Supervision (90000) By Advisor