Social Work Home
phd graduation lunch

Schedule By Year

First Year

During the first year of the PhD program, students prepare for formal candidacy by taking advanced courses in social work policy practice and research, and participating in faculty-directed research projects.

Students will also work with a faculty advisor in identifying an individual program of study that fulfills the PhD program requirements, consistent with your research and professional interests. Your mentor will also encourage you to pursue opportunities for professional and career development that may lie outside the traditional doctoral research experience.

When you have completed a minimum of 16 units (but not more than 24 units) of doctoral course work, the doctoral committee will assess your performance and determine your readiness to continue in the program. If permission is granted, a guidance committee is created.

Toggle
Checklist and Schedule (Y1)

Checklist

  • Establish faculty mentoring relationships
  • Meet your faculty advisor
  • Create an individualized study plan
  • Develop your research area
  • Determine your guidance committee of five faculty members
  • Complete recommended first-year courses
  • Participate in professional and career development workshops, seminars, lectures and conferences

Typical Schedule

Fall (First Semester)

SOWK 760LIntroduction to Social Work Statistics (3)
SOWK 762Social Work Research Methods I (3)

Students must also take two of the three substantive courses

SOWK 702Theories of Human Behavior in the Context of Social Environments (3)
SOWK 703Explanatory Theories for Larger Social Systems (3)
SOWK 733Policy Analysis and Advocacy in a Comparative Social Policy Context (3)

Spring (Second Semester)

SOWK 761LMultiple Regression in Social Work Research (3)
SOWK 763Social Work Research Methods II: Research for Social Work Practice (3)
SOWK 743Theories for Practice with Small Systems (3)
SOWK 744Theories for Practice with Large Systems (3)

Second Year

The second year of the PhD curriculum is largely individualized to meet each student’s educational goals. Coursework is organized around a specific field of social work practice or a problem area, enabling students to gain knowledge of that field’s development and policies; one level of comparative practice theory; comparative explanatory theory; and advanced research methods. Students fulfill the requirement for the mastery of the content of their individualized course of study through a combination of at least three (2-unit) directed tutorials with members of the social work faculty, at least three university courses in other departments and an elective.

Toggle
Checklist and Schedule (Y2)

Checklist

  • Further develop faculty mentoring relationships
  • Fulfill shadow teaching requirement with a faculty member in the PhD department
  • Take courses in other departments or schools within the university
  • Complete course requirements
  • Work on directed research and publications
  • Write papers and present at conferences
  • Develop and submit grant and fellowship applications to fund research
  • Participate in professional and career development workshops, seminars, lectures and conferences

Typical Schedule

Fall (Third Semester)

SOWK 790Faculty Tutorial 1 (2)
SOWK 790Faculty Tutorial 2 (2)
SOWK 764Advanced Multivariate Statistics (3)
Course #1Other Department (3-4)
Elective #1Internal/External (3-4)

Spring (Fourth Semester)

Course #2Other Department (3-4)
Course #3Other Department (3-4)
Elective #2Internal/External Statistics or Research Course (3-4)
SOWK 790Faculty Tutorial 3 (2)

Third Year

As a pre-requisite to candidacy for the PhD degree, students must pass a qualifying examination in their research area, which consists of a written paper of publishable quality and an oral defense. To become eligible, you must complete all core courses, at least six units of tutorials and at least 32 units of coursework in the doctoral program with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. After passing the qualifying exam, students advance to candidacy.

Once you are admitted to candidacy, you can choose your dissertation committee, consisting of three members of the guidance committee, one of whom must be from outside the school. Your dissertation committee will provide consultation in research, approve your dissertation, conduct the final oral examination and recommend you for the PhD degree.

Toggle
Checklist and Schedule (Y3)

Checklist

  • Further develop faculty mentoring relationships
  • Explore dissertation topics
  • Fulfill teaching facilitator requirements with a faculty member in the PhD department
  • Complete your qualifying examination
  • Determine your dissertation committee of three faculty members
  • Work on directed research and publications
  • Write papers and present at conferences
  • Develop and submit grant and fellowship applications to fund research
  • Participate in professional and career development workshops, seminars, lectures and conferences

Typical Schedule

Students who have completed all major course requirements in the program AND are not otherwise enrolled during the semester in which the qualifying examination is to be taken, must enroll in GRSC 800: Studies for Qualifying Examination. The one-unit GRSC 800 course maintains a student’s status as a full-time student in the program.

Fall (Fifth Semester)

GRSC 800Studies for Qualifying Examination (1)

Spring (Sixth Semester)

GRSC 800Studies for Qualifying Examination (1)

Fourth Year

The writing and successful defense of the dissertation is the final eligibility requirement for the PhD degree. Students are judged on the basis of their potential for independent scholarship and on the soundness of their work and its contribution to the chosen field of study. Dissertation planning begins earlier in the program, but becomes more focused at this stage.

The first step in the dissertation process is the development of a dissertation proposal, which should be completed in the first semester after passing the qualifying exam. Normally about 25-30 pages, the proposal should contain a clear statement of purpose, a rationale for the research, research questions or hypotheses, a review of pertinent literature and an explanation of the research methods to be used including the design, instrumentation, sampling procedures and plan for analysis.

Upon approval of the final draft of the dissertation by all members of the dissertation committee, the candidate must pass a general final oral examination. When the dissertation committee has certified the student has passed the defense, it recommends the candidate for the PhD degree.

Toggle
Checklist and Schedule (Y4)

Checklist

  • Further develop faculty mentoring relationships
  • Complete dissertation proposal
  • Work toward completing dissertation
  • Fulfill teaching requirements
  • Conduct job search
  • Work on directed research and publications
  • Write papers and present at conferences
  • Develop and submit grant and fellowship applications to fund research
  • Participate in professional and career development workshops, seminars, lectures and conferences

Typical Schedule

Students who have passed the qualifying examination must enroll in the SOWK 794 dissertation course, which maintains a student’s full-time status in the program.

Fall (Seventh Semester)

SOWK 794aDoctoral Dissertation (2)

Spring (Eighth Semester)

SOWK 794bDoctoral Dissertation (2)