The PhD program produces scholars who work interdisciplinarily through epistemologically diverse, research-intensive study and prepares future social work educators through instruction in sound pedagogical practice and mentored experiential learning.

Degree Type: Doctoral

Degree Program Code: PHD_SOWK

Degree Program Summary:

The University of Georgia PhD Program in Social Work provides the professional social worker the opportunity to gain advanced training in scientific research and program evaluation skills, for the purposes of developing knowledge that promotes social justice. The mission of the PhD Program draws upon two important areas of concern to the profession of social work: evidence-based knowledge about human behavior and social problems, and the applications of such knowledge through practice. Recognizing that MSW education is designed to prepare practitioners for our field, the emphasis of the PhD Program is upon the development and dissemination of evidence-based knowledge to undergird effective practice throughout the profession.

The Ph.D. Program at the UGA School of Social Work began in 1990 and has produced over 90 graduates, most of whom have gone on to assume academic, research or administrative positions. The program prepares social work professionals for careers in academic research settings and for practice in program evaluation and other forms of scientific research in the public and private sectors. The overall goals are to help students acquire the research skills necessary to develop original research studies that have direct applications to social work practice. In addition, we emphasize learning about teaching so that our graduates are able to provide quality instruction to the next generation of social work students.


The Ph.D. curriculum is a series of required research courses, two research practica, other courses in the School of Social Work, three courses in statistics and advised cognates taken outside the School. Ph.D. students also sign up for course hours that match the following events: Comprehensive Examinations, Prospectus Defense, and Dissertation Defense. While there has been great variance in the length of time needed to finish the program, future full-time students should plan to complete the Ph.D. Program in 3-4 years. We also offer a part-time option that uses individual advisement to plan the student’s program of study.

Locations Offered:

Athens (Main Campus)

College / School:

School of Social Work

279 Williams Street
Athens, GA 30602


Graduate Coordinator(s):

View Degree Program Website

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