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PhD Program in Social Work

The mission of the Jane Addams College of Social Work is to educate professional social workers, develop knowledge, and provide leadership in the development and implementation of policies and services on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, racial and ethnic minorities, and other at-risk urban populations. Consistent with this mission and Jane Addams' Hull House tradition, the PhD Program in Social Work attempts to respond to the urgent demand for more effective human services, the need for changes in social policy and the growth in social work education at all levels.

The program is designed to support the development of scholars of social and economic justice, providing students with the knowledge and skills for advancing social work treatment theory and research and for development and direction of social welfare programs. It provides for two broad research tracks: social planning, policy and administration, and social work practice scholarship within which a more specialized area of individualized study is selected.  

The first cohort of students enrolled in 1973 and more than 120 persons have been awarded doctoral degrees since then. Most graduates of the program either teach in colleges and universities or hold positions as agency executives. Smaller numbers are working in research positions, with a very few in direct practice. Students are prepared for leadership in one or more of the following careers:

  • Teaching in colleges or universities
  • Conducting and directing research
  • Administrating large-scale social welfare programs
  • Analyzing and advising on social policy