Ph.D. Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any prerequisites?

A Master's degree in social work (MSW) or an allied discipline from an accredited institution is required. We will give preference to applicants who have an MSW. Further preference will be given to applicants who have an MSW and at least 2 full years of post-MSW professional practice experience. In addition, you must have taken a basic statistics course within the last two years prior to the beginning of your first term. The purpose of this requirement is to reacquaint you with the language used in research and statistics prior to beginning your PhD program.

How many courses will I take each semester?

Your schedule will depend on the availability of courses and your own needs and constraints. There is no minimum or maximum course load for each semester. Generally, the most a student will take is 9 credit hours per semester and the average tends to be 6 credits per semester.

How long will it take to complete my PhD?

There is no standard time frame in which students complete their PhDs. The quickest it has been done is 3.5 years, but 5 years is more typical. You have up to ten years to complete the degree.

Do I need to have my research topic chosen before I begin the program?

No, you will have the opportunity to choose a topic with the help of coursework, literature review, and consultation with faculty members.

Is there funding available?

There is potential funding depending on several variables. There may be graduate assistant positions available through grants written by faculty members. In addition, the School of Social Work will offer one to two graduate assistantship positions. The application process will be highly competitive and will begin in the Spring. The application form for the graduate assistantship is available on the website under the “Forms for Current Students” tab.

How many students are accepted each year?

The program accepts under a cohort model. Between 5‐7 students will be accepted for the Fall semester of even numbered years.

Is there a possibility to complete my degree online?

At this time the Social Work PhD courses are only available in‐person, on‐campus. There is a possibility that some Research courses and Electives may be taken online. It is expected that you will be able to attend courses on CSU’s campus.