Graduate Programs

Ph.D. Program Overview

Colorado State University School of Social Work PhD Program


The School of Social Work offers a doctoral degree in Social Work. Our primary objective is to prepare practicing MSW social workers for a career in academia or research. The degree is a doctor of philosophy (PhD) and is the only PhD program at a public university in an eight state region. The Program is listed as part of the WICHE/WRPG Program. For applicants who live in the Western Region of the United States, please see "Paying for School" for more information.

Read about our 2017 School of Social Work doctoral graduates highlighted in our campus news feed, Source.

The School of Social Work is a full member of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE.) As in the case with PhD education in other fields and disciplines, the purpose of the PhD in social work is to prepare students to be scholars who function as “stewards of the discipline.” The Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate articulated that a steward of the discipline is one who generates and critically evaluates new knowledge, conserves the most important ideas and findings that are the legacy of the discipline, understands how knowledge is transforming the discipline and the larger world, and communicates their knowledge responsibly to others (Walker et al., 2008). Thus, PhD-trained social work scholars improve the art and science of the social work by generating, disseminating, and conserving the knowledge that informs and transforms professional Practice.