Graduate Programs

Ph.D. Program Overview


social work phd students

The Ph.D. Program in social work at Colorado State University is designed to train students to improve the art and science of social work by generating, disseminating, and conserving the knowledge that informs and transforms professional practice and social policy. CSU's program is also part of the WICHE/Western Regional Graduate Program exchange.

Read more about our 2017 School of Social Work doctoral graduates.


Program Design

Each student works closely with their advisor and graduate committee to develop their own learning agenda and dissertation proposal. The student’s background, experience, personal schedule, and learning goals are considered when developing the program of study.


As full members of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE), the School of Social Work believes 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).