PhD degree options

The programs of study leading to the PhD in Social Work are designed to prepare students for leadership in social work research, clinical scholarship, and social welfare policy. Students will complete intensive courses in research and theory in a cognate that include coursework outside of the School of Social Work.

Students can select from our traditional research doctoral degree in Social Work or additionally they have the option to enroll in a dual-title or interdisciplinary degree option noted below. Participation in a dual-title or interdisciplinary degree is not required. 

PhD in Social Work

The School's doctoral program leads to the Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD) research degree. The program prepares graduates to assume leadership positions as social work educators, researchers and agency administrators. Known for being the best economic value in terms of money expended and quality of education received, our advanced training program enables graduates to assume positions of leadership in the social work profession locally, regionally, and nationally. Full and part-time program options are available. 

Dual-title PhD in Social Work and Gerontology

The dual-title PhD in Social Work and Gerontology addresses the critical need for social work faculty and researchers trained in geriatrics who can promote evidence‐based practices and serve as role models for future generations of social workers specializing in the field. This program is designed to promote interdisciplinary collaboration as a key element of geriatric social work by providing comprehensive gerontological research, competencies and scholarly skills.

Dual-title PhD in Social Work and Infant Mental Health

The dual-title PhD in Social Work and Infant Mental Health helps students to gain a thorough understanding of research and clinical work with infants and families. It also prepares students as research-informed clinicians or clinically-informed researchers who have a deeper understanding of applied research and the needs of community agencies and practitioners.

Trans-disciplinary PhD in Social Work and Anthropology (SWAN)

SWAN is an innovative trans-disciplinary PhD degree in social work and anthropology. Informed by its location in Detroit, SWAN focuses on urban issues, both national and global, providing training in the skills, content, and theory of both disciplines.