PhD Program

The University of Alabama's Social Work PhD program prepares social work scholars who develop and disseminate knowledge. As with other members of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE), our PhD program focuses on preparing scholars, researchers, and educators who will function as stewards of the discipline. 

Specific goals of the PhD Program:

  • To provide a rich, supportive environment that enables a diverse group of students to pursue and attain their academic and professional goals. 
  • To prepare social work scholars committed to social justice, advocacy, the social work profession, and those the profession serves. 
  • To equip students to produce quality research and engaged scholarship that effects meaningful change. 
  • To prepare students to translate research for use by relevant stakeholders. 
  • To prepare our graduates to be successful educators of future social workers. 

The PhD Program builds on a base of professional knowledge and practice in social work. In addition to a rigorous grounding in research, the program offers students the opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of a selected area of focus and, through the dissertation, to contribute to knowledge development in that area. 

Students are provided with in-depth study of research methodologies and methods supporting skill development necessary for the design of scientific investigations, data collection, management, and analysis, along with writing for publication. The PhD Program includes a strong research methods curriculum. In addition, students take substantive courses in theory and other topics and elective courses. As soon as they enter the program students begin working with the Program Director for program planning and guidance. PhD students select advisors to guide their professional development and dissertation research typically by the end of the first year of the program with the first year devoted to getting to know faculty.

Obtaining Information

Inquiries about the program should be to: The University of Alabama School of Social Work, PhD Program Office, Box 870314, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0314; telephone 205-348-0798;