First Year

During the first year of the PhD program, students prepare for formal candidacy by taking advanced courses in social work policy practice and research and participating in faculty-directed research projects. Students will also work with a faculty advisor in identifying an individual program of study that fulfills the PhD program requirements, consistent with your research and professional interests. Your mentor will also encourage you to pursue opportunities for professional and career development that may lie outside the traditional doctoral research experience.

When you have completed a minimum of 16 units (but not more than 24 units) of doctoral course work, the doctoral committee will assess your performance and determine your readiness to continue in the program. If permission is granted, a guidance committee is created.

First-Year Checklist

  • Establish faculty mentoring relationships
  • Meet your faculty advisor
  • Create an individualized study plan
  • Develop your research area
  • Determine your guidance committee of five faculty members
  • Complete recommended first-year courses
  • Participate in professional and career development workshops, seminars, lectures and conferences

Typical First-Year Schedule

Fall (First Semester)

SOWK 760L Introduction to Social Work Statistics (3)
SOWK 762 Social Work Research Methods I (3)

Students must also take two of the three substantive courses

SOWK 702 Theories of Human Behavior in the Context of Social Environments (3)
SOWK 703 Explanatory Theories for Larger Social Systems (3)
SOWK 733 Policy Analysis and Advocacy in a Comparative Social Policy Context (3)

Spring (Second Semester)

SOWK 761L Multiple Regression in Social Work Research (3)
SOWK 763 Social Work Research Methods II: Research for Social Work Practice (3)
SOWK 743 Theories for Practice with Small Systems (3)
SOWK 744 Theories for Practice with Large Systems (3)