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Doctoral students are engaged in extensive academic and professional training through a focused offering of courses and a mentored research practicum. Our program requirements and degree timeline contain additional information.

Students in the classroom
Research Training

Program Requirements

To be eligible for the doctoral degree, students must satisfy the following criteria, in succession:

  1. Coursework. Students must complete 48 credits of doctoral coursework with a grade point average of at least 3.0. These 48 credits include the core curriculum, which consists of 12 required courses; four electives; and four semesters of the mentored research practicum. For their first two years, full-time students typically enroll in four courses in the fall and spring semesters, in addition to completing approximately 20 hours per week of research assistance for the research practicum.
  2. Comprehensive integrative exam. Following completion of the core curriculum, in order to enter candidacy, students must pass a comprehensive written examination.
  3. Candidacy. Students must successfully defend a dissertation proposal within three years of finishing coursework and complete their dissertation no later than seven years after initial enrollment in the program. Learn more about the candidacy process.

Candidates for the PhD degree in social work must maintain continuous enrollment.

Note: The doctoral program does not prepare students for advanced practice in clinical social work or for licensure for social work practice in New York State. Students licensed as an LMSW or LCSW by the New York State Education Department may practice according to the guidelines of their particular license. Unlicensed students may not provide professional services in New York State unless otherwise authorized by state law.

PhD Timeline