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Doctoral Curriculum

The Ph.D. in Social Work degree program at UNC-Chapel Hill is designed to produce graduates who are capable of building and testing explanatory and practice theory to guide social interventions in social work. It includes thorough training in research methodology and data analysis for addressing both basic and applied research questions. It is not designed to add to clinical or practice skills.

Doctoral students define a specialized area of study that focuses their assignments and guides their research experiences. We anticipate that UNC School of Social Work doctoral graduates will pursue careers involving scholarly activity and both basic and applied research in either academic, research, or policy settings.

Curriculum Overview

Doctoral students at UNC School of Social Work follow a Student Educational Plan that outlines all program requirements and guidelines, along with a recommended course sequence. The plan includes a teaching practicum, a research practicum, and several courses taken outside the School of Social Work.

Students must complete 45 credit hours before advancing to candidacy. After the fourth semester, students may choose additional courses that are needed to support their dissertation research, in consultation with their advisor.

Current course descriptions are listed in the UNC-Chapel Hill academic catalog.