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Ph.D. Curriculum

Program Components

Complete 45 credit hours prior to advancing to candidacy. Students may add as many electives as they wish as long as the course requirements are met.

Required Courses include (3 credit hours each):

  • SoWo 900 Conceptualizing Social Problems to Inform Interventions
    An application and critical analysis of behavioral and social science theories and theory-driven research for understanding the etiology of social problems for purposes of social intervention.
  • SoWo 910 Research Methods in Social Interventions
    This course provides an introduction to basic research processes and methods for use in planning, implementing, evaluating and improving social interventions. Topics include outcomes monitoring, problem formulation, assessment, measurement, research review, human subjects’ protection, evaluation design, data analysis and the application of findings to practice improvement and theory refinement.
  • SoWo 911 Introduction to Social Statistics and Data Analysis
    This course is designed to explore basic statistical concepts related to the behavioral sciences and to provide instruction on the following topics: basic data analysis; construction and analysis of data tables; graphical analysis of data; knowledge and application of descriptive and inferential statistics; and knowledge and application of statistical software programs to analyze data.
  • SoWo 912 Research Practicum
    Students develop independent research competence through work on a research project under the direction of an experienced researcher.
  • SoWo 913 Integrative Research Methods in Social Intervention
    Students build advanced competence in research design, data collection, data analysis and statistics by analyzing exemplary social work research and presenting independent learning projects within specialized areas of study.
  • SoWo 914 Measurement in Social Intervention Research
    This course focuses on the development of knowledge and skill in measuring social, psychological, environmental and other factors related to intervention with individuals, families, groups and organizations.
  • SoWo 916 Structural Equation Modeling
    Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is a general statistical method that can be employed to test theoretically derived models. It is "a class of methodologies that seeks to represent hypotheses about the means, variance and covariances of observed data in terms of a smaller number of 'structural' parameters defined by a hypothesized underlying model" (Kaplan 2000). In this course, students will learn fundamental concepts and skills to conduct SEM and how to apply these techniques to social work research.
  • SoWo 917 Longitudinal and Multilevel Data Analysis
    This course introduces the context and intuition for longitudinal and multilevel models, and the statistical frameworks, analytical tools and social behavioral applications of multilevel modeling (MLM) and growth curve analysis.
  • SoWo 918 Applied Regression Analysis and Generalized Linear Models
    This course introduces statistical frameworks, analytical tools and social behavioral applications of OLS regression model, weighted least-square regression, logistic regression models and generalized linear models.
  • SoWo 919 Systematic Reviews and Introduction to Meta-Analysis
    Students will learn cutting-edge methods of research synthesis, read widely in their intended area of expertise and prepare a systematic review for submission to a peer-reviewed professional journal.
  • SoWo 921 Qualitative Research Methods
    The objective of this course is to provide an overview of the fundamentals of the use of qualitative research, particularly as it applies to intervention research. The focus of this class is on the development of skills used by qualitative researchers. Particular attention will also be paid to developing skill in the evaluation of qualitative research methods, designing rigorous, high quality studies, and the protection of vulnerable research participants in qualitative studies.
  • SoWo 922 Advanced Topics in Causal Inference: Propensity Score and Related Models
    This course focuses on advanced topics in causal inference by reviewing four recent methods developed for observational studies and evaluation of quasi-experimental programs.
  • SoWo 940 Development of Social Intervention Models
    This PhD-level course focuses on preparing advanced graduate students with the knowledge and skills needed to design and evaluate interventions that address social needs, problems and conditions.
  • SoWo 941 Teaching Seminar/Practicum
    This practicum provides a range of supervised classroom or training opportunities designed to prepare advanced doctoral students for faculty positions in undergraduate- and graduate-level social work education. The goal of this practicum is to familiarize aspiring professors with evidence-based practices for instruction design and delivery in social work education. Students achieve this goal through a supervised learning experience with a teaching mentor and seminars on syllabus construction, learning objectives, instructional methodologies, strategies for evaluating student performance and managing sensitive issues in the classroom. The seminars will also provide an opportunity for students to discuss their progress in the practicum and receive feedback from their peers and the instructor.

      Other requirements:

  • 3 courses taken outside the SSW (total of 9 credit hours - 2 of these must be substantive/theory courses)
  • 2 advanced methods courses after completing SOWO 918 (6 credit hours - may be taken in SSW or outside)
  • Dissertation seminar (follows completion of residency and required courses)

Students, in consultation with their advisor, may select additional courses after the fourth semester that are needed to support their dissertation research.