Social Work (Ph.D.)

The purpose of the doctoral program in social work is to train future social work scholars.  Graduates are prepared to enter careers in applied research that enhance human well-being, particularly among oppressed and vulnerable populations, and to educate the next generation of social workers.  Over 80% of our graduates obtain academic positions.  

Social work doctoral students at Arizona State University--the most innovative Research I institution in the nation (US News & World Report)--receive a state-of-the-art education.  Students pursue their personal intellectual passions guided by an individualized program of study.  They are mentored by world-class faculty who collectively rank #1 in disseminating scholarship in premiere social work journals.

The School of Social Work welcomes inquiries from students exploring our Ph.D. program. We are pleased to arrange personalized meetings with prospective applicants, either by phone or in-person.  We are also happy to organize individualized tours of our school and the broader downtown Phoenix campus. Please contact Dr. David Hodge, Ph.D. Program Coordinator, for scheduling or with any questions you might have related to the program or application process.

The purpose of the doctoral program in social work is to prepare future social work scholars. While there are many possible definitions of scholarship, the Arizona State University School of Social Work adheres to a broad definition.

A scholar in social work engages in research, teaching and service. The program introduces students to the complex range of roles and responsibilities of faculty and other social work roles of leadership. Critical thinking and creativity in research, teaching and service are at the core of the program.

Given the cultural and economic diversity of the Southwest, the program also strives to elaborate on the human potential embedded in the region's distinct experiences and perspectives. The university offers opportunities for scholarship integrating diverse cultural experiences such as those offered through specialized programs, including American Indian studies and Chicana/o studies, African and African American studies and Asian Pacific American studies. We hope our graduates will play key roles in integrating diversity in their social welfare activities with local, state and regional groups.

The program emphasizes enhancement of scholarship through:

  • applied social work research in diverse community settings and populations of the Southwest
  • participation in collegial decision-making
  • participation in field education and community services
  • teaching, from syllabus development to classroom teaching across the professional continuum

Students are expected to participate fully in research teaching and field liaison activities during their course of studies.

Degree Offered

Social Work (PhD)
Public Service and Community Solutions, College of


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study