PhD Program

Our PhD in Social Work Program

The Columbia School of Social Work’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program has produced many of the world’s most influential leaders in social work and social welfare scholarship since its inception in 1950. The program is offered by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and administered by the School of Social Work. It prepares candidates for careers as researchers, scholars and educators. Doctoral students can choose from three concentrations:

  • Advanced Practice
  • Social Policy and Policy Analysis
  • Social Policy and Administration

Candidates will also take advanced social work courses and a wide range of courses offered in other Columbia professional schools.

A PhD in Social Work candidate will complete approximately two years of full-time coursework, master content in a social work method, a related behavioral or social science, and a substantive field of practice, and prepare and defend a dissertation. To learn more about the concentrations, coursework, registration, and dissertation stages at Columbia School of Social Work, check out to the Doctoral Program Resource Guide.

PhD Program Resources

The deadline for the Fall 2019 PhD Program admissions process is December 15th, 2018. If you are interested in learning more, the 2018-2019 PhD Candidates Booklet outlines the topics current PhD candidates are working on.

Questions? Head to our FAQ page or contact Director of Administration Jessica Troiano (; 212-851-2389) or the doctoral program chair, Dr. Neeraj Kaushal (; 212-851-2254) for more information.

Are you a current PhD student at Columbia School of Social Work? For notices on upcoming events and job opportunities, check out our CourseWorks site.