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Boston College School of Social Work
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Student Profiles

Learn about the research interests, publications, and backgrounds of our doctoral students and recent graduates.

PhD in Social Work

Most graduates of the Boston College School of Social Work doctoral programs work as faculty researchers. The curriculum is designed with a blend of quantitative research courses, combined with theory and methods classes plus a required teaching course. Students also gain practical skills by teaching and tutoring in an MSW classroom. According to the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work, "every year there are more openings for faculty than there are graduates of programs." The curriculum is designed to prepare students for the available tenure track positions and other professional research careers.

The mission of the Boston College School of Social Work Doctoral Program is to prepare scholars committed to the pursuit of knowledge to advance the field of social welfare and social work practice.

Research training is at the core of the Program. Students develop mastery of: 

  • A substantive area providing the foundation for advanced social work research
  • Theoretical perspectives that provide insight about social issues, social welfare, and social work practice
  • Research that identifies causes, dynamics, and outcomes of social work practice and interventions
  • Different types of research methods that enable the students to build and advance knowledge relevant to the field of social work and to excel as researchers and teachers at leading academic and social welfare institutions in countries around the world
  • Effective teaching methods that actively engage the next generation of scholars and practitioners in building the social work knowledge base and in identifying effective, evidence-based practice
  • Communication skills that scholars use to raise awareness of important social issues and to disseminate the findings of their own scholarships