Learning Outcomes: Social Work, PhD

Learning Outcomes for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


  1. Obtain knowledge of Social Work as a profession and discipline
    1. Graduates will be able to:
      1. Locate their work in the intellectual landscape of social work.
      2. Understand the relations among social work education, research, and practice.
      3. Understand how knowledge in social work is relevant to public issues, including promoting social justice and increasing equity.
      4. Understand the role and importance of social work values and ethics in research and knowledge development.
      5. Develop expertise in at least one specialized area of knowledge. 
  2. 2.Develop Core Quantitative and Qualitative Research Skills
    1. Graduates will be able to:
      1. Conceptualize significant, meaningful, and relevant social work research questions.
      2. Understand both the technical aspects and conceptual underpinnings of a broad range of methodological and statistical techniques. 
      3. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge in the selection and application of the most rigorous, feasible, and appropriate methodological and data analyses for the research question(s) posed.
      4. Design and implement appropriate procedures for sampling and data collection.
  3. 3.Engage in academic scholarship
    1. Graduates will be able to:
      1. Critically evaluate and review published work in students’ areas of expertise. 
      2. Identify the strengths and limitations of their own research. 
      3. Conduct research that is guided by theory. 
      4. Proactively and consistently implementing plans for the responsible and ethical conduct of research. 
      5. Widely disseminate knowledge that contributes to the advancement of social work research, practice, and policy, including writing publishable, peer-reviewed manuscripts; presenting at local, national and international conferences; and producing policy briefs /white papers.   
  4. 4.Develop Teaching Skills
    1. Graduates will be able to: 
      1. Understand and apply theories of adult learning.
      2. Design and teach a course in a social work curriculum.
      3. Create a learning culture and classroom climate that is inclusive of a diverse population of students and diverse learning styles.
      4. Address ethical dilemmas that might arise in teaching.
      5. Understand the place of social work education within the larger context of higher education.
  5. 5.Develop analytical skills to critically assess social policy and social science theories
    1. Graduates will be able to:
      1. Critically analyze paradigms and methods for social work knowledge building.
      2. Evaluate representative theories for and studies of social work practice.
      3. Understand the current research on practice effectiveness and methods for integrating research and practice.
      4. Understand theoretical approaches to analyzing social policy development and implementation.
      5. Understand selected theories and models that have been influential in the substantive development of broad-scale social policies and programs.
      6. Develop skills in empirically assessing policy issues and trends.