PhD Programs in Social Work in California

There are multiple schools in California that offer PhD programs in social work. Learn more about which schools in the state offer this program along with details about program admission requirements and possible courses. Schools offering Addictions & Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

University of California - Los Angeles

The University of California - Los Angeles has a PhD program in social welfare that students can complete in around four to five years. This program requires students to complete components like an oral comprehensive exam, a file study plan, an internship, coursework, a dissertation proposal, and finally independent research leading to their dissertation in their fourth year of attendance.

University of California - Berkeley

The University of California - Berkeley offers a PhD program in social welfare that can be completed in a minimum of three years, though students can take up to five years. Students at this university need to spend at least two years completing the necessary coursework and one year completing their dissertation after successfully completing their oral qualification exam.

University of Southern California

Students choosing to attend the University of Southern California could earn their PhD degree in social work after completing coursework in their first two years of attendance, a qualifying examination and research in their third year, and finally a dissertation in their fourth year. Students need to accumulate a total of 32 units from their coursework and maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA over the course of their studies.

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University offers students the option to earn a PhD in Social Welfare and Research through the course of a 92-quarter-unit program. Additional requirements for earning this degree include holding a B, or a 3.0 GPA, in all of the courses that students take and completing a comprehensive exam in their first two years of attendance. Research for their dissertation, a dissertation proposal, and the completion of a two-publication dissertation are also required.

School NamePrograms OfferedGraduate Tuition (2019-2020)*
University of California - Los AngelesPhD in Social WelfareIn-State: $11,442
Out-of-State: $26,544
University of California - BerkeleyPhD in Social WelfareIn-State: $11,442
Out-of-State: $26,544
University of Southern CaliforniaPhD in Social Work$46,272
Loma Linda UniversityPhD in Social Welfare and Social Research$26,880

Source: *NCES College Navigator

How to Earn a PhD in Social Work

In order for students to earn admission into a PhD program in social work in California they will need to meet set admission requirements, including holding a minimum of a bachelor's degree, though a master's is sometimes required. Applicants will also need to provide GRE scores, a resume, previous transcripts, and letters of recommendation. A PhD program in social work typically takes between four and five years to complete, and some of the courses that students may take include history and philosophy of social welfare, research methods and techniques, and statistics in social welfare.

History and Philosophy of Social Welfare

Students attending a history and philosophy of social welfare course could learn about the development of social welfare principles in the United States along with how they relate back to the field of social work practice. This course typically teaches students to analyze tendencies in social welfare. Additionally, those attending might learn about the existing welfare programs and institutions and how they developed. This class could also cover the roles that social workers have played in the formation of different social welfare policies.

Social Work Research Methods and Techniques

The goal of a course like this is typically to show students the different challenges and opportunities that researchers in the social work field can face. Some of the topics that can be covered in a research methods and techniques course include the use of theory, sampling, the formation of problems, causal inference, design methods, and measurement. This course could also cover data analysis, statistical interpretation, and historical research.

Advanced Statistics

A course in advanced statistics usually covers a variety of topics, like estimation, linear models, decision theory, large sample theory, and confidence intervals. This course could also discuss both the functions and different applications of methods of statistics. Students might learn how to collect data, analyze what they collect, and interpret and understand the data. Lastly, this course may also put an emphasis on hypothesis testing.

After meeting set admission requirements, such as holding a minimum of a bachelor's degree and taking the GRE, students might gain admission into a PhD program in social work. These programs could cover courses in areas like statistics, research, and the history and philosophy of social welfare.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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