Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Ph.D. in Social Work

Our 2-year, 48-credit hour model is designed to help you select your professional focus and build the skills and knowledge needed to excel in your focal area.  Your training includes a yearlong practicum on teaching in addition to a research practicum equipping you for a range of careers including social work education, administrative leadership, community engaged research, working with governmental and non-governmental organizations, and private industry. 

                                                               FIRST YEAR
SOWK 800: Statistics
SOWK 801: Historical & Contemporary Issues in Social Work Practice
SOWK 817: The Nature of Social Work Knowledge
SOWK 818: Social Work Research Methodology: Overview of the Fundamentals
SOWK 802: Grand Theories & Perspectives in Social Work Knowledge
SOWK 803: Advanced Statistics
SOWK 804: Qualitative Research
SOWK 820: Social Theory & Social Change
No Summer Courses
SOWK 805: Research Practicum I
SOWK 822: Organizational Analysis
SOWK 828: Teaching Seminar and Practicum I
SOWK 808: Seminar on the Integration of Research, Practice, and Theory in Social Work Scholarship
SOWK 829: Teaching Seminar and Practicum II
SOWK 806: Research Practicum II
No Summer Courses

See Course Descriptions for further information about each course.

There are no summer classes required. Students will take two electives, the first in the Fall semester of Year 2 and the second in the Spring of Year 2 in order to strengthen quantitative and qualitative analytical skills and interdisciplinary expertise. This will ensure that students are better prepared for comprehensive exams and exposed to methodology and ideology from other disciplines. The goal of elective courses is to enhance the quality and scholarship of the dissertation. These elective courses can be taken at Loyola and therefore covered by students' tuition stipend, or courses can be taken at other institutions with credit transferred. However, courses taken outside Loyola University cannot be covered by tuition credits at this time. The Director of the Doctoral Program is available and should be consulted to provide advising about potential elective courses.

In Year 3, a student is considered full-time in the Ph.D. program if they are registered for either SOWK 827: Doctoral Study or SOWK 600: Dissertation Supervision. It is not necessary for students to register for either of these courses during the summer term, but it is imperative that they register for either of these two courses every fall and spring term until graduation. If not, students are terminated from the program and must reapply. If there is an emergency requiring studies to be suspended, a leave of absence is a possibility.

As with other policies, announcements and reminders will be sent to students by the Director of the Doctoral Program and the Graduate School as appropriate.

Time Limit for Completion

Students must complete all Ph.D. degree requirements, including the dissertation, within eight years of beginning the first course at Loyola University Chicago applicable toward the doctoral degree. However, students who completed a relevant master's degree (or a significant amount of relevant graduate coursework) at another institution prior to entering the doctoral program must complete all Ph.D. requirements, including the dissertation, within six years of beginning the first course at Loyola University Chicago applicable toward the doctoral degree.

The requirements for doctoral candidacy are: 1) successful completion of all specifically required coursework; 2) fulfillment of all research tool requirements; 3) successful completion of all comprehensive examinations; 4) approval of the dissertation proposal by the approved dissertation committee, the IRB and/or the IACUC (if necessary) and the Graduate School.  

Students have five years after admission to doctoral candidacy to complete all of their remaining degree requirements, including all dissertation requirements. If a doctoral candidate does not successfully defend and submit the dissertation within five years after becoming a doctoral candidate (by approval of the dissertation proposal), the student will be dropped from candidacy. The student must then pass a second comprehensive examination or program-specific equivalent to being reinstated as a doctoral candidate, and the time limit for submitting the dissertation will be determined by the Dean of the Graduate School and the candidate's committee. Exceptions to the five-year time limit require a petition to the dissertation chair, who forwards the petition to the Graduate Program Director and then the Graduate School.