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Mission & Outcomes, PhD in Social Work

Program Highlight

 headshot of linda houser

PhD Program Director, Linda Houser

"Doctoral education at Widener is designed to create stewards of the social work profession. It's a role learned in process and as part of a community. Our doctoral students’ rich practice backgrounds give them a foundation for connecting their research to implications for practice and policy. My hope is that they savor the process, value one another, and use their talents to promote social justice and change."

The goal of the doctor of philosophy (PhD) program in social work is to develop academic leaders who have skills and expertise in research, teaching, and advanced social work practice.

Students will:

  • Apply critical thinking and systematic accumulation of data to gain greater understanding of questions related to social work practice
  • Carry out critical analyses of theories, concepts, and assumptions underlying social work interventions
  • Understand how political, economic, sociocultural, and organizational contexts shape the theories and methods used in social work practice
  • Pursue interdisciplinary perspectives and collaborations
  • Use established quantitative and qualitative methods to support scholarly research
  • Master and apply at least one research method to the investigation of a question pertaining to social work practice
  • Acquire the pedagogical skills to teach effectively at all levels of social work education
  • Develop the writing and scholarship skills necessary for professional publication
  • Cultivate leadership qualities and interpersonal skills to further the development of the social work profession