PhD in Social Welfare

PhD Graduates - Penn School of Social Policy & Practice
2010 PhD grads (l-r) Karen Zurlo, T.K. Kim, Jason Matejkowski, and Brian Coleman

Social problems are complex and require energy, creativity, and a wide range of knowledge and skills. No one field has all of the answers so we have designed a program that allows students to enroll in any graduate course at the University of Pennsylvania while simultaneously gaining core knowledge in social welfare history, theory, research methods, statistics, economics, and policy.

Our program is geared for people interested in the pursuit of intellectual and scientific inquiry and who are committed to educating others. Most of our graduates go on to careers in academia. Educating scholars is important because social workers are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, “Employment of social workers is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.” Our goal is to develop scholar leaders to help meet this need.

Content posted under the tabs on the left side of this page contain key information for persons interested in applying for the program as well as for current students. The Student Handbook, which can be found under the Student Information tab, is a guide to the process of earning a Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania.