The dissertation is the product of careful and searching inquiry into a significant problem or issue in the field of social welfare. It must be judged to be of publishable quality according to the best current standards in the field. The format of the dissertation (traditional or multi-paper) is decided upon by the student and the dissertation committee based on the learning goals. An open (public) defense of the dissertation, required when the manuscript is complete, is followed by a private oral examination. Final approval of the dissertation is determined by the student’s Dissertation Committee.

The Doctoral Dissertation Manual is available online.

SP2 News

Cover of Tell Me How It Ends

Student Life

SP2 Announces Inaugural Race and Social Justice Fellows

Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) is pleased to announce the selection of two exemplary MSW students as...

Image of Mackenzie Fierceton

Student Life

SP2 Student Awarded Prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

University of Pennsylvania May graduate who is currently completing her master’s degree at Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice...

Faculty & Research

Associate Dean of Enrollment Management & Global Outreach Receives Years of Service Award

Mary Mazzola, MSW, EdD, associate dean for enrollment management and global outreach at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice...

Valeria Zeballos Doubinko, MSSP '21

Student Life

MSSP+DA Student Named 2020-21 Perry World House Graduate Associate

Valeria Zeballos Doubinko, MSSP ’21, has been selected to join the 2020-21 cohort of Perry World House Graduate Associates. A...

Discover More