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

Image of Richard J. Gelles, PhD

Faculty & Research

Remembering Dr. Richard Gelles

It is with profound sadness that SP2 shares news of the passing of Dr. Richard Gelles. Dr. Gelles was diagnosed with...

Sayeeda Rashid

Alumni Stories

SP2 Grad Advocates for Philly’s LGBTQ Population

As policy fellow with Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, Sayeeda Rashid of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2)...

Caster building

Student Life

June 25, 2020 Message to the SP2 Community

Dear SP2 Students and Alumni, A group of students and alumni has circulated an open letter and petition addressed to me,...

Philadelphia skyline

Student Life

Philanthropy Class Provides $55K in Grants to Local Nonprofits Amid COVID-19 Crisis

As safety measures around the COVID-19 pandemic halted all on-campus activity at Penn, Doug Bauer and Greg Goldman— like many...

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