Upon completion of the first six core courses – SWRK 803811852, and 855, and MSSP 630 and 897 (or an approved equivalent sequence of statistics courses) – all students must take a preliminary exam. Passing all sections of the exam is a prerequisite for continuation in the program.

After completing the required coursework and passing the preliminary exams, the student defends his or her dissertation proposal. After the successful defense of the dissertation proposal, a student becomes a candidate for the PhD degree.

A defense of the dissertation is the final examination. Passing this defense completes the requirements for the degree.

SP2 News

SaraKay Smullens

Alumni Stories

SP2 Alumna Receives Society for Social Work Leadership’s 2021 Kermit B. Nash Award

SaraKay Smullens, a 1965 alumna of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy &...

Loran Grishow-Schade

Alumni Stories

SP2 Alum Honored for Ongoing Gender Identity Research, Work

For years, Loran Grishow-Schade, MSW ’20, MSSP ’21, has proven to be a prolific leader and fully-immersed pioneer in work...

MSW Student Alisa Branch

Student Life

“Always Something New to Know”: MSW Student Alisa Branch on Being a Non-Traditional Learner

Even after a three-decade career in the human services field, Alisa Branch still felt that she had more to learn,...

New SP2 faculty, clockwise from left: Tamara Cadet, PhD; Yoosun Park, PhD; Meredith Doherty, PhD; and Milan AbiNader, PhD

Faculty & Research

SP2 Welcomes Four New Faculty Members

Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) has announced the hiring of four new faculty members, who will begin...

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