Upon completion of the first six core courses – SWRK 803811852, and 855, and SOCI 535 and 536 (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

School of Social Policy & Practice sign on the Caster Building seen with pink azaleas.

Faculty & Research

Several SP2 Experts Listed as Top 100 Most Influential Contemporary Social Work Faculty

Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) faculty members Richard J. Gelles, Steven C. Marcus, Phyllis Solomon, Ram A....

Jennifer Plumb

Alumni Stories

What I Did With My DSW Degree: Jennifer Plumb

For years, social work professionals have furthered their careers as innovators, educators, and leaders in the field with degree programs...

Marquisha Lawrence Scott

Student Life

Support on the Ground: PhD Student Examines Where Faith Organizations and Social Work Intertwine

Faith-based organizations often offer tangible forms of aid through initiatives such as disaster relief efforts and financial assistance programs. But...

Alice Cooper

Student Life

Toward Equitable Education for All: MSSP Student Channels Social Policy Theory into Social Good

For Alice Cooper, an MSSP (Master of Science in Social Policy Program) student at Penn’s School of Social Policy &...

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