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

Faculty & Research, Student Life

SP2 Task Force on Race and Social Justice

Earlier this year, Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) launched the SP2 Task Force on Race and Social...

SP2 alumna Xiaorui Hou

Alumni Stories

MSSP Alumna Shares United Nations Internship Experience

Ever since she was an undergraduate student, Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) alumna Xiaorui Hou, MSSP ‘19,...

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

Faculty & Research

Two SP2 Faculty Members Receive Promotions

In recognition of their exemplary contributions to research and pedagogy, two standing faculty members from Penn’s School of Social Policy...

Rachael Neff

Alumni Stories

SP2 Alumna Named Southeast Division Representative of NASW-PA

Rachael Neff, a 2004 alumna of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy &...

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