A Study of PhD Courses and Curricula Across Schools of Social Work

Cynthia Franklin, Elizabeth Lightfoot, Melissa Nachbaur, Katharine Sucher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    Objectives: This study explored courses offered by social work PhD programs, the variation in these courses by type of university, and how the courses compare to the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE) Quality Guidelines. Study Methods: Course curriculums of 84 GADE-affiliated social work PhD programs were double-blind coded. PhD directors verified codes and answered a brief survey. Findings: A total of 1146 courses were coded into 28 categories. An average of six research and statistics courses were offered per program. Few programs offered courses in measurement, intervention research, meta-analysis, program evaluation, or grant writing. Most programs indicated that diversity, equity, and inclusion was infused in the curriculum. Less than half (41%) of PhD program directors indicated that GADE Quality Guidelines were influential. Conclusions: PhD programs are offering more research and statistics courses than in the past, but GADE Quality Guidelines are not consistently followed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
    StateAccepted/In press - 2021


    • doctoral education
    • educational issues
    • higher education administration
    • PhD curriculum
    • scholarship of teaching and learning
    • social work curriculum

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • General Psychology


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