Search Google Appliance

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. Program in Social Work and Social Research is a research focused program, with an emphasis on both qualitative and quantitative methods, rooted in a Social Work perspective.

Application >> Admissions

Important Admissions Information

Thank you for your interest in applying for admission to the Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Research Program.

We are in the process of redesigning the program and anticipate accepting applications for admission for study that will begin in fall 2016.

If you would like to receive information about the new curriculum and admission process, please let us know by sending an e-mail to Thet Mar Win at or calling the Ph.D. Program Office:  503-725-8065; outside Portland 1-800-547-8887 ext. 58065. 


Our Ph.D. Students

To learn more
about our
current doctoral students
and view their profiles
click here


Topics Through The Years

click here


>> Student Publications

>> Student Fellowships Awarded

>> CV's (students and recent graduates)

>> For Current Ph.D. Students and Advisors


The Ph.D. Program in Social Work and Social Research prepares students to understand critical social welfare problems, to conduct research and policy analysis related to the solution of these problems, to teach in accredited schools of social work, to take responsibility for program development and administration in the human services, and to assume leadership positions in the social welfare community.


Students in the Ph.D. program develop:

  • Knowledge and skills in applied research, using a wide range of methods;
  • Ability to analyze and apply theories of human behavior to important social contexts, such as family, work, and community;
  • Capacity to analyze, design, and evaluate social policies and programs; a balanced focus on policy and practice in organizational settings.

The course of study is organized around a social problem selected by the student. A set of core courses builds skills in analyzing problems, designing and evaluating interventions, and conducting applied research.

After the core is completed, work is highly individualized as students plan their course of study and dissertation research in consultation with faculty advisers. To add an interdisciplinary perspective to the study of the social problem, work in other departments is required.

There is a required research practicum and an elective teaching practicum.  Students complete a dissertation that is an original and independent investigation of a social problem within their field of specialized knowledge.

The program offers opportunities to integrate practice, policy, and research by encouraging students to collaborate with investigators on various programs including:


The Research Practicum

The purpose of the required research practicum and an elective teaching practicum is to enable the student to experience the interplay of research and practice in an agency or applied research setting, and to provide an opportunity for learning the skills of applied research. The reserach practicum provides a research experience in a study under the supervision of an approved faculty mentor; a seminar accompanies the practicum. Students complete a dissertation that is an original and independent investigation of a social problem within their field of specialized knowledge. >> Practicum examples


The Dissertation

The purpose of the dissertation is to demonstrate the student’s ability to do independent research. After successful completion of coursework and a comprehensive examination, the student develops a dissertation proposal, working closely with a committee of faculty members. The student conducts the dissertation research and writing under the guidance of the committee. The student defends the dissertation before the dissertation committee in a public presentation. >> Dissertation titles through the years

The Ph.D. Seminar

The Ph.D. Research Seminar is a part of the core curriculum for all first and second year students. The monthly seminar features presentations by students and faculty members who are working together on a study or other project.



More resources on the Ph.D. Program


>> Ph.D. Program Sequence

>> Affiliated Research Institutions

>> Faculty Positions for Job-Seeking Ph.D.'s