Secret, Dr. Mary C.
Interim Director, Ph.D. Program in Social Work
Admission requirements summary
Social Work, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Fall (full time or part time)
Applications received by Feb 15 given priority for financial aid
In addition to GRE General test, applicants must submit a writing sample.
VCU’s Ph.D. in Social Work Program is a research-oriented educational enterprise with a mission to develop scholars and leaders for education and practice in human services. Its vision is a program that builds and nurtures students’ intellectual curiosity, creativity and courage, as well as their desire to “make a difference.” The program is built around excellence in teaching, mentorship and socialization of students, as well as collaborative involvement in the program by its diverse faculty. Graduates of the program become active in teaching, consultation, research, practice and program evaluation, staff and program development, policy analysis, and advocacy. They are employed in universities and colleges, and in human service organizations and agencies at the local, state, national and international levels. In all the program’s activities and events, emphasis is placed on the following areas:
- The development of an intellectual community that values critical and creative thinking.
- The connections among the philosophy of science, theory, research and practice.
- The analysis and integration of knowledge and values, especially their relevance to diverse populations and issues of social justice.
Student learning outcomes
- A critical understanding of multiple paradigms in the philosophy of science and the implications of these for contemporary research
- Mastery of a range of research methodologies and data analysis strategies, and competence in conducting independent inquiry on issues of importance to the field
- Competence in the analysis and application of a wide range of social, behavioral and practice theories
- An ability to design and propose theoretically and empirically grounded models of social work intervention for coping with personal transitions and challenges, addressing social problems, and promoting equity and social justice
- A critical understanding of the historical place of social work and social welfare in the evolution of social thought and cultural values
- Expertise in a chosen substantive area related to social work, including skills related to dissemination of this knowledge
- Familiarity and beginning expertise about the exchange and dissemination of professional knowledge via submissions and presentations to meetings, journals and other professional outlets