About GADE - Group for Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work

About GADE

The Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE) is an organization of more than 100 social work doctoral program directors from member institutions. Founded in 1977, our mission is to promote excellence and equity in social work doctoral education through networking, capacity building, and stewardship of the profession. Toward that end, members share knowledge and resources that support innovation and excellence in doctoral education for developing and existing programs; promote the development of doctoral students in all their diversity and publicly recognize their achievements and contributions to the profession; and represent and promote the interests and concerns of social work and social welfare doctoral programs in the larger profession. Since 1992, GADE has strived to codify and unify these goals and principles in its Quality Guidelines for PhD Programs in Social Work.

To advance inclusive, equitable, and just social work doctoral education.

Promote excellence and equity in social work doctoral education through networking, capacity building, and stewardship of the profession


Networking and Information Exchange

GADE sponsors a members-only annual conference in the Spring that provides rich opportunities for networking, information exchange, and intellectual challenge and reflection around curriculum, educational administration, and doctoral program implementation. Our annual meetings are heavily attended and positively evaluated. We also maintain an active Listserve of all member Directors of PhD and DSW programs which provides another primary vehicle for lively and timely informal sharing of best practices.



We represent the interests of GADE and social work doctoral education through participation in coalitions, such as Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Leadership Forum and NASW’s ANSWER COALITION. GADE also regularly participates in and sponsors events at other social work education conferences. This includes a doctoral student breakfast at CSWE’s annual meeting, an information session at BPD (Baccalaureate Program Directors), and a reception for members and GADE alumni at the Society for Social Work & Research (SSWR) annual conference.


Supporting Doctoral Student Success

Our commitment to excellence is illustrated by our recognition of doctoral students through our robust awards program. Using a competitive application process, GADE annually presents an award for excellence in doctoral research and one for student service and leadership, which brings well-deserved visibility to their achievements. In addition, our website offers links to funding sources, academic employment listings, and other resources for current and prospective doctoral students alike.