DSW Members Programs

University of Pennsylvania

School of Social Policy & Practice

The University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. program in Social Welfare is designed to develop exceptional leaders in academia and research to identify both problems and potential solutions. Each admitted student receives a four-year fellowship here at Penn, which includes coverage for their tuition, University fees, and Penn student health insurance, as well as a generous annual stipend. We work hard to foster scholarly energy, collaboration, and creativity. Our competitive program is only full-time and we accept a small cohort of 4-6 students each year. Most of our graduates go on to faculty posts in Schools of Social Work and Social Welfare. Grounded in the core components of Penn Compact 2020’s inclusion, innovation, and impact, the Ph.D. program in Social Welfare educates a new generation of researchers, teachers, and leaders. Our program is structured so that students can earn their Ph.D. in 4 years. Coursework is completed in the first two years. Students work alongside faculty as research assistants, and after defending their dissertation proposals can take on teaching assignments.  In addition to learning fundamental content and research skills at SP2, our Ph.D. students may take courses in virtually any department at Penn. The last two years are dedicated to gaining research and teaching experience while completing the dissertation. The typical student has multiple publications upon graduation and has teaching experience at the master’s level. 

University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Private, Non-Profit
  • PhD in Social Welfare
  • In-Person Program Only
  • Full-time Enrollment Only
  • 3-6 Students
  • Yes
  • Yes, there is no cut-off score
  • Yes, MSW or other master's degree
  • No
  • No

Substantive Research Areas of Faculty

  • Addiction/Substance Use
  • Adolescent and Youth Development
  • Aging/Gerontology
  • Child Welfare
  • Children & Families
  • Community Practice/Macro Practice
  • Corrections/Criminal Justice/Restorative Justice
  • Disability
  • Family Violence
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Housing/Homelessness
  • Immigrants, Refugees & Displaced Persons
  • International Social Work & Global Development
  • LGBT Issues & Services
  • Mental Health
  • Organizations, Management & Administration
  • Poverty/Disadvantaged Populations
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Religion/Spirituality
  • Rural Social Work
  • School Social Work
  • Social/Economic Justice
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Social Work Education
  • Social Work Practice
  • Work/Family/Family Policy

To update your program's profile, please complete the GADE Program Directory Update Form.