Ph.D. in Social Work

For more than a century, VCU's School of Social Work has prepared students to advance the profession’s mission by integrating and applying scientific knowledge and professional skills and values to current and emergent social problems.

The Ph.D. Program, which began in 1978, furthers that agenda by preparing students as research scholars, educators and leaders in the profession.


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21 currently enrolled students


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71% of students are African American, Hispanic or Asian


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One of only 71 universities designated as both “Community Engaged” and with “Very High Research Activity” *


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100% of recent graduates have secured employment as assistant professors, researchers or postdoctoral fellows within a year of graduation *

What we offer

Our Ph.D. students enjoy individualized mentoring and a highly supportive learning environment. In addition, a wide range of institutes and centers complement and contribute to the school’s research activities. Graduates leave us ready to generate, implement and communicate knowledge to advance social justice, improve human well-being and enhance the profession’s impact on pressing social problems.

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Ready to learn more?

One of the most rewarding parts of my career is cultivating the organic growth of doctoral students. I enjoy taking part in their evolving development, challenging them with alternative perspectives and encouraging a deeper awareness of themselves.” 

Youngmi Kim (she/her), Ph.D., associate professor

Youngmi Kim

Ph.D. candidates and students

Learn more about our Ph.D. candidates and students in the VCU School of Social Work directory. Explore their published work and presentations, and find out which candidates are currently on the job market.

Have questions?

If you're a prospective student interested in the VCU School of Social Work Ph.D. Program, contact us at (804) 828-1030 or