Apply to the Ph.D. Program

Prepare to reach the next level in your social work career as a research scholar, educator or leader 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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100% of recent graduates have secured employment as assistant professors, researchers or postdoctoral fellows within a year of graduation *

Next Ph.D. application deadline

To enroll in the Fall 2025 term, applicants should submit all materials by Jan. 10. 2025. Apply now.

About the Ph.D. Program

Our Ph.D. students enjoy individualized mentoring and a highly supportive learning environment. The curriculum is designed to enable students to specialize in a substantive area and increase their relevant theoretical and research skills. After completing core and concentration coursework, students take a qualifying examination. Upon passing the examination, students begin the dissertation phase, in which they propose, conduct and defend an original dissertation research project that meaningfully advances knowledge and contributes to a more just society.

Graduate research assistantships

Graduate research assistantships, which include tuition assistance and a competitive stipend, are available to full-time Ph.D. students in their first four years. Some traineeships and scholarships are also available to full- and part-time students and are awarded based on availability and student qualifications and interests.

Upcoming Ph.D. admissions events

If there are no admissions events scheduled, please check out our complete public calendar or our current student calendar.  

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