Welcome from the PhD Program Director

Welcome to the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) Ph.D. Program!

The Ph.D. program at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) offers its graduates the opportunity to contribute to scholarship and to advance the knowledge base of social work. Our doctoral students develop their own research area to enable them to become part of the next generation of social work scholars and leaders. They are prepared to become faculty members in schools of social work or to hold high level positions in research or administration.

Doctoral course work consists of 39 credit hours plus 9 credit hours of dissertation. The program is designed so that full-time students can complete  course work in two years. The doctoral program can also be done on a part-time basis. Part-time students are expected to enroll for 6 credit hours of course work each fall and spring semester. The part-time program is designed so that students can complete  course work in three years. Work on the dissertation takes place after students have passed the qualifying examination and have successfully defended the dissertation proposal. We also offer a dual MSW/PhD degree for students who are interested in earning both degrees simultaneously.

The GCSW provides the kind of personal attention that enables students to succeed in their doctoral education. We offer small classes, individualized studies with faculty members, training workshops and a doctoral publication that is managed by our doctoral students. Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States with many diverse, multicultural populations. The Texas Medical Center, located in the heart of Houston, is one of the largest medical complexes in the world. As such, the greater Houston area offers doctoral students unlimited opportunities for research activities. Through their teaching and advisement, the GCSW faculty share  their knowledge and  social work values with students. By emphasizing scholarship and research, GCSW faculty help students engage in critical thinking and intellectual discovery. We welcome your interest in our doctoral program.


Sheara A. Williams, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Ph.D. Program Director.