PhD in Social Welfare Program

PhD students at orientation.

PhD students at orientation, summer 2019

Research is a means of social change. Our interdisciplinary PhD program will prepare you for conducting meaningful and impactful research in a supportive collaborative environment.

Program Objectives & Outcomes

In the program, you will:

  • Create an individual, fully interdisciplinary program of coursework and scholarship.
  • Benefit from a small-by-design program that facilitates meaningful connections with peers and mentors.
  • Participate in the intellectual exchanges and scholarly collaborations fostered by UB’s many research centers and institutes and community partnerships.
  • Engage with our diverse, dedicated and growing faculty, with particular expertise in trauma, veterans’ issues, aging, social policy, technology in social work, and refugee and immigrant communities.
  • Access diverse research opportunities, facilities and support through the Buffalo Center for Social Research.
  • Receive stable, generous funding through assistantships and scholarship programs.

Curriculum Overview

Our PhD program is for those with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited program or international equivalent. If you do not have an MSW, we offer a dual-degree program leading to the MSW and the PhD in social welfare.

  • Minimum of 47 credits
  • Full-time (4+ years) and on-campus only
  • Program start: Fall semester only

Funding Package and Fellowships

Funding Overview

All accepted PhD students are offered a competitive standard funding package. Additional funding may be available through fellowships.

All PhD students are guarunteed a graduate assistantship for four years. Assistantships are 10-month appointments, 20 hours per week with a base stipend of $20,000 per year.

Students also receive full tuition coverage for up to 47 credits. This typically covers the required courses for four years.

If students continue past four years (and/or 47 credits), students must secure their own funding (e.g., working on a faculty research grant, teaching, serving as a field liaison). 

Fellowship Opportunities

Presidential and Schomburg Fellowships are available for academically outstanding new PhD in Social Welfare students. These awards come with a substantial stipend. PhD students will be considered for these at the time of admission.

Learn More

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