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 guaranteed a graduate assistantship for four years. Assistantships are 10-month appointments, 20 hours per week with a base stipend of $23,000 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 (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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