Online Ph.D. Social Work

By Erika Lasrado

Updated March 15, 2024

Erika Lasrado

Erika has broad experience in counseling, psychology, and human resources. Although she has done a master’s in psychology, she is currently pursuing a master’s in educational psychology to change careers. Erika is a foodie and reader and loves to research and write about various topics when time permits.


Master of Psychology, Master of Educational Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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Evidence-based knowledge and expertise are becoming increasingly important in research and evaluation. To dive deeper into the extensive work of social work, a master’s degree might not be adequate; a doctorate in social work will instead provide the knowledge and skill required to take on research, academic, and professional roles. The Ph.D. is the most popular type of doctoral degree and is an academic doctorate. It is commonly indicated by the letters “Ph.D.” after someone’s name, an abbreviation of “Doctor of Philosophy”. An Online PhD Social Work will provide students with a hands-on teaching-practicum experience, the creation of a specialist area, and guided research training that will help students expand their expertise. The curriculum of a social work Ph.D. will often include a mixed-methods foundation that is grounded in social work ideals. Students will be trained in teaching and research excellence through a wide range of foundational, core, specialty, and research methodology courses. The interdisciplinary experiences of a Ph.D. social work online student will give a strong educational foundation for social work leadership in academia, policy, research, and practice. This page provides ample information for aspiring online Ph.D. social work students, complete with the best colleges to pursue their degree, career options, information on how to fund their studies, certification & licensure, and more.


Best Online Ph.D. Social
Work Programs

The Ph.D. is the most essential education a student will receive, as it will determine a student’s professional path and subsequent success. As a result, Ph.D. students must pick the best Ph.D. social work programs and select an excellent college with a strong reputation, robust infrastructure, excellent research facilities, experienced and competent teachers, and more. Several FBD teams have compiled a list of the best online Ph.D. social work programs that stand out for diverse reasons based on these and other important factors.

Here are the best online social work Ph.D. programs: *

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university, established as the College of Philadelphia in 1740, is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
University of Pennsylvania 34th & Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 $37,678 96%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

Find Online Ph.D. Social
Work Near Me

Although a Ph.D. program may not necessitate extensive on-campus attendance, the college’s location is critical, particularly when it comes to tuition costs. Colleges usually charge resident students a different tuition fee than out-of-state students. However, regardless of the student’s domicile state, the cost of an online Ph.D. in social work program is usually the same. Several FBD experts have teamed up in their search for the best and most affordable social work Ph.D. programs in various locations across the US. The list they have compiled will save prospective students much time searching for a good program. The following is a list of ‘social work Ph.D. programs near me’:

What to expect from the Online Ph.D.
Social Work Program?

A social work Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary degree in which students are required to investigate a wide range of topics and inquiry traditions, as well as employ a variety of research methodologies, all while maintaining a strong focus on the need for information for social work practice. There are 5 basic steps to earn a Ph.D. degree in social work:

Foundation Courses

Students get a comprehensive picture of the social work field based on the most recent research and developments.

Core Courses

Students deepen their understanding of several crucial facets of social work.

Specialization Courses

Students intensively research one or more specific issues in social work.

Courses on Research Methods

Students learn the fundamental principles required for performing Ph.D. research.

Courses for Capstone/Thesis Preparation

Students define, investigate, and write a capstone topic/thesis, which must be defended at the end of the program

A Ph.D. social work program is relatively comprehensive in that students will take classes, begin to formulate potential research topics, gain fundamental research skills, write a series of exams, and connect with teachers and fellow students during the initial phase of the Ph.D. program. From there on, they will have to collaborate extensively with their faculty mentors, often working directly with them on ongoing research projects. A typical Ph.D. program’s curriculum is entirely focused on developing the skills required to plan and perform empirical social work research. Some examples of courses that emphasize advanced research methods studies are:

Quantitative Scientific Methods

Survey of Research Methods in Social and Behavioral Science

Integrating Public Policy Issues & Outcomes in Social Work Research

Doctoral Teaching Practicum

Some examples of major areas of research and scholarship expertise in social work that doctoral students can pursue include:

  • Child Welfare/Child Maltreatment
  • Behavioral Health & Interventions
  • Children’s Attachments to Caregivers
  • Substance Use & Interventions
  • School Truancy
  • Perspectives on Social Welfare Policy
  • Welfare/Family Support-Related Policies
  • Social Capital and Poverty
  • Vulnerable Families
  • High-Risk Youth
  • Social Justice, Ethics, and the Social Work Profession
  • Gay And Lesbian Youth
  • Gerontology
  • Juvenile Justice
  • The Personal and Social Circumstances of Welfare-Receiving Families
  • Contemporary Social Problems
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • International And Comparative Social Welfare and Social Development

Areas of Specialization for Online
Ph.D. Social Work

Ph.D. specializations are few and far between because doctoral studies largely rest on one facet of a subject, through research and a thesis. But there are broad-based specializations prospective Ph.D. students can explore, which can cater to some students’ professional interests and goals.

Some examples of specializations in online Ph.D. social work programs are:

Disaster, Crisis, and InterventionThis specialization allows students to hone their critical thinking skills while also learning how to deal with societal difficulties, disasters, and emergencies. Students create action-oriented study projects to solve real-world issues in their communities.A Ph.D. in Disaster, Crisis, and Intervention prepares professional social workers to work as agency or organizational leaders, program directors, emergency management directors, and supervisors in social work organizations.
Social Work AdministrationThis specialization prepares students for managerial, leadership and administrative roles in social work. Students learn how to work at the administrative level, assisting organizations in serving clients in need, and advocating for social change.A Ph.D. in Social Work Administration prepares professional social workers to take on influential and senior leadership roles in business, non-profits, or governmental organizations.
PopulationThis specialization prepares students to identify, evaluate, and develop interventional strategies for children, immigrants and refugees, and older adult across various populations and sections of society.A Ph.D. in Population prepares professional social workers to work in human rights, advocacy, rehabilitation, and refugee settings.
Social Causes & IssuesThis specialization focuses on the many disparities in society, in relation to poverty, housing, trauma, and health. Students learn and research the many issues that bring about such disparities and how one can address them.A Ph.D. in Social Causes & Issues prepares professional social workers to work in senior roles in the rehabilitation, public health, public welfare, and non-profit sectors.
Advanced Clinical Practice and SupervisionThis specialization prepares students to supervise social workers and other practitioners and advance their current clinical practice. Students develop their leadership skills while building their knowledge and confidence in clinical instruction, advanced clinical supervision, and practice management.A Ph.D. in Advanced Clinical Practice and Supervision prepares professional social workers to advance their own practice or become a social work clinical supervisor/practitioner.
Impact Leadership in Social Work AdministrationThis specialization focuses on strategic program planning and implementation, tactical evaluation, collaborative approaches, and design thinking that enable students to develop important leadership skills while preparing to assist social work agencies in meeting the needs of vulnerable populations dealing with a variety of difficulties.A Ph.D. in Impact Leadership in Social Work Administration prepares professional social workers for high-level leadership and policy positions in social work and other related professions.
Social Work EducationThis specialization dives into the principles of instructional design and adult learning, which incorporates Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) competencies in the production of assessment, instruction, and evaluation. Students look at learning styles, sociocultural dynamics, and other aspects that influence and contribute to diversity in teaching and learning.A Ph.D. in Social Work Education prepares professional social workers to become effective social work educators in a variety of educational contexts and settings.

Why get an Online Ph.D.
Social Work?

Individuals who aspire to be in academia and research are best-suited candidates for a Ph.D. In social work, a Ph.D. can open several avenues in the field that can positively shape and impact society. The knowledge and skill gained from an online Ph.D. in social work are immense and can help tackle several of today’s real-world challenges and issues.

So, what is a Ph.D. in social work? It is one of the most advanced and popular doctoral degrees one can get that can help students earn the skills and qualifications they need to make the most of their knowledge, abilities, and talents to make a difference in everything related to social work.

Although a Ph.D. qualifies a person for academic teaching and research positions, Ph.D. holders nowadays also work in the business, nonprofit, and government sectors. This degree is best suited for jobs that demand extensive research, knowledge synthesis, and a broad perspective and understanding of a challenge. Moreover, as champions for social and economic justice and lifelong learners, graduates are prepared to think critically, employ scientific research-based solutions, make sound ethical judgments, and appreciate human diversity while striving to empower people in their communities.

The rising need for social workers in the senior and leadership levels that require a Ph.D. education is evident with each passing day. New challenges and issues crop up, requiring the best minds in the industry to address and tackle them in good time. Although jobs for online Ph.D. social work holders do not fall under a specific category, as an indicator of what to expect, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the top 10% of social workers made more than $85,820 per year in May 2020. A Ph.D. education, without a doubt, will only increase one’s earning potential and career prospects in a wide range of settings.

Some of the skills and abilities an online Ph.D. in social work graduate would have acquired at the end of their program include the ability to:

examine how research and assessment can help improve social interventions and advance theory development in social work;

conduct original research in the field of social work, comprising the formulation of research questions, synthesis of relevant literature, and the use of appropriate methods to study answers to research questions;

demonstrate a better understanding of the historical and contemporary contexts of social work research, with a focus on the types of research questions raised and the methods employed to answer them;

promote social change through working with leaders, agencies, and universities to advocate for policies and initiatives that benefit culturally diverse clients’ economic and social well-being;

teach aspiring social workers across different age groups and learning levels;

evaluate the quality and benefits of social work research in a range of domains;

examine the significance of diversity in defining and shaping the human experience;

analyze, synthesize, and interpret research data to formulate strategies for intervention; and

use current research, best practices, and theory for ethical decision-making in social work.

Free Courses for Online Ph.D.
Social Work programs

Free online Ph.D. social work courses are an excellent way to broaden one’s knowledge and skills in social work. They could potentially help in one’s research and thesis writing, too, and offer new perspectives and ideas that may not be found in conventional textbooks.  Here are a few resources for social work Ph.D. students looking for free online courses:

Course Description Offered by
Social Work Courses and ProgramsEdX offers about 42 programs and 325 courses related to social work, in 3 basic, intermediate, and advanced levels. Topics include ‘Restorative Justice and Practice: Emergence of a Social Movement’, ‘Intimate Partner Violence (IPV): Inter-professional Strategies for Prevention and Response’, ‘Global Social Change’, ‘International Women’s Health and Human Rights’, and more.EdX
Topics on Social WorkOpenLearn, from The Open University, has many courses related to social work. Courses come in 3 different learning levels and include topics such as ‘Caring for Adults’, ‘Race and Youth Policy: Working with Young People’, ‘Introducing Social Work: A Starter Kit’, ‘Lead & Manage Change in Health and Social Care’, and more.OpenLearn
Topics on Social WorkCoursera, a popular choice among graduate students, offers over 1,200 free guided projects, courses, specializations, and professional certificates in social work and related topics. Most of the content is created by reputable universities and include topics such as ‘The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness’, ‘Social Work Practice: Advocating Social Justice and Change’, ‘Social Services for Families, Seniors and Those with Disabilities’, and more.Coursera

How to get into the Online Ph.D.
Social Work program?

With most universities, the path to getting a Ph.D. in social work begins with a master’s degree, preferably in social work or a closely related discipline. Other Ph.D. in social work admission requirements are the same as all other Ph.D. programs – official academic transcripts, personal statements, etc. Here is a list of admission requirements for an online Ph.D. social work program:

  • Application for Admission
  • Application Fee
  • Official Academic Transcripts
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with typical courses in liberal arts, social sciences, introductory statistics, and human biology. (Varies by school & program)
  • Acceptable undergraduate coursework Grade Point Average (GPA) in undergraduate coursework
  • Master’s degree in social work or a closely related discipline from a CSWE-accredited institution. (Preference is generally given to applicants with the MSW)
  • A Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in graduate-level studies
  • Acceptable Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
  • Graduate Resume
  • At least 2 to 3 Letters of Recommendation

Apart from this Ph.D. in social work requirements, some schools may require students to submit an Admission Essay or Writing Sample and complete prerequisites courses such as human diversity & oppression, statistics, foundational psychology, etc., especially if they do not have an MSW background.

How long does it take to complete the Online Ph.D.
Social Work?

How long is a Ph.D. in social work? A Ph.D. degree in social work earned entirely online usually takes 4 to 6 years to finish. Generally, students are required to take a 35 to 65 credit plan with coursework to be completed in the first 2 years or 4 semesters of the, with the remaining years dedicated to research, writing, and defending a thesis, dissertation, or other similar assignments/requirements.

It is worth noting that some schools will allow a transfer of credits, subject to fulfilling certain criteria, that can reduce the duration of the Ph.D. social work program to some extent.

Additionally, while some online Ph.D. programs will allow students to take lectures and tests at their own pace, others adhere to a rigid class schedule and place students in a cohort for the entirety of their degree. This, too, can affect the length of the Ph.D. program in social work.

Accreditation for Online Ph.D.
Social Work

Accreditation indicates that the institution has met and continues to meet national educational criteria and standards. Accredited online social work Ph.D. programs ensure that the courses and classes available to students are high quality and that future employers will accept their degrees. Students who enroll in accredited DSW programs or Ph.D. programs may be eligible for federal financial aid and fellowships or fully funded study as well.

Students can verify the accreditation of a program or college by tapping into the database provided by either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation for an online Ph.D. in social work degree program is required from either CHEA or any one of the six regional commissions listed below:

  • New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Community and Junior Colleges Accrediting Commission (WSCUC)
  • In some instances, schools offer Ph.D. programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

The Accreditation Guide has more information on accreditation and its importance.

No GRE Programs Online Ph.D.
Social Work

When applying to a Ph.D. program, many universities require applicants to submit a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score. However, today, universities are rapidly beginning to eliminate the GRE score due to changing circumstances and criteria. The quality and substance of Ph.D. programs that do not require a GRE score are identical to those that do. Here is an example of a social work Ph.D. no GRE:

The University of Utah, College of Social Work

The University of Utah’s Ph.D. program balances theory-driven research based on strong methodological and analytic skills. The program curriculum is delivered in two ways – onsite and distance – with the same program requirements, standards of rigor, and expectations for students. The GRE is no longer a requirement for an application for admission.

Doctorate in Social
Work Vs Ph.D.

Many MSW graduates who want to study further face a doctorate vs. Ph.D. dilemma. Here is a quick look at both these advanced degrees:

Doctorate (Professional Doctorate)

A Doctorate in social work or DSW focuses on social work practice, applied research, and leadership.

A DSW trains students for careers in administration and leadership in the field. Graduates generally pursue positions in social service leadership and administration or as an extension of their licensed social worker practice.

A DSW focuses on clinical practice or social work applications and is more practice-oriented.

Ph.D. (Academic Doctorate)

A Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D. in social work places a strong emphasis on research and pedagogical activities.

A Ph.D. prepares students for academic positions in social work and typically look for jobs as academic researchers or professors.

A Ph.D. in social work focuses more on developing students as researchers in the field.

How to Pay for an Online Ph.D.
Social Work?

Online Ph.D. students are usually employed and work full-time or part-time while pursuing their Ph.D. studies. Despite not having to pay for transportation, course materials, childcare during class hours, or meals, online students must still pay tuition. Although being employed may present the advantage of being able to bear some educational costs, some students may still find the cost of a Ph.D. in social work degree program prohibitive. Ph.D. degrees in social work can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $45,000 or more per year, depending on whether the student attends a public or private college and a variety of other considerations. Fortunately for students who may not have sufficient money of their own, there are various types of financial aid they can seek to fund their Ph.D. studies. Some examples of financial aid include:

Students who have an excellent academic track record will generally be eligible for scholarships. Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement as well as other considerations such as community service, cultural heritage, religious affiliation, and so on, and may be offered privately by alumni, cultural, religious, or commercial organizations. (Note: Read about Scholarship Scams to avoid being scammed.)

Students who come from economically weak backgrounds can look for grants. Grants, unlike scholarships, are need-based rather than merit-based. However, test scores and academic records are still considered, but the emphasis is more on the student’s financial background and status.

A Teaching Assistantship is rather common for Ph.D. students. It is an opportunity for students to get a fee waiver or stipend in exchange for assisting a professor with teaching to junior students (BSW or MSW), supporting them with instructional constraints, assisting in a lab or workshop, etc. Another option is a Research Assistantship, which offers a fee remission or stipend in exchange for students helping a professor with their research.

Student Loans

Federal organizations, banks, and private financial institutions are all options for students seeking a loan. Loans attract interest, which must be paid on time along with any installment. Failure to repay loans on time increases student debt that can be a substantial financial burden.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form can be used to evaluate a student’s eligibility for financial aid. More FAFSA-related information is available here.

Read the best Financial Guide to understand more about funding higher education.

Fully Funded Programs for Online
Ph.D. Social Work

Some universities, private organizations, and research companies offer fully-funded online Ph.D. programs in social work. However, students may have to meet additional admissions criteria or other program requirements. Here are a few fully funded social work Ph.D. programs to explore:

University/College Description
University of Pittsburg School of Social WorkThe University of Pittsburg School of Social Work accepts 6 to 8 students into the Ph.D. social work program each year. Students are fully funded with tuition and stipend support for four years of study, that includes health insurance and access to the universities social work library.
New York University, Silver School of Social WorkThe New York University, Silver School of Social Work awards Research Fellowship to full-time students to support their doctoral studies. The Fellowship covers full tuition and registration service fee waivers for required coursework, health and dental insurance, and a graduate assistantship stipend.
University of Alabama School of Social WorkThe University of Alabama School of Social Work includes tuition, health insurance, and a stipend in a three-year funding plan. The School of Social Work also offers some financial aid, such as the Ben Avis Orcutt and Leslie J. Shellhase endowed scholarships, administered by the Ph.D. program.
Michigan State University, School of Social WorkThe Michigan State University, School of Social Work offers its Ph.D. students a Research Assistantship (RA) in years 1 to 3 of the program. In years 4 and 5, students may opt to also obtain teaching experience via a Teaching Assistantship (TA).

University of Michigan, School of Social Work
Joint PhD in Social Work and Social Science

FAQs related to Online Ph.D.
Social Work

How to get a Doctorate in Social Work?

To enroll in a doctorate social work program online, an applicant must have an MSW degree or master’s degree closely related to social work. Once in the program, the student must take up courses in 5 categories – foundation courses, core courses, specialization courses, courses on research methods, and capstone/thesis preparation courses in the initial years of study. After that, the student has to research, write and present a dissertation/thesis and present a defense for it in front of a select panel of academicians and professionals.

What are the best universities providing Doctorate in Social Work?

What can you do with a Doctorate in Social Work?

What is the average fee charged by the colleges?

Do I have to do Ph.D. after MSW?

Can you get a Ph.D. in social work online?

How long is a Ph.D. in social work?

Career Opportunities and Salaries After
Online Ph.D. Social Work

“Should I get a Ph.D. in social work?” Yes – if senior and leadership roles in academia and the social services sector are of importance. Students who finish their Ph.D. in social work will have a variety of professional options open to them. Postsecondary education is one of the most prevalent uses of a Ph.D. in social work, wherein candidates get to teach future social workers and shape and mold how the field will look and how common concerns will be addressed.  Alternatively, one might also work for a research organization, directing studies on issues such as eliminating mental illness stigma, advocating best practices in group therapy, PTSD preventive methods, etc. In addition, Ph.D. holders could also be asked to deliver findings, talk on critical challenges, and advise on forming public policy on various fronts.

“What can I do with a doctorate in social work”? Ph.D. holders can take up senior roles and responsibilities, including but not limited to:

  • Researcher
  • Director of Social Services
  • Nonprofit Executive
  • Clinical Director
  • Senior Social Worker
  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Executive Director
  • Clinical Services Director
  • Human Services Director

Because there are so many kinds of employment in the field of social work, determining the average wage of people who pursue a Ph.D. can be difficult. However, as an indicator of what to expect, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the top 10% of social workers made more than $85,820 per year in May 2020. Naturally, a high qualification such as a Ph.D. will substantially improve and increase one’s earning potential than what is reported.

The list below highlights some of the careers that Ph.D. social work graduates can pursue, along with their annual median salaries and growth potential as reported by O*Net Online and the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

OccupationJob DescriptionMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Social Work Teachers, PostsecondarySocial Work Teachers, in postsecondary settings, prepare course materials, such as syllabi, Compile, administer, and grade examinations, and prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as family behavior, child and adolescent mental health, or social intervention evaluation.$71,5705% to 10% (about average)
Medical and Health Services ManagerMedical and Health Services Managers plan, direct, or coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.$104,28015% or higher (much faster than average)
Government Agencies (Management Occupations)Management occupations within Government Agencies include mangers, administrators, directors, leaders, executive officers, etc.$107,470Varies by Specific Occupation or Role
Social Advocacy Organizations (Management Occupations)Management occupations within Social Advocacy Organizations include mangers, administrators, directors, leaders, executive officers, etc.$111,310Varies by Specific Occupation or Role
Social Workers (Others)Social Workers (who do not fall in any other specific categories) work with individuals, groups, families, communities, and organizations on a variety of issues related to mental health, social advocacy, community services, child abuse, alcohol and substance abuse, etc., at various levels.$64,2105% to 10% (about average)

Certification and Licensing for Online
Ph.D. Social Work

Certifications are a great way to expand one’s job opportunities and income potential. They also act as a “declaration” that the candidate has extensive knowledge and the essential skills in a particular sub-field of social work. Although a master’s degree is sufficient to practice social work in many situations, in some cases (and states), an Associate Social Work (ASW) License is required. Following the completion of a Ph.D. in social work, an individual can apply for this licensure online through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Applicants must pay a $230 fee and pass a multiple-choice licensing exam.

Here are some of the licenses social work Ph.D. professionals are eligible to apply for:

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) – also known as Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW), requires a master’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program or college. Additionally, students would generally require to have taken up specific courses relevant to the state in which they reside. Renewal of the license requires a certain number of hours of continuing education.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) – requires a master’s or doctorate in social work from a CSWE-accredited program or college. Additionally, and in some instances, at least three years of post-graduate experience and some specific coursework relevant to the state in which the applicant lives is mandatory. Where experience and coursework may not count, an additional requirement of about 3,200 to 4,000 supervised (and verified) hours of clinical professional experience must be met. Renewal of LCSW requires a certain number of hours of continuing education.

Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) – requires a master’s or doctorate in social work from a CSWE-accredited program or college. As with the LCSW, this license also requires the verification of (typically) up to 4,000 hours of clinical professional experience, including diagnosis, assessment, and treatment, over a minimum of two years and no more than six years of professional employment. A certain number of hours of continuing education may be required each time the license comes up for renewal. Because a LISW license is not recognized across the country, students are advised to check with their State for its equivalent.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) provides more information on what it will take to become licensed in your state.

Additional Resources for Online
Ph.D. Social Work

Ph.D. students require the help of peers, seniors, and stalwarts in social work academia and research, to gain insight and knowledge based on varied perspectives. Tapping into resources such as journals, publications, research papers, etc., will help when preparing for one’s own dissertation or thesis. Therefore, it is essential to network with professional social workers from around the world to stay up to date with the newest advances in the field. Here are some resources for online Ph.D. students and professionals that are sure to be beneficial to them in many ways:

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the national association representing social work education in the United States. CSWE supports quality social work education and provides leadership and professional development opportunities. It is the only accrediting organization of social work programs in the United States. CSWE’s official portal hosts publications, events and meetings, research and statistics, educational resources, news, and more.

Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)

The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) is a non‐profit, professional membership society for social work researchers. The organization supports social workers, social welfare professionals, social work students, social work faculty, and researchers in related fields.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization for professional social workers in the world. The organization’s main objective is to advance the professional development of its members, establish and maintain professional standards, and promote supportive social policies.

The New Social Worker

The New Social Worker is a career publication that publishes articles on social work students, ethics, field placement, practice issues, practice specialty, technology in social work, book reviews, and other topics.

The American Board of Clinical Social Work (ABCSW)

The American Board of Clinical Social Work (ABCSW) is the national standard-setting body for the clinical social work profession. The ABCSW establishes and promotes national practice standards, issues position statements, awards the Board-Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD) to advanced clinical generalists, clinical supervisors, children/family practitioners, and psychoanalysts, and maintains an online directory of certificants.

Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care (SSWLHC)

The Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care (SSWLHC) is a non-profit organization with over 500 members dedicated to improving healthcare availability, coordination, and effectiveness, with a focus on the psychosocial aspects of health and illness.

Author Bio:

Erika Lasrado

Erika has broad experience in counseling, psychology, and human resources. Although she has done a master’s in psychology, she is currently pursuing a master’s in educational psychology to change careers. Erika is a foodie and reader and loves to research and write about various topics when time permits.


Master of Psychology, Master of Educational Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.