Doctoral Education in Social Work

Jeane W. Anastas

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Doctoral education in social work is said to be "in crisis." The number of programs has grown more than the number of graduates, and there appears to be a shortage of doctoral graduates for faculty positions in social work education. Based in part on findings from a national survey of doctoral students in social work, this volume discusses the purposes of doctoral education in a practice profession as well as past and current controversies about what they should be. Survey findings about student demographics and reasons for seeking the doctoral degree are discussed in comparison with national data from social work and other fields. What students like and don't like about various aspects of their programs, including the dissertation experience and their preparation for the job market for PhDs, is described and compared to other fields. Although some doctoral students in social work receive substantial financial aid, many are still entirely self-funded. Finally, data suggest that doctoral students in social work are publishing and making conference presentations, but some would like more formal preparation for these job-relevant tasks, including preparation for teaching. Overall, the resources in social work doctoral programs, including student aid, are quite variable. In addition, because the social science model dominates, questions are raised about preparing "stewards of the discipline" or "stewards of the profession" and related practices. A variety of recommendations are made that would enhance the profession's ability to create "communities of scholars" to prepare the next generation of intellectual leadership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages280
ISBN (Electronic)9780199932740
ISBN (Print)9780195378061
StatePublished - May 24 2012


  • Doctoral education
  • Higher education
  • Research
  • Social work
  • Social work education
  • Student survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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