Program of Study

Virtual Program Design

The curriculum is designed to be taught primarily in a virtual classroom using high definition videoconferencing technology. To begin the program, there will be a required five-day session in Waco, Texas, which will enable students and faculty to get to know each other and to begin the first two courses.

What does "virtual" class mean?
  • Videoconferencing technology
  • Meets at a specific time, one day a week
  • Students can see and communicate with each other and instructor in real time

Just before graduation, a final on-campus event will also be required. This final session will be used for a public presentation of the students' research.

Virtual Class
Comprehensive Examinations

There will be three comprehensive exams. They will take place at the end of each of the three tracks, replacing the final exam. Below are the courses in each track. All three comprehensive exams and all coursework must be passed prior to enrolling in SWO 6V99 - Dissertation.

Faith in Practice and Theory
SWO 6331 - Christianity, Ethics, and Social Work
SWO 6332 - Social Policy and the Religious Sector
SWO 6333 - Religious and Cultural Diversity
SWO 6351 - Theory and Model Development for Social Work Practice

SWO 6380 - Quantitative Research for Social Work
SWO 6381 - Statistical Analysis for Social Work
SWO 6382 - Qualitative Research for Social Work
SWO 6384 - Proposal Seminar
SWO 6385 - Measurement in Social Work
SWO 6386 - Advanced Qualitative Research
SWO 6387 - Research Practicum

Teaching and Leadership
SWO 6342 - Academic Leadership and Administration in Social Work Education
SWO 6343 - Program Evaluation
SWO 6352 - Higher Educational Teaching and Learning in Social Work
SWO 6353 - Teaching Practicum
Dissertation Description

Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must present an acceptable dissertation on a problem in the field of their major subject. The dissertation must provide evidence that the candidate has pursued a program of research, the results of which reveal scholarly competence and a significant contribution to knowledge.

The PhD dissertation will focus on a single cohesive theme, consist of one document, and have a single defense. Each dissertation will contain three publishable articles. Each article must include a substantive review of the literature, and one of the articles may be a Systematic Research Synthesis of the literature. Two articles will incorporate data from the student’s research with one article using quantitative analysis and the other qualitative analysis. These articles will be embedded as the principle substance in a larger document that will include an explanation of the overall method of the study and a critique of the study for a total of five chapters.