College of Social Work

Social Work - Graduate (Ph.D)

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Dr. Julie Cerel

Director of Graduate Studies (Doctoral Program)

College of Social Work

College of Social Work

University of Kentucky College of Social Work

625 Patterson Office Tower

Lexington, Kentucky, 40506-0027

Program website

(859) 257-6650

  • Ph.D

UK’s Ph.D. in Social Work program is designed to prepare its graduates to be faculty members in social work programs across the country and internationally. There is a strong emphasis on students acquiring the research competencies needed to conduct research and publish their scholarship. At the same time, students learn how to become top-notch educators through teaching assistantships, teaching practica, and a course in teaching. Graduates also find that the doctoral program prepares them to be program evaluators, administrators, policy analysts, and researchers. All of the core curriculum courses are taught on Fridays. Students design their individualized courses with the assistance of their advisor or the Director of the Doctoral Program. Course descriptions can be found athttp://www.uky.edu/Registrar/bulletinCurrent/courses/SW.pdf

Ph.D. Career Path

  • Educators
  • Researchers
  • Program Evaluators
  • Administrators
  • Policy Analysts

Benefits and advantages of our Ph.D. program:

  • Small classes
  • Individualized program of study
  • Nationally recognized faculty
  • Diverse student body
  • Teaching Practica
  • Research Practica
  • Opportunities to publish research
  • Affiliation with several research centers on campus

Applying to the Ph.D. program

Ph.D. applicants are encouraged to apply in early Spring (February/March) of each year. 

Access the Graduate School Application here:

http://www.research.uky.edu/gs/ProspectiveStudents/Admission.html

In order to complete the application you will need to gather several pieces of information including the following:

1. Transcripts:

You will be asked to upload copies of transcripts from all higher education institutions attended and, in the case of domestic students, to self-report cumulative GPAs for each institution. If you are offered admission and decide to enroll, you will then be required to submit official transcripts to the Graduate School.

2. Letters of Recommendation:

The PhD Program at the University of Kentucky requires applicants to provide three references. These references must be obtained from individuals in the following categories:

  • Faculty
  • Work Supervisor/Current or Former Employer

Please exclude personal, pastoral and relative references.  If you graduated within the past 5 years, you must provide at least one academic reference.

As part of the online application you will be asked to supply email contact information for your three references. Once your application has been submitted, the system will contact each person identified and their recommendations will be submitted electronically directly to us. You can check back into your application at any time to see who has submitted a recommendation. You can review recommender requirements via the following link:

http://www.gradschool.uky.edu/prospectivestudents/program_reqs.html

3. Personal Statement Autobiography (uploaded electronic document)

Your autobiography should be approximately four pages in length, double-spaced, and the following topics must be addressed within the narrative:

  • Motivation for a doctoral degree in social work
  • Career goals
  • Research interests
  • Characteristics, circumstances, or challenges that could serve to enhance or limit your capacity to pursue graduate level education in the field of social work?

4. A current resume or CV showing your work and volunteer experience (uploaded electronic document)

5. GRE Scores (last 5 years) must be sent from the Educational Testing Service

6. Writing Sample (uploaded electronic document)

Each applicant to the doctoral program is requested to provide a sample of original written work. In order to meet this requirement, you should write a 3-4 page (double spaced) paper in response to the question posed below and submit it with your application materials.

In addition to the writing sample, you may supply other written products to be considered which may be one of the following:

  • A paper presented or proposed for a conference, workshop, or training presentation.
  • A paper proposed, submitted, or accepted for publication in an academic journal.
  • A working paper or literature review on a topic that you have explored since graduating.

WRITING SAMPLE QUESTION:

The trend of the social work profession in the past thirty years has been to concentrate on clinical helping – individual counseling, family therapy, and group work rather than macro level helping. In this respect it is argued that social workers tend to serve people who have already been damaged by the effects of social problems, rather than working toward the eradication of the causes and conditions of social decay itself. In this sense social work is reactive rather than proactive. Do you believe this assessment is correct? Why or why not? If you believe it is true, comment on the implications of this trend for the practice of social work today. If you do not believe it is true, comment on the role of clinical helping in relation to social problems and social conditions.

Assistantship/Fellowship Application (uploaded electronic document)

If you wish to apply for a teaching or research assistantship, please write a cover letter of application. If there is one faculty member you’d especially like to work with, mention that in the letter. To view current faculty, please click here.


Contact

Dr. Julie Cerel

Director of Graduate Studies (Doctoral Program)

College of Social Work

College of Social Work

University of Kentucky College of Social Work

625 Patterson Office Tower

Lexington, Kentucky, 40506-0027

(859) 257-6650