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PhD Program

About the Program

The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW) at the University of Toronto is one of the most distinguished and research-intensive social work graduate programs in North America. We have a diverse group of faculty members who have a rich range of teaching and research expertise. Having deep roots in the communities we serve, we endeavour to institute positive changes through challenging inequalities and injustices. As we strive to bridge the gap between research and practice, our goal is to advance the welfare of people, both at the individual and collective levels. Ultimately, the impact of our faculty’s scholarship is profound and felt across communities at the local, national and international levels.

Our doctoral program is designed to cultivate high-calibre scholars and outstanding leaders in the area of social work research, education and policy. We are committed to deepening our students’ breadth and depth of knowledge, broadening their research capacities, sharpening their vision and enriching their commitment to social justice. Our program provides an engaging range of courses, including a wide range offered by other departments in the greater University of Toronto community. We also offer outstanding research and teaching opportunities that intellectually stimulate, challenge and support our doctoral students. In the end, graduates of our doctoral program will move on to push forward boundaries of social work knowledge, research, teaching and policy.

Overview of the Program

The Doctor of Philosophy program at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work is available on a full-time basis. Minimum period of registration is 12 academic sessions of full-time enrolment (Fall, Winter, Summer sessions). The program is structured to support the completion of all degree requirements within four years. However, if required, students can register up to a cumulative total of six years following their admission into the program to complete their degree requirements. Students have three major milestones to accomplish in the program: required course work, the Comprehensive Paper OR Comprehensive Exam, and the Thesis.

PhD Program Timeline with new Comprehensive Exam Requirements

Effective September 2018

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Years 4-5
  • Required course work
  • Required course work
  • Comprehensive exame proposal
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Form and finalize a Supervisory Committee
  • Thesis proposal
  • Obtain PhD Candidacy
  • Thesis research
  • Complete research
  • Submit and defend thesis