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Governance of PhD Program

Doctoral Program Director

A senior member of the faculty is appointed by the Dean to serve as Director of the Doctoral Program. The duration of the appointment is typically three years. The Director is responsible for the ongoing administration of the doctoral program and the implementation of the policies established by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) and the Faculty Council of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. The Director is responsible to the Dean of the Faculty. The Director is available to faculty members and doctoral students for consultation in all matters relating to the doctoral program.

The PhD Studies Committee

The PhD Studies Committee is a standing committee of the Faculty Council. Its membership consists of four members of full-time faculty, including the PhD Director, the Dean or Associate Dean, four members of the PhD student body, two members of the Alumni Association and one member of the Administrative Staff. The primary responsibility of the Committee is to review and develop policies regarding doctoral program admissions, curriculum, supervision, and other matters relevant to doctoral studies. Policy changes are subject to approval by the Faculty Council and the School of Graduate Studies.

PhD Student Association (PhDSA), Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

All registered PhD students in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW) are automatically members of the PhDSA. The objectives of the organization are:

  • To represent the PhD student community with the FIFSW;
  • To act in partnership with the faculty to enhance the educational experiences of students;
  • To initiate, facilitate, and where appropriate, administer a program of activities aimed at enhancing the student experience within the FIFSW;
  • To support community building and social justice among the student body;
  • To enhance communication among students, faculty, and staff and the social work community;
  • To represent social work students in university matters;
  • To support linkages with social agencies and the greater Toronto community;
  • To promote and facilitate the evaluation of social work education from a student perspective; and,
  • To work in partnership with the faculty to welcome and orient new students to the Faculty.


Ad-hoc Committees

PhD students may be asked by the Dean or the PhD Director to sit on a number of ad hoc committees, such as hiring committees and special review committees. Where feasible, PhD student representation should be determined by the student body, through the PhD Studies Committee, the PhD Student Association or one of the bi-annual PhD student meetings.

Appeals Committees

The purpose of the Student Appeals Committee is to establish Appeal Panels to receive, hear, and decide on all student appeals in the Faculty, and to report their decisions for information to Council. Appeals may result from disputes on substantive or procedural academic matters, including grades. (It should be noted that the Committee does not deal with infractions of the University’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters or Code of Student Conduct). The Appeal Panel will consist of the following:

Chair: a person who is not a member of any constituency of the Faculty Council, and who is acceptable to all parties to the dispute.
The two teaching faculty members of the Student Appeals Committee.
The two student members of the Appeal Committee.

For more information please see the terms of reference for the Student Appeal Committee in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Constitution. A copy can be obtained from the Dean’s Office (Room 450).

For information on SGS Academic Appeals policies, steps and timelines visit the web site.