PhD Students in classroom

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Applications open Oct. 1, 2024

The PhD is a research-intensive degree to prepare you for a career in research and teaching. 

Completing the PhD does not qualify you to register with the ACSW unless you hold a BSW or MSW.

On Campus

This program is offered full-time on campus only. 


Your program includes coursework, candidacy, research and writing and defending a dissertation.


You'll be assigned a supervisor at admission.

Admission Requirements

  1. A Master of Social Work (MSW) degree or equivalent Master's degree from an accredited/recognized institution.  
    If you completed your degree outside Canada, look up the grade equivalency for your country.
  2. A minimum of 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 point system, calculated on the Master of Social Work or equivalent Master's degree.
  3. A minimum of two years full-time post-master's social services practice experience. What is relevant social work and human service experience? 
  4. English Language Proficiency

Offers of admission are valid for the term to which you apply.

Find your supervisor

Learn more about our faculty members and their research interest.


You'll complete 27 units including 12 units of elective courses relevant to your area of specialization and research focus.

Get curriculum plan


Candidacy: You'll complete both oral and written candidacy exams. These must be completed within 28 months from the start of your program.

Dissertation: You'll conduct original research and prepare a written dissertation that is evaluated and orally defended before an examination committee.

Expected completion time is 4 years.

More info

Fall 2025 entry

The PhD will be delivered from Edmonton for fall 2025 entry.

Enterprise Square Edmonton

Our Edmonton campus is conveniently located in UAlberta's downtown campus (Enterprise Square) on Jasper Avenue in the heart of downtown.

How to apply?

Applications open: Oct. 1, 2024
Deadline: Dec. 2, 2024

Follow our step-by-step instructions

Required Documents

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Program Proposal
  • Writing Sample
  • Two references, one academic and one professional
  • Unofficial Transcripts
  • Test scores, if applicable

Application Questions? Consult our FAQ's