PhD in Social Work

Degree Granted
Degree Level
Garden City

Balance work with study and prepare for a leadership position in social work, improving life in our communities with a PhD degree in social work from Adelphi University.

What Can You Do With a PhD in Social Work?

The goal of our PhD program at the Adelphi University School of Social Work is to provide social work and other human service professionals with the tools to become scholar-practitioners who develop knowledge about practice and assume leadership in social work research and education. Core program elements include research training, community engagement, strong mentorship and a commitment to social justice. Through a personalized, student-centric approach, our program aims to expand students’ abilities to create and disseminate cutting-edge knowledge to address social problems that impact the human condition.

Our part-time, flexible program is designed to enable working professionals to earn their doctoral degree. Our program prepares students to advance in their careers as visionary leaders, as researchers and as social work educators.

Why Earn Your PhD in Social Work at Adelphi in New York on Long Island?

  • Adelphi is affordable. You’ll save on tuition with substantial new Doctoral Social Work Scholarships. Every admitted PhD in Social Work student at Adelphi University is considered for a scholarship of up to $16,600.
  • Earn your PhD in Social Work degree while continuing your career with part-time options and flexible class schedules.
  • Learn to think critically and evaluate a broad spectrum of clinical, administrative and social policy interventions.
  • Benefit from working with our experienced faculty and well-developed system of advisement, mentorship and community connections.

PhD Program Objectives

  • Create research knowledge that is informed by anti-racist and anti-oppressive lenses.
  • Conceptualize, design and execute rigorous research dissertations that enable critical analysis of theories, practices and policies to generate new knowledge.
  • Intentionally utilize ethical research standards to create and disseminate knowledge with an emphasis on social change.
  • Engage actively with communities at the local, regional, national and global levels to create and use research knowledge.
  • Become social work educators and leaders committed to extending the body of knowledge through research, teaching, leading in influencing policy and modeling leadership for the next generation of social workers.


7%* * Bureau of Labor Statistics
expected job growth through 2032 for social workers—faster than the average
Bureau of Labor Statistics
$16,600* * per student
considered for every admitted Adelphi social work PhD student — making it an affordable option for pursuing doctoral studies
per student

Being in the PhD program at Adelphi kindled my passion to be a social work scholar and leader, providing me with strategies needed for research, practice and advocacy. Through my relationships with my cohort and professors, I was supported, yet challenged, to be a better social work leader, critical thinker, and advocate.

Jennifer Dull, PhD ‘22 Social Work, Adelphi University

Program Info

Application Requirements and Deadlines

The application deadline for Fall admission is May 15, or permission from the Program Director. Applicants must have an MSW or an equivalent degree, 3.3 GPA and preferably 2-3 years of post-master’s work experience. Applicants should submit the following:

  • Graduate application and $60 fee
  • Three letters of recommendation addressing academic ability and other skills
  • 3-4 page personal statement
  • Writing sample showcasing academic/scholarly writing skill and style
  • Transcripts from all tertiary academic institutions
  • Cover letter
  • Résumé
  • Essay

Additional Requirements for International Students

Additional information is required from applicants with degrees from non-native English-speaking countries as well as an official TOEFL score of 80 or higher OR IELTS score of 6.5 or higher.

The PhD program is designed to prepare students to assume the role of thought leaders, researchers and practitioner-scholars. We are committed to developing and augmenting your existing skills and preparing you to contribute to the social work knowledge base in your area of expertise. Upon graduation, many of you may choose an academic path, while some of you may take on leadership roles at agencies. Regardless of your chosen career, we encourage you to embrace a culture of critical thinking and lifelong learning.

Elizabeth Palley Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program

Awards & Recognition

Program Contacts

Phone Number
More Info
Nexus Building First Floor
  • Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm Fri: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
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