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    • Faculty of Social Work
    • Faculty of Graduate Studies

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    • PhD in Social Work

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    Expected duration

    • 4 to 6 years

  • The knowledge generated by our doctoral students is shared with other academics, students, government policy-makers, not-for-profit social service organizations, individuals who make use of social work services and supports and members of the general public.

    The Faculty of Social Work's research focuses include:

    • human rights and social justice
    • child welfare
    • family violence
    • social determinants of mental health
    • Indigenous methodologies and ways of being
  • Two social work researches sit in front of 4 large computer monitors talking.

Program details

To earn your PhD, you must demonstrate an ability for independent investigation, original research or creative scholarship. You will be expected to write a thesis and you will be tested in an oral examination where you exhibit mastery of your field of study.

Expected duration: 4 to 6 years

Tuition and fees: Two years tuition, then continuing fees in subsequent years (refer to Graduate tuition and fees)

You must contract with an advisor upon admission. An advisory committee that includes your advisor and two additional members will be appointed to assist the you in developing a study plan and to supervise your research.

Course work

You must complete 24 credit hours of approved 7000 level course work beyond the Master of Social Work degree.

You will select your courses in consultation with your advisory committee to further your specialized program of study. We strongly recommend that you include courses focusing on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The PhD Program Committee must approve your course selection.

      Sample course offerings

      • SWRK 7440: Policy Analysis in Social Work Practice (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 7600: Critical Perspectives and Social Work (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 7620: Paradigms, Methodologies and Methods for Social Work Research (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 7630: Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 7650: Advanced Social Work Practice with Groups (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 7660: Social Work Perspectives on Practice with Networks, Neighbourhoods, and Communities (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 7670: Community Mobilization: Application of Concepts in Social Work Practice with Groups, Networks, and Communities (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 7680: Management of Human Resources in Social Service Organizations (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 7690: Leadership, Strategic Program Planning, and Financial Management in Social Service Organizations (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 8010: Perspectives on Knowledge for Social Work (3 credit hours)
      • SWRK 8100: Social Work Past and Present: Trends, Institutions and Practices (3 credit hours)

      For full course descriptions please visit the Academic Calendar.

      Candidacy examination

      The candidacy examination should be taken within a year of completion of coursework. The candidacy examination consists of a major paper on a topic within your general area of study and an oral examination of the topic covered in the paper. A candidacy examination committee will be appointed when you begin to prepare for your candidacy examination. This three-person committee, which includes your advisor, is responsible for administering the candidacy examination.

      Dissertation research

      Your PhD advisory committee, chaired by your thesis advisor, provides advice and guidance in the development of the proposal for the dissertation and during the ongoing research phase. Normally, advisory committee members become members of the examining committee for the dissertation during the final examination for the PhD degree.

      Admission requirements

      To qualify for admission to the PhD in Social Work, you must:

      • Have a Master of Social Work degree, or equivalent, from an accredited degree-granting university, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B)
      • Demonstrate minimum research competency in both qualitative and quantitative methods equivalent to the level required for the Master of Social Work degree from the University of Manitoba, with a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) within the last 10 years

      If you do not meet these entrance requirements, you may be recommended for conditional admission with the stipulation that you take the necessary course or courses. The course or courses will be an additional requirement beyond the 24 credit hours required for the program.

      In addition to the admission requirements described here, all applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements for the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Graduate Studies.

      How to apply

      The Social Work PhD program has only one application deadline per year, and applications are accepted for September entry only. Applications must be completed online and include several parts:

      • $100 application fee (non-refundable)
      • Unofficial copies of transcripts
      • Three letters of recommendation (must be requested from within the application)
      • A CV that shows you have educational and professional experience and the capacity to undertake research-oriented postgraduate work.
      • Proof of English language proficiency, if required
      • A two-page summary of your proposal for the PhD program that includes:
        • a rationale for the proposed research
        • research questions
        • a concise literature review of the topic
        • a proposed methodology for the research
        • the outline of a  plan to complete the research
      • A letter (email confirmation is acceptable) of an agreement with a proposed advisor who has agreed to serve as your advisor.

      To find an advisor, explore the Faculty of Social Work's faculty and staff page and contact a faculty member whose research interests align with your own. Please note that your advisor must hold a PhD or equivalent and be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (typically includes academic staff holding a rank of assistant professor or above).

      Please read the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application instructions before beginning your application.

      Application deadline (Canadian, US and international applicants)

      Term Application deadline Apply
      Fall 2022 December 1, 2021 Not Open Yet

      Applicants must submit their online application with supporting documentation and application fee by the deadline date indicated. 

      Learn more

      Contact us

      Admission and application inquiries

      Faculty of Graduate Studies
      Room 500 UMSU University Centre
      65 Chancellors Circle
      University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
      Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

      Phone: 204-474-9377
      Fax: 204-474-7553

      Monday to Friday
      8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

      Program inquiries

      Faculty of Social Work
      Room 521 Tier Building
      173 Dafoe Rd. W
      University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)  
      Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

      Phone: 204-474-7050
      Fax: 204-474-7594