PhD Student Resource Portal

This page includes information, resources, and forms related to the Social Work PhD program.

GSSW Academic Calendars

  • Fall 2024 GSSW Academic Calendar...Coming Soon!

University of Denver Calendars

University of Denver Resources:

Here are some common resources for the PhD program. If you don't find a resource listed here, search on DU's primary website.

Health & Wellness Resources

Telus Health (formerly My Student Support Program (My SPP): It's okay to ask for help. Contact us for 24/7 real-time support via text, phone, app, or Internet. My SSP has counselors available who speak Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Arabic, French and English.

CAPE (Center for Advocacy, Prevention, Empowerment): Supporting survivors of sexual violence and promoting healthy relationships.

SOS (Student Outreach and Support): Helps students succeed by connecting them to resources, developing a plan of action to meet their goals, and navigating challenging situations. Staff, faculty and students can submit a referral or reach out directly for connection.

If you or someone you know needs help in dealing with a suicidal crisis, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Leave of Absence: At certain times in graduate school, a student may need to take a pause in their program. You will find information on personal and medical leave options at the following links: Personal Leave of Absence Policy | Student Outreach and Support information on Medical Leave - Medical Leave of Absence and Reentry Policy. ----- [GSSW Leave of Absence Guide -----

Health and counseling services vary by program.

Learn More

Student Technology Essentials

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    MyDU

    Check your MyDU portal for important documents, registration info and other student essentials.

    MyDU

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    Canvas

    Access our online learning-management system to find syllabi, assignments, deadlines and more.

    Canvas

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    Office 365

    Access your email account, Microsoft Word, OneDrive and other resources that can help you complete your schoolwork.

    Office 365

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    Zoom

    Host or attend virtual meetings or classes.

    Zoom

PhD Program Benchmarks

PhD Programmatic Milestones

The Graduate School of Social Work expects students in the Ph.D. Program to make consistent progress toward completion of their degree. As such programmatic milestones have been established and eligibility for certain types of financial support is tied to completion of programmatic milestones.

  • Year One

    At the end of the first year of the Ph.D. Program, students are expected to have:

    a) successfully completed approximately one-half of the course credits required for completion of their degree;

    b) received feedback from faculty supervisor of satisfactory work as GSSW Pre-Doctoral Fellowship(s), Graduate Teaching Assistantship(s), or Graduate Research Assistantship(s) (if awarded) as indicated on Student Development Plan; and,

    c) developed and received approval for their Educational Plan;

    d) successfully passed the Research Methods and Statistics qualifying examination; and,

    e) selected a permanent academic advisor.

  • Year Two

    At the end of the second year of the Ph.D. Program, students are expected to have:
    a) successfully completed all required course credits required for completion of their degree (75 credits beyond the MSW or 90 hours beyond their non-MSW master’s degree and no incompletes);
    b) received feedback from faculty supervisor of satisfactory work as GSSW Pre-Doctoral Fellowship(s), Graduate Teaching Assistantship(s), or Graduate Research Assistantship(s) (if awarded) as indicated on Student Development Plan; and,
    c) Updated and finalized their Educational Plan
    d) successfully completed and received approval on their comprehensive exam proposal by August 15th

  • Year Three

    At the end of the third year of the Ph.D. Program, students are expected to have:
    a) successfully passed their comprehensive exam*;
    b) been moved to final candidacy;
    c) received feedback from faculty supervisor of satisfactory work as GSSW Pre-Doctoral Fellowship(s), Graduate Teaching Assistantship(s), or Graduate Research Assistantship(s) (if awarded) as indicated on Student Development Plan; and,

    d) completed and received approval for their dissertation proposal.
    GSSW Doctoral Assistantships will not be awarded to students who have not completed their year three programmatic milestones by the end of the third academic year (see section on GSSW Doctoral Assistantships below).

Annual Review Process

  • Research Methods & Statistics Qualifying Exam Requirement

    Typically the exam will be scheduled approximately two weeks after the end of the spring quarter of the first year. The exam is taken by all students on the same date as established by the Assoc. Dean for Doctoral Education. The exam covers content from required research methods and statistics courses take during the first year of study in the PhD program.

    Qualifying Exam Study Guide

  • Comprehensive Exam

    The Comprehensive Exam is a written and oral exam designed to evaluate the student's work at DU. The purpose of the exam is to provide a means by which the student demonstrates capacities for independent and systematic scholarship in keeping with the educational objectives of the PhD program at GSSW.

  • Dissertation

    The dissertation requirement is designed to afford students an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to 1) do competent research in social work, 2) organize materials logically, write clearly, and make sound interpretations and conclusions from the facts presented, and 3) make a contribution to the field.

    • Approval of Dissertation Proposal Form
    • Approval of Final Draft of Dissertation Form
    • Dissertation Committee Form
    • Dissertation Flowchart - overview of steps to take for Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation; contains links to forms you'll need
    • Dissertation Record of Examination Form
    • Thesis/Dissertation Oral Defense Committee Recommendation Form

Resources

Events CTA

Looking for in-person and virtual events? Visit our GSSW Student Events page.

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