The Ph.D. program in social work is designed to prepare educators and scholars to teach the next generation of social workers and to conduct publishable research aimed at improving the lives of the distressed, the mistreated, and forgotten. It is a part-time program that demands full-time dedication and motivation. Like the Marines, we don’t seek hundreds of applicants, just a few good ones every year, which allows us to work closely with each doctoral student. Our faculty are affiliated with such prominent UK centers as:


Students work with faculty within the college and university in such areas as health and mental health, substance abuse, international social work, social work education, child welfare, criminal justice, military social work, gerontology, suicidology, macro-level interventions, and others. To view faculty publications, please see our faculty directory, where you can find publications listed in their respective Curriculum-Vitae.

Although our program began in 1997, our Ph.D. graduates can be found across the country — in California, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, Virginia, and Indiana, in addition to Kentucky.

See the recent listing of our students’ publications and presentations below:


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