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About the Program

The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW) at the University of Toronto is one of the most distinguished and research-intensive social work graduate programs in North America. We have a diverse group of faculty members who have a rich range of teaching and research expertise. Having deep roots in the communities we serve, we endeavour to institute positive changes through challenging inequalities and injustices. As we strive to bridge the gap between research and practice, our goal is to advance the welfare of people, both at the individual and collective levels. Ultimately, the impact of our faculty’s scholarship is profound and felt across communities at the local, national and international levels.

Our doctoral program is designed to cultivate high-calibre scholars and outstanding leaders in the area of social work research, education and policy. We are committed to deepening our students’ breadth and depth of knowledge, broadening their research capacities, sharpening their vision and enriching their commitment to social justice. Our program provides an engaging range of courses, including a wide range offered by other departments in the greater University of Toronto community. We also offer outstanding research and teaching opportunities that intellectually stimulate, challenge and support our doctoral students. In the end, graduates of our doctoral program will move on to push forward boundaries of social work knowledge, research, teaching and policy.

Overview of the Program

The Doctor of Philosophy program at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work is available on a full-time basis. Minimum period of registration is 12 academic sessions of full-time enrolment (Fall, Winter, Summer sessions). The program is structured to support the completion of all degree requirements within four years. However, if required, students can register up to a cumulative total of six years following their admission into the program to complete their degree requirements. Students have three major milestones to accomplish in the program: required course work, the Comprehensive Paper OR Comprehensive Exam, and the Thesis.

PhD Program Timeline with new Comprehensive Exam Requirements Effective September 2018

phd social work toronto

GADE Social Work

University of Toronto

Factor-inwentash school of social work.

The PhD program at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work doctoral program aims to prepare students for leadership roles in social work education, research and the community. Students are admitted to the PhD Program on the basis of prior scholarly and professional achievements. Applicants who have been involved in research and who have a record of publications are rated highly for consideration for admission. These admission criteria acknowledge that the PhD in Social Work is a research degree located in a University which emphasizes research excellence for all of its graduate programs. Through scholarship, research, and mastery of substantive areas of study the objectives of the program require student competence in the following:

1) demonstrate substantive knowledge of a field of social work (defined by students’ research interests), which results in the articulation of important empirical questions;

2) conduct social work research using a range of paradigms and methods;

3) conduct research that both informs and advances social work knowledge and performance in areas of direct practice, community intervention, and policy development; and

4) demonstrate a broad understanding of the major practice and policy issues in social welfare and the profession of social work.

University of Toronto (Canada)

  • Where: Toronto, Ontario
  • Type: Public
  • Degree Offered: PhD Program
  • Program Type: In-Person Program Only
  • Students: Full-time Enrollment Only
  • Average Enrolled Students Yearly: 9-11 Students
  • GRE Requirement: No
  • TOEFL Requirement: Yes, with a cut-off score
  • MSW Requirement: Yes, MSW or other master's degree required
  • Two Years Post-MSW Experience Required: No
  • Joint MSW/PhD Program: No

Substantive Research Areas of Faculty

  • Addiction/Substance Use
  • Adolescent and Youth Development
  • Aging/Gerontology
  • Child Welfare
  • Children & Families
  • Community Practice/Macro Practice
  • Family Violence
  • Housing/Homelessness
  • Immigrants, Refugees & Displaced Persons
  • International Social Work & Global Development
  • LGBT Issues & Services
  • Mental Health
  • Poverty/Disadvantaged Populations
  • Social/Economic Justice
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Religion/Spirituality
  • School Social Work
  • Social Work Education
  • Social Work Practice
  • Work/Family/Family Policy

For more information visit University of Toronto .

To update your program's profile, please complete the Program Directory Update Form .

FellowshipBard

Fully funded phd in social work at university of toronto, about fully funded phd in social work .

Our doctoral program is designed to cultivate high-calibre scholars and outstanding leaders in the area of social work research, education and policy.

We are committed to deepening our students’ breadth and depth of knowledge, broadening their research capacities, sharpening their vision and enriching their commitment to social justice.

Our program provides an engaging range of courses, including a wide range offered by other departments in the greater University of Toronto community.

We also offer outstanding research and teaching opportunities that intellectually stimulate, challenge and support our doctoral students.

In the end, graduates of our doctoral program will move on to push forward boundaries of social work knowledge, research, teaching and policy.

Fully Funded Financial Support

Funding opportunities are committed for up to five years for PhD students who are engaged in full-time studies, complete program requirements in a timely manner, remain in good standing, and apply for major external funding.

The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work provides a minimum funding commitment of $19,500 for full-time students after students pay off their tuition and fees.

The funding package includes a combination of awards received, research and teaching assistantships and other external sources.

All students need to pay tuition and fees on their own. The funding commitment of $19,500 is computed after the tuition and fees are paid.

The academic year fees and incidental fees have been factored into the funding packages for students.

PhD Application Requirements

1. A Master of Social Work degree or an equivalent Master’s degree with a B+ average from an accredited program in a university of recognized standing.

2. Competency in basic statistical methods at an introductory level (an introductory statistics course is offered in the first term of the program to ensure that students meet this prerequisite).

3. Educational and professional experience that will indicate a capacity to undertake research-oriented post-graduate work.

4. Must show evidence of facility in the English language. If your primary language is not English and you graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction and examination was not English, then you must demonstrate your facility in English.

5. Research Proposal/ Research Statement or GRE General Test Score

6. PhD Reference Form

7. PhD Personal Statement

8. Writing Sample Instructions

9. Transcripts of Academic Records Instructions

10. School of Graduate Studies Online Application and Application Fee

Looking For Fully Funded PhD Programs? Click Here

Application deadline.

The application deadline is January 1, 2024.

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Study and Work in Social Work in Canada

Graduate Social Work Admission Requirements The prequisites required to become accepted in an graduate and/or post-graduate PhD program in Social Work.

What Social Work Students Learn Topics and concepts that are covered and the overall approach or focus taken in studying Social Work.

Research in Social Work Research areas, topics, interests projects in Social Work.

Career and Employment Opportunities in Social Work Professions or occupations available to graduates in Social Work and links to employment resources.

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School of Social Work

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Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Ready to become a skilled advocate and collaborator? When people can access the services and resources they need to more fully participate in society, it is often because of the efforts of social workers. 

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The School of Social Work at Toronto Metropolitan University is a leader in the field of social work education through its integration and study of anti-oppression, marginalization and critical approaches to practice.

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Field education at Toronto Metropolitan University provides you with a rewarding opportunity to put theory into practice in actual employment environments.

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York University

Welcome to the Graduate Program in Social Work

Master of social work (msw), doctor of philosophy (phd).

The School of Social Work, York University, is committed to social work education which develops practice strategies for human rights and social justice and thus affirms that personal experiences are embedded in social structures.

Our program is distinguished by its critical approach to the field and its emphasis on human rights, social justice, and anti–oppression.

Learn About Our Progressive Programs

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Challenge Your Levels

Theoretical.

At the theoretical level, you will be encouraged to shift your thinking from individualism towards structural and collective understandings of social issues.

At the policy level, you will become aware of how cuts to programs and services have created a political economy of uncertainty that diminishes people's options and opportunities for support.

At the practice level, you will be exposed to alternative intervention strategies to critique and address how structural inequalities impact personal struggle and contribute to the dislocation of oppressed and disenfranchised populations.

Featured Faculty

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Research Interests

Community-Based Research , Homelessness and Under-Housing, Immigration and Diversity, International Social Work, Critical Positive Youth Development, Social Work

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Indigenous Peoples , Social Work, Indigenous pedagogy, Anti-Racist Education, Indigenous Social Work

Special Advisor, LA&PS Indigenous Issues

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Mary Goitom

Immigration, Migration and Mobilities; Transnationalism and Globalization; International Social Work; Organizational Practice

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Social inclusion/exclusion of gender and sexually diverse populations in social policy and service provision and the degree of their recognition as distinct communities in cultural, systemic and structural contexts

My placement inspired me to pursue community mental health social work. I now work as a case manager in mental health.

— Madelaine Ritts MSW Alumni 2017

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School of Social Work - MSW Practicum

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The Graduate Program in Social Work at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Engagement Coordinator for information.

Connect with Social Work

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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

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Social Work (PhD)

Society needs researchers who have a deep understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion and who are prepared to address inequality and promote social justice.

Supported by world-class faculty , students undertake ground-breaking research that fosters social justice and promotes new understandings of social issues affecting individuals, families, organizations, and communities.

social-work-phd-landing.jpg

Program Highlights

  • The country’s only Indigenized PhD in Social Work offering. Following a successful pilot in 2018, the program was implemented again in 2022.
  • Small class sizes foster a strong sense of community among students and enable faculty to provide individual support and mentorship.
  • 56% of students who graduated between 2016 and 2021 hold full-time faculty positions.
  • For the 2023/24 academic year, 10 of our students were awarded external funding to support their research from either the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada or the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.
  • One of our students was the recipient of the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship.

Program Details

The PhD program includes two offerings: a general offering and Indigenous offering. Each offering involves the same program structure and milestones. Students complete seven required courses and one elective course, with an optional elective available. They then complete the comprehensive examination followed by the dissertation.

The Social Work PhD comprehensive examination is an important stepping-stone in students’ dissertation research. It provides students with the opportunity to develop deep knowledge of the theory and knowledge/research related to their area of interest, which both informs and frames their dissertation research.

General Offering

This offering reflects Western ways of knowing, though students are exposed to and encourage to consider Indigenous ways of knowing and research, decolonization, and critical methods in their research. This offering is open to both full-time and part-time students and is offered annually except with the second offering is implemented.

Indigenized Offering

This offering is situated in Indigenous knowledges and embraces Indigenous teaching methods, such as circle, ceremony, and land-based learning. This offering is designed for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. It is open to full-time students and is offered every 4-5 years.

This offering is a critical part of the Faculty of Social Work’s commitment to indigenization and decolonization and responds to recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It also helps to respond to the growing demand for Indigenous scholars within higher education.

Courses are taught by Indigenous scholars from the Indigenous Field of Study (IFS). Course content privileges Indigenous scholarship and discourses relevant to Indigenous issues in practice, research and education. Indigegogy is a term that is employed by the IFS team to capture the Indigenous theories and practices that underpin the transformative Indigenous educational process. Indigegogy in each course is wholistic in design and flow from Indigenous ways of seeing, being, knowing, and doing. Course pedagogy involves the sharing circle in the presence of medicines, ceremony, and Elders, and land-based learning, when possible.

Graduates take their place in the circle of Indigenous knowledge, restoring and generating indigenous knowledge. Graduates understand "how" to gather knowledge, carve pathways, research, engage in Indigegogy, how to take their places within the academy or teaching and research positions and maintain their Indigeneity and Indigenist frameworks.

Field Learning Option

Students for whom field experience in a particular setting is necessary to advance their ability to conduct their research may request permission to enrol in the Field Learning Option. The student identifies the setting, negotiates the details of the role, and submits a written proposal for the Field Learning Option to the associate dean of the PhD program and the PhD committee for approval. If taken, the field learning option would fulfil an elective.

Program Structure

Full-time students are expected to complete their coursework within four terms and their comprehensive examination in two terms. They usually complete the program in 4-5 years.

Full-time students receive minimum guaranteed funding and are eligible to apply for Ontario Graduate Scholarships, SSHRC or CIHR doctoral awards.

Term One (Fall)

  • SK790: Social Work Thought and Theory
  • SK791: Epistemology and the Nature of Social Work Knowledge

Term Two (Winter)

  • SK704: Applied Quantitative Research Methods
  • SK805: Applied Qualitative Research Methods

Term Three (Spring)

  • SK820: Doctoral Seminar 
  • SK894: Writing for Publication 

Term Four (Fall)

  • SK801: Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis 
  • Required Elective 

Terms Five (Winter) and Six (Spring)

  • SK893: Comprehensive Examination

Terms Seven to 12

  • SK899: PhD Dissertation

Part-time students complete a maximum of two courses per term and expected to complete the comprehensive examination within four terms.

They follow the same curriculum as full-time students and are expected to complete courses in the terms the courses are offered to full-time students.

Following admission to the program, in collaboration with the associate dean of the PhD program, the student develops a plan for completing their courses.

Please note, part-time students are not eligible for the minimum guaranteed funding package or for Ontario Graduate Scholarships, SSHRC or CIHR doctoral awards.

Faculty Research

Our faculty members pursue a range of research interests across the micro-macro practice spectrum from the local to global contexts. They use various research methodologies, including critical, feminist, and Indigenous methods.

Our research centres, programs, and chairs include the Centre for Indigegogy , Manulife Centre for Community Health Research , the Social Innovation Research Group , Walls to Bridges , Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Global Adversity and Wellbeing, and the Lyle S. Hallman Chair in Child and Family Welfare.

Core Research Areas

Aligned with social work’s mission and values, faculty’s research addresses these core areas:

Community-Engaged Research for Inclusion

Faculty conduct research in partnership with marginalized and vulnerable communities and work toward social justice and social transformation. Faculty are deeply engaged with the community and engage is scholarship that is driven by community priorities, centres community voices, and advances social justice and inclusion.

Indigenous Scholarship and Decolonizing Relationships, Knowledges, and Practices

This area includes Indigenous scholarship by Indigenous faculty members as well as research and knowledge mobilization related to decolonizing practices and relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Common to these topics is strong recognition, respect and value placed on Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, being and doing.

Adversity, Trauma, Wellbeing and Social Change

Faculty engage in research exploring the connections between various forms of adversity and, trauma, and wellbeing, with the goal of facilitating positive wellbeing, belonging, and inclusion. This work informs interventions at the micro and macro levels, including challenging systems of oppression that underpin various forms of adversity.

Gender and its Intersections

Faculty examine the ways gender and gendered experiences (i.e., expressions, identities, sexualities, and embodiment) are shaped by and intersect with factors such as racism, colonialism, patriarchy, cisgenderism, heterosexism, ableism, poverty, and religion. Faculty explore topics such as violence against women, criminal justice, immigration and refugee issues, disability, and 2SLGBTQ+ realities.

Quote Image

"The PhD program provided opportunities for me to build lifelong relationships with colleagues and friends. I am thankful for the care put into fostering these opportunities to connect and the mentors that helped guide my journey". 

Christine Mayor (PhD ’22)

Take the first step in your graduate education and apply to one of our graduate programs. Follow our three-step admission process — we’ll walk you through how to apply and prepare for your first day as a graduate student.

  • Start: Fall (September)
  • Format: Full-time or part-time
  • Application deadline: Jan. 17

Attend a Virtual Information Session

Learn more about our program and register for one of our Virtual Information Sessions. 

  • Tuesday, October 3, 2023 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register on Zoom . 
  • Thursday, November 2, 2023 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Register on Zoom . 
  • Wednesday, November 29, 2023 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Register on Zoom . 

Admission Requirements

  • A Master of Social Work (MSW) or equivalent from a related discipline with a minimum A- standing.
  • Three or more years of post-MSW practice experience, but other combinations of practice, education, and lived experience may be considered. We particularly value practice with diverse marginalized communities and populations.
  • Strong critical and analytic abilities and a passion for intellectual and personal growth and research that fosters social justice, inclusion, and well-being.
  • Potential and motivation to pursue independent research that reflects social work values.
  • Please note, we do not require prospective students to pre-arrange an advisor as this is a process we believe best occurs when part of the program. However, feel free to contact faculty with whom you might want to work to discuss your research interests. In your application you are asked to identify faculty with whom you would like to work.

Application Checklist

Applications must be complete to be considered. The annual application deadline is usually mid-January. The application includes assessments from referees and a statement of intent, which includes a proposed research plan, therefore we recommend you start developing your application early. Applications are assessed by faculty serving on the PhD program committee. We reserve the right to interview applicants and consider applications until the program is full.

After you have submitted your  OUAC application , paid the non-refundable application fee, and Laurier has received your application, you'll receive an email from [email protected] advising you to upload the additional required documentation to   Laurier’s Online Registration and Information System (LORIS) .

An application for admission to our PhD in Social Work program must include:

  • The Application Summary , which is generated after you complete your OUAC application (log back in to OUAC to retrieve it).
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. Documents must be dated within the past six months.
  • A completed statement of intent (see below for details).
  • A resume of your academic and work experience. Include a history of your research experience, publications, presentations/workshops given, and any other information you feel will interest the admissions committee. Distinguish between paid and volunteer positions, and practicum and full- or part-time work.
  • A sample of your scholarly writing (10-20 pages in length). This may be a chapter of your master's thesis or a paper written for a graduate course.
  • Completed reference forms . Three academic references are required. Note: Reference forms are electronically submitted to Laurier by the referee and do not need to be uploaded.

Statement of Intent

As you complete the   statement of intent   keep the following points in mind:

  • Answers each of the questions outlined on the form, with most of your attention given to your research interests and proposed research plan.
  • Conveys your motivation for pursuing a PhD in social work in terms of your education, practice experience (not limited to paid work), and lived experience, and how these connect to your research interests, which reflect the social work profession’s mission and values.
  • Reflects reflexivity and self-awareness regarding your positionalities, especially if proposing to conduct research with a community you are not a member of. 
  • Provides evidence that you examined the scholarly literature, including theory, regarding your area of interest and how your proposed study fits with these. Ideally conveys how your research might advance understanding of the topic.
  • Includes a clear and answerable research question that aligns with the research issue you plan to address in your doctoral research.
  • Presents a coherent and feasible research plan (methodological approach, sampling, and data collection and analysis) that address your research question and is appropriate to research population. Because of space limitations, the research plan does not need to address minor points, such as how confidentiality will be maintained.

International Applicants and Funding

The Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work welcomes international students to the PhD Program. International students who have confirmed funding from a third-party, such as their employer or a scholarship program in their home country, will be considered for admission beginning in the 2024/25 admission year.

Learn more about  admission requirements for international applicants.

English Proficiency

Proficiency in written and spoken English is essential to graduate studies at Laurier. Applicants whose language of instruction during their previous postsecondary education was not in English must submit evidence of proficiency in English. If applicable, results from accepted testing services must be uploaded to  LORIS .

Your Next Steps

Questions? Contact Michael Woodford, associate dean of the PhD program, at [email protected] .

"The collegiality of peers, staff, and faculty was a valuable and cherished part of my experience. The physical spaces for students to work and engage with each other created a great extension to classroom learning. My advisor’s commitment guidance and support were essential in creating an intellectually stimulating experience that challenged me and deepened my critical thinking."

Bibi Baksh (PhD '22)

Kitchener Location

This program is available at the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work in the heart of downtown Kitchener . This fully renovated historic building houses seven classrooms (including a unique circular classroom), a computer lab, a 2,000 square foot library, an interview-viewing room, a large conference/lecture hall, a community meeting space, a student lounge, and a spiritual room.

Close to 300 graduate students are based in Kitchener, just minutes away from Laurier’s Waterloo campus where they can access a full range of student supports and a variety of campus amenities.

Learn more about Laurier's campuses .

Tuition and Funding

Regardless of the type of graduate degree program you intend to pursue, financial planning is important. At Laurier, we want to provide you with as much information as possible about a variety of scholarship and funding opportunities and equip you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.

Graduate Tuition and Funding

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"In addition to preparing me to become a researcher, the PhD program helped me to become a more compassionate and informed practitioner and lecturer. Most importantly, it afforded me an opportunity to learn new ways of thinking and challenge myself on difficult topics."

Jennifer Scarborough (PhD '21)

In addition to becoming faculty members, our graduates assume research, policy analysis, and leadership roles in human service organizations.

Your Path to Post-Degree Success

ASPIRE is Laurier's professional skills development training program for graduate students. The program helps you craft an individualized, extracurricular learning plan tailored to your professional journey and entry to the workplace .

If you are looking for more information about this program, have questions, or want to set up a meeting, contact a member of our team. 

Program Inquiries 

If you are looking for more information about the program or want to discuss next steps, you can email Michael Woodford, associate dean at  [email protected] .

Learn About Our Faculty

To contact other members of our team, or l earn more about the interests of our faculty members, visit our contacts page.  

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  2. University of Toronto: Noushin Nabavi, Cell and Systems Biology, PhD Candidate

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  5. JNU PHD ENTRANCE( SOCIOLOGY)2022|| JNU PHD SOCIAL SYSTEM || SYLLABUS DISCUSSION

  6. UWindsor PhD in Social Work

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  1. What Is Social Work Intervention?

    Social work intervention is the practice of working in a variety of ways with individuals and families in need to help them become more independent. Many people in need of social work intervention have a mental illness or drug dependency or...

  2. What Is the Mezzo Level of Social Work?

    The mezzo level of social work refers to the mezzo, or mid-level, practice, which primarily focuses on formal groups and complex organizations.

  3. What Is a Client System in Social Work?

    A client system is the group of people that a social worker is responsible for helping. Their tasks are designated by the needs of the individual or the family that they are needed to help.

  4. PhD

    The PhD program is designed for social workers who want to assume leadership positions in teaching, research, policy and administration. Upon completion of the

  5. PhD Program

    The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW) at the University of Toronto is one of the most distinguished and research-intensive social work graduate

  6. University of Toronto

    The PhD program at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work doctoral program aims to prepare students for leadership roles in social work

  7. Ph.D. Degrees in Social Work in Canada

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  8. Fully Funded PhD in Social Work at University of Toronto

    Our doctoral program is designed to cultivate high-calibre scholars and outstanding leaders in the area of social work research, education and policy. We are

  9. Social Work Master's and PhD Programs in Canada

    Social Work graduate and post-graduate programs and degrees offered in Canada. Browse and compare over 10,000 master's, graduate certificate, doctorate (PHD)

  10. Social Work

    Students. Undergraduate Program · Graduate Program · Undergraduate Field

  11. PhD Social Work Jobs (with Salaries) 2023

    Search 359 PhD Social Work jobs now available on Indeed.com, the world's largest job site.

  12. Social Work

    Welcome to the Graduate Program in Social Work. Master of Social Work (MSW), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The School of Social Work, York University, is

  13. Social Work (PhD)

    The country's only Indigenized PhD in Social Work offering. · Small class sizes foster a strong sense of community among students and enable faculty to provide

  14. PhD Application and Program Information

    I proudly present to you the PhD program at the. Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. As one of the distinguished social work.