Ph.D. Social Work or Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work is a Doctorate Social Work Degree Course. Social Work refers to any of various services designed to aid and uplift the poor, aged and needy. Thus, Doctorate in Social Work is structured to provide social work education and social research. The degree holder of a Ph.D. is conferred the title of ‘Doctor’ even though in the conventional sense he is not. The Duration of the programme varies depending upon the institution; the Minimum duration is 2-3 years from the date of registration and Maximum is 5-6 years. The minimum qualifications and other eligibility criteria for admission are mostly the same as for part time students. Ph.D. is a broad-based course involving a minimum course credit requirement and Research Thesis. One can also pursue Ph.D. through distance learning programs, example – Madras School of Social Work. Distance Learning Ph.D. meets the needs of students who are unable to attend on-campus classes. Distance Learning Doctoral Degrees however have less value as compared to Full-time Ph.D. The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is awarded to a candidate who, as per these regulations, has submitted a thesis based on original and independent research in any particular discipline/inter-disciplinary that makes a contribution to the advancement of knowledge, which is approved by suitably appointed examiners as required.

The National Council of Professional Social Work in consultation with the Universities, including IGNOU and NAPSWI (National Association for Professional Social Workers in India) takes decision for the promotion, maintenance, co-ordination of standards of education, training, research and practice. It lays down guidelines in respect of minimum qualifications for persons to be employed as social work professional and lays down guidelines for granting recognition to the institution as well as existing courses and for starting new courses for social work education and training, including the minimum eligibility criteria for admission.

Ph.D. Social Work Eligibility

  • A Master’s degree in Social Work is required to gain admission to a doctoral program. In some subjects, doing a Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil.) is a prerequisite to start Ph.D.
  • In cases, where the admission at the M.Phil. has been conducted through an entrance examination and course work has been prescribed at the M.Phil. level, such M.Phil. candidates when admitted to the Ph.D. programmes shall not be required to undertake entrance examination or course work and it shall be considered to have complied with the UGC (Minimum standards and procedure for award M.Phil./Ph.D. Degree).
  • In other cases, where a candidate has done M.Phil. from one university and moves to another university for Ph.D., the new university may give credit and exempt for the course work done in the previous university. However, such a candidate will have to appear in the entrance test as applicable to a fresh candidate directly joining Ph.D. This procedure will apply in case of those candidates who have also obtained Ph.D. degree from abroad.
  • For some prestigious Universities, a candidate is required to qualify the all India level examination such as ‘National Eligibility Test for Lectureship (NET) conducted by University Grants Commission. Candidates appearing in the final year of qualifying degree examination are eligible to apply, however, they must submit attested copies of qualifying degree certificates/final transcripts.
  • Admission is offered based on an interview held usually a month before the commencement of the semester for which admission is sought. The interview may be supplemented by a written test, if necessary.
  • Normally all candidates in Ph.D. program are required to be resident on campus. Candidates sponsored from reputed research organizations, who are conducting their Ph.D. work co-advised by a reputed guide at their organization, may be eligible to complete their Ph.D. off campus. Only for such sponsored candidates, the minimum residency requirement is 1 semester, during which they will need to complete the course requirements. However, frequent visits to the Institution where admission has been taken is still normally required.

Ph.D. Social Work Course Suitability

  • Candidates who are passionate about contributing original knowledge in the field of social work are the most suited for this course. One should have a deep and far reaching outlook towards the subject to release a work of research.
  • Doctor of Philosophy is also suited for those who want to spend a few years more as a student.
  • Individuals who want to pursue a career as a university professor or researcher in a field can enrol at any of the institutes offering doctor of philosophy degree. If one needs a Ph.D. for promotion in academic’s career, hike in salary, or stable job in academics then they can join this course. Such candidates should take admission in State run Universities and part time Ph.D.'s courses.

How is Doctor of Philosophy Course Beneficial?

  • Ph.D. in Social Work showcases a candidate’s superiority and mastery of the field, which is rewarding.
  • The Ph.D. or equivalent has become a requirement for a career as a university professor or researcher in most fields.
  • Doctorate Degree enables one to keep pace with the expanding frontiers of knowledge and provides research training relevant to the present social and economic objectives of the country.


A Master’s degree in Social Work is required to gain admission to a doctoral program. In some subjects, doing a Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil.) is a prerequisite to start Ph.D.
  • General Overview of Ph.D. Course Structure

    The program comprises both course and research work; the amount of coursework one should undergo depends on the candidates' past background and the research one is engaged in.

    Basically, the program includes:

    1. Coursework
    2. Pedagogy
    3. Qualifying Examination
    4. Preparation of Research Proposal
    5. Thesis Work
    • The research work to be undertaken for Ph.D. must include original contribution to the knowledge reserve culminating in a thesis to be submitted for the doctoral degree.
    • The performance of the students in each stage is assessed by means of continuous evaluation throughout the semesters.
    • The students may be sent abroad for the Visiting Scholar Program to fine tune their thesis proposal. After returning to India they defend their thesis proposal and start working on their Ph.D. thesis. The Ph.D. thesis is completed in the last year.

Pacific University (PU) Udaipur

Udaipur, Rajasthan

Pacific University is situated in the city of lakes, Udaipur and established in the year 1997. University has a modern campus which spreads over more than 100 acres, 18,000 students are building their career in multiple courses like technology, medicine, dental, management, engineering, commerce, pharmacy, hotel management, computer application, arts education, fashion technology, media & mass communication, science etc..


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