PhD: Doctor of Philosophy in Social Welfare

Developing leadership in social work theory, research, and teaching

phd-bannerOur Doctoral Program offers excellent preparation for careers in social welfare research, policy, and teaching. It features a diverse and talented faculty committed to doctoral education, a strong program of research in a variety of areas of concern to social workers, and a curriculum that prepares social work leaders to make a difference in their communities.The Mandel School doctoral program has attracted students from many countries as well as cities around the U.S. We strive to support students in a variety of ways — academically and personally — by encouraging them to take a multidisciplinary approach to their studies and develop a social and collegial network of friends. As one recent alumna said, “The Mandel School PhD program offers a stimulating and supportive environment where faculty show their commitment to students’ success. I received a solid grounding in the fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative research. I especially appreciated the collegial atmosphere and warm, personal tone at the Mandel School.”

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 Doctoral Program In The News

David Biegel is new chair of the doctoral program

Jun 5 2015

biegelDr. David E. Biegel, the Henry L. Zucker Professor of Social Work Practice, is the new chair of the Mandel School’s doctoral program effective June 1. This is his second term in this office.

He takes over for Dr. Aloen Townsend, who served as the doctoral program chair for five years. In his announcement of the transtion, Dean Grover C. Gilmore thanked both for their leadership, dedication, and service to students in this key program, which was founded in 1952 as one of the first five social work doctoral programs offered in the United States.

Dr. Biegel will be hosting a Doctoral Program Open House on June 16 at 6pm. More information is at http://bit.ly/1FeKul2.

PhD Open House on June 16

May 29 2015
Orientation 2014 Doctoral Cohort

2014 Doctoral Cohort

Thinking about a PhD in Social Welfare? Attend a Doctoral Program Open House on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 6pm in room 107 at the Mandel Community Studies Center (11402 Bellflower Road in Cleveland).

The Mandel School’s doctoral program is excellent preparation for careers in social welfare research, policy, and teaching. Its curriculum emphasizes the creative and evaluative skills necessary for independent inquiry, critical thinking, teaching, and research. Hosted by Dr. David E. Biegel, Chair of the Doctoral Program, the open house will be an opportunity to learn about:

  • Part-time and full-time study options
  • Cutting-edge curriculum
  • Nationally recognized faculty
  • Student financial support
  • Admissions process (including Fall 2016 Cohort)

To attend, RSVP to Dr. Biegel at 216.368.2308 or david.biegel@case.edu.

Doctoral Training: Studying Protective Factors that Promote Well-Being for Maltreated Children

May 10 2015


The Mandel School received a two-year, $200,000 training grant to fund three studies about why some children thrive despite being abused and witnessing violence in the home. Megan R. Holmes, PhD, assistant professor and the study’s lead investigator, believes the research could help victims of abuse and neglect by learning why some children are more resilient to it. By understanding child resiliency, social workers and policymakers can implement interventions and programs that focus on protective factors that promote resiliency in maltreated children.

The training grant provides support for three studies of children ages 3 to 17: One by Holmes, plus two dissertations by Mandel School doctoral candidates Julia Kobulsky and Susan Yoon, whom Holmes will mentor.

Holmes’s study will focus on how witnessing domestic violence in the home impacts the academic performance from preschool to middle school. Kobulsky will examine the use of substances in children up to age 17, with a particular interest in those who begin using before age 13. Yoon will study the development of behavioral problems of children 4 to 13. The researchers will share what they learn with social workers and policymakers who address children’s issues. They expect to present their findings during a symposium in 2016 with the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services.

The Mandel School was one of just five schools nationally to receive this training grant funding, which was provided by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Fellowships for University-Based Doctoral Candidates and Faculty for Research in Child Maltreatment from the Administration of Children, Youth and Families division of the Children’s Bureau.

For more information, contact Megan R. Homes, PhD, Assistant Professor (megan.holmes2@case.edu).