PhD Program Committee


The Social Welfare PhD Program is administered by our School through the PhD Program Program Committee and the Doctoral Program Director. The PhD Program Program Committee is responsible for providing leadership on all program level issues, for on-going management and evaluation of the program, for policy changes in program design, requirements, or structure, for reviewing and taking appropriate action concerning student disciplinary issues and student petitions for exceptions, and for admissions to the doctoral program.

The Program Committee provides evaluation of the program in a variety of ways: review of all new course offerings, annual discussion with all first-year instructors, periodic review of various program components (e.g., assessment of how evenly faculty are participating in the program through tutorials, committees, and standing courses; adequacy of School and University resources for methods training; how meaningful our current structures are for fostering interdisciplinary theory training), and periodic discussion meetings or internal email surveys of faculty and/or students regarding certain aspects of the program.

Structure and Composition

The Program Committee is composed of eight voting members. Voting faculty members are elected each spring on a rotating basis for a two-year term beginning in the following fall quarter, from the Social Welfare Faculty, including one full professor, one associate professor, one assistant professor, one faculty member with a joint appointment in Social Work and the University of Washington Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences, and two at-large faculty members (at each rank members may be either tenured, tenure-track, or research faculty). Two voting student members are elected by the doctoral student body (each spring a member of the first-year cohort is elected by all students for a two-year term). Each voting member of the Program Committee has one vote. The committee will elect a faculty member to serve as the Chair of the committee.  Ex-officio members (or their designees) are non-voting members and they include: PhD Program Director, Associate Dean for Research, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Program Assistant Director, Director of the National Institute for Mental Health Prevention Research Training Program.

The Program Committee meets bi-monthly on the first and third Tuesdays during the Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters.  In Winter quarter, the committee serves as the admissions committee and usually schedules several special admissions meetings.  Additional special meetings and meetings of the full social welfare faculty may occur. Members of the Program Committee also serve on special ad hoc working groups during the regular school year.  These groups are convened by the Program Committee on an as-needed basis to develop and review various aspects of the program.

Awards Committee

The Doctoral Program Awards Committee is made up of at least two members of the Social Welfare Faculty (one from the PhD Program Committee and one other faculty member) and two elected student representatives. A necessary ingredient of this committee is a diverse representation of epistemological positions.

Committee Responsibilities:  Oversee process and decisions concerning any competitive awards to PhD students.  This involves any awards for which the school must rank applicants and submit a letter of nomination from the school.  The committee oversees any awards requiring internal competition or ranking. Those that are ongoing include the following examples: School of Social Work Dissertation Award, Magnuson Fellowship, Briar Award, Graduate School Dissertation Fellowship.

Student Advisory Council

The Student Advisory Council of the School of Social Work consists of elected student leaders who strive to create and build an ongoing relationship with the SSW Administration and Faculty to uphold the School of Social Work stated mission and values of promoting social and economic justice, both within the school and community. The SAC does this by facilitating communication between the student body and the SSW Faculty and Administration through advocacy, active engagement, and support. Representatives are elected from the bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs.
Staff/Faculty Advisers:  Lin Murdock and Emiko Tajima

PhD Social Justice Committee

See Social Justice Website

Elections of Student Representatives

The governance procedures for the School of Social Work provide for doctoral student members to be elected to all the above committees and to a seat on the UW Graduate and Professional Student Senate. Each spring the program office and current student representatives on the PhD Program Committee administer the election process.. The positions include:

  • PhD Program Committee: 1 position (2-yr term, reserved for current first year student)
  • Graduate and Professional Student Senate: 1 position (1-yr term)
  • Student Advisory Council: 2 positions (1-yr or sometimes 2-yr term)
  • Awards committee: 2 positions (1-yr term)