Social Work Change in Name Only

December 1, 1997

Mary Ann Travis

Social Work's DSW is poised to become a PhD again. "In October, the Graduate Council approved our request to revert the doctor of social work to a doctor of philosophy in social work," said Ron Marks, director of Tulane's social work doctoral program.

Now the proposal must go before the whole Graduate School faculty in December. Suzanne England, dean of the School of Social Work, said, "All expectations are that it will pass." The change will not alter any degree requirements or standards for candidates' qualifications.

"Our focus will continue to be research with real-world applications," said England.

Tulane has awarded more than 100 doctoral degrees in social work since it granted the first one--a PhD--in 1963. By the mid 1970s, the degree designation had changed to DSW, but England said the trend at other institutions in the past two or three years is to convert social work doctoral degrees to PhDs.

Tulane's highly competitive research-based curriculum justifies its offering a PhD to its graduates, said Marks, who expects that the change will make the social work doctoral program more attractive to potential students who prefer the PhD over the DSW.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000