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Ph.D. Course Listings

All courses are not offered every semester or every year. Students will receive a schedule each semester that identifies the course offerings. 

Students are also able to satisfy social work electives through taking approve courses in other graduate programs on campus and through the consortium.

A growing number of courses are offered online or as a hybrid courses (sessions online with some in class sessions).  Blackboard is used to support online, hybrid and many in class courses.

Examines the development of social welfare in the United States, including the evolution of social welfare from the Colonial Period to the present and its social, historical and economic impact. Examines the factors that contribute to the knowledge base, practice models and social contexts. Considers a welfare system's relevance to a modern industrial society with highlights on the contributions of African-Americans and women.

Reviews the fundamentals of scientific methods. Familiarizes students with quantitative and qualitative research methods; research design and measurement; instrument development, validity and reliability; principles and types of sampling; essentials of program evaluation; demographic and secondary data analysis; and practicum in survey research.

This is the first of two required courses on statistical methods for social work doctoral students. The course examines several content areas related to quantitative data analysis. These include (a) Basic research and methodological terms; (b) Working with SPSS software; (c) Descriptive statistics; (d) Normal and skewed distributions; (e) Steps in hypothesis testing; (f) Inferential statistics including parametric and non-parametric tests; (h) Bivariate statistical tests; and (i) presentation, interpretation, and reporting of statistical findings.

This is the second required course on statistics for doctoral students. It builds on Quantitative Methods. It furthers students’ acquaintance with social work and social sciences statistical techniques and provides additional analytical skills necessary to assess the validity of the research literature. The course examines several content areas related to advanced statistics including (a) sample power and sample size; (b) simple, multiple, and logistic regression analyses, (c) two-way analysis of variance and covariance, (d) repeated measures analysis of variance, (e) multivariate analysis of variance and covariance and; (f) canonical correlation analysis.

Enables students to develop skills in designing and implementing research projects on problems and issues related to social work. Students will design a research project and select statistical procedures appropriate for the design. The resulting research proposal will address social work, theoretical and practice issues in the student's special area of interest, usually related, but not limited, to people of color.

Focuses on theories and conceptual approaches used as the knowledge base for social work practice with individuals. Theories covered draw from biological, psychological, sociological, and cultural perspectives. Emphasis given to enhancing the student's reasoning repertoire with respect to articulating a rationale for selecting a theoretical perspective for a social work purpose. Critical variables related to social work theory identified, assumptions assessed, values examined, and empirical evidence analyzed. With an interest in developing the theoretical knowledge base of social work practice with individuals, especially people of color, emphasis is placed on integrating selected and related constructs, e.g., empowerment and world views, into theory and knowledge for ethnically sensitive and culturally competent practice.

This seminar focuses on the theories, conceptual approaches, and methodologies that form the knowledge base of social work practice with groups.  Emphasis is placed on the significant social science theories and models, such as, group dynamics, role and system theory, social group work theories, and organizational development that underpin the state of the practice art.  Concepts of leadership and followership and the impact on group processes will be explored from an applied perspective.  

Examines communities and organizations as a level of intervention for solving social problems, with emphasis on analyses of existing theory, research, and models. Special attention paid to issues of concern to African Americans. Implications for other minorities and for women also examined.

Introduces students to contemporary features of American social work education. Special emphasis given to Black perspectives in social work education. Attention provided to women's issues and issues relevant to other diverse and frequently oppressed populations. Includes the structure of the educational system, aspects of the learning-teaching process, issues of curriculum and accreditation, recent research about social work education, and the place of social work education in higher education.

Study under guidance of a faculty member with special competence in an area.

Study under guidance of a faculty member with special competence in an area.

Study under guidance of a faculty member with special competence in an area.

Extended, written and approved treatment of subject submitted for doctorate degree.

PhD Graduate Dissertation Topics

Dissertations by doctoral program graduates delve extensively into salient topics including race-based trauma and healing, spirituality and mental well-being, factors impacting child welfare, and more. Click below to access more information on these works. 



B.A., 2002, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

MSW, 2005, Fordham University, New York, New York

“African American Adolescents’ Attitudes and Beliefs on Trauma and Healing:  Implications for Mental Health Service Use”

ADVISOR: Tricia Bent-Goodley, Ph.D.



B.A., 2001, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

MSW, 2003, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

“Risk and Resilience Factors Associated with Secondary Traumatic Stress among Social Workers in and out of Military Settings”

ADVISOR: Jacqueline Smith, Ph.D.



B.A., 2007, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida

MSW, 2009, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

“The Examination of Race and Title IV-E Training on Organizational Commitment to Public Child Welfare”

ADVISOR: Jacqueline Smith, Ph.D.



B.A., 1978, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

MSW, 1988, Howard University, Washington, DC

“Lives Linked Through Heart, Mind, and Hands: African American Professional and Managerial Women’s Journeys through Caregiving for Elderly Parents: A Phenomenological Study”

ADVISOR: Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Ph.D.



B.A., 1997, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

MSW, 1990, Howard University, Washington, DC

“Assessing Attributions for Poverty-Welfare Reliance Between TANF Service Recipients and Social Welfare Service Workers: Implications for Co-Cultural Consensus Building & Advocacy”

ADVISOR: Tricia Bent-Goodley, Ph.D.




B.A., 2001, California State University of Long Beach

MSW, 2005, Howard University, Washington, DC

"The Impact of Psychosocial Determinants on the Nonmedical Use of Prescription Medication Among Women With History of Intimate Partner Violence"

ADVISOR: Tricia Bent-Goodley, Ph.D



B.A., 2004, Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia

MSW, 2006, Howard University, Washington, DC

“Exploring the Multiple Determinants of Father Involvement among Non-Resident African American Fathers: A Mixed Methods Approach”

ADVISOR: Ruby M. Gourdine, Ph.D.



B.A., 1999, Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee

MSW, 2001, Howard University, Washington, DC

“Health-E Connections: Examining E-Health Utilization among African Americans”

ADVISOR: Tricia Bent-Goodley, Ph.D.



BSW, 1999, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

MSW, 2001, Fordham University, Bronx, NY

“Client-Inflicted Workplace Violence, Burnout, Job Satisfaction, and Turnover Intention: A Comparative Analysis Between Institution-Based and Home-Based Direct Care Paraprofessionals”

ADVISOR: Tricia Bent-Goodley, Ph.D.



B.S. 1975, Howard University, Washington DC

M.Div., 1986, Howard University, Washington, DC

D.Min., 1994, Garret Evangelical Theological Seminary/Northwestern  University, Evanston, Illinois

MSW, 2013, Howard University, Washington, DC

“Don't Just Give Me That Old Time Religion: The Intersection of Religion and Mental Well-Being Amongst African American Women, A Qualitative Study”

ADVISOR:  Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Ph.D.




BA, Philosophy, 1984, St. Joseph’s Major Seminary, Ikot-Epene, Nigeria

BA, Theology, 1988, Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, Nigeria 

MA, Theology, 2001, University of Calabar, Nigeria

STL, (Licentiate in Canon Law), 2002, Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria 

PGDE (Post Graduate Diploma in Education), 2004, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. 

MSW, 2008, Howard University, Washington, DC

“An Exploration of the Well-Being Experiences of Igbo Immigrants Through the Investigation of Their Adaptation and Coping Strategies”

ADVISOR:  Cudore L. Snell, DSW



BSW, 2011, Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, MS

MSW, 2011, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS

"’Makes It Seem More Real’: A Qualitative Exploration of the Sexual Health of African American Adolescents with HIV-Positive Mothers"

ADVISOR:  Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Ph.D.



BA, 2004, University Of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD

MSW, 2006, Howard University, Washington, DC

"Examining Gender-Based Differences in Mental Health Among African-American Youth Living in Public Housing” 

ADVISOR:  Tricia Bent-Goodley, PhD



BSW, 1989, The Higher Institute of Social Work, Aswan, Egypt

MSW, 2001, The Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

"Attitudes of Arab Americans Towards Persons with Developmental Disabilities"

ADVISOR:  Ruby Gourdine, DSW




BSW, 2008, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA

MSW, 2010, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA

“The Direct Effect and Contributing Factors of Vicarious Trauma on Children”

ADVISOR:  Kamilah Majied, Ph.D.



BSW, 2008, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

MSW, 2004, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

“Freedom from The Darkest Years:  Reintegration of Sex Trafficking Survivors, A Phenomenological Study”

ADVISOR:  Fariyal Ross-Sheriff, Ph.D.




BS, 2013, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

MSW, 2016, Howard University, Washington, DC

“The Impact of Multiple Types of Child Maltreatment on Pregnancy Outcomes”

ADVISOR:  Ruby Gourdine, DSW



BS, 2010, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

MSW, 2013, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

“Medical Home Adequacy for Youth Receiving SSI during Pre-Transition”

ADVISOR:  Ruby Gourdine, DSW



BSE, 2001, Oakwood University, Huntsville, AL

MSW, 2002, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL

“Exploration of Romantic Relationships among African-American Former Foster Care Youth”

ADVISOR:  Jacqueline Smith, PhD



BSSSW, 1997, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

MSSSW, 1997, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

MSSW, 2010, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

“Understanding Correlates of Stigma and Coping Strategies among Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh:  A Cross-Sectional Study”

ADVISOR:  Fariyal Ross-Sheriff, PhD



BS, 2008, Roanoke College, Roanoke, VA

MSW, 2010, Radford University, Radford, VA

“The Social Workers’ Perspective:  Financial Literacy, Education, Practice and Policy”

ADVISOR:  Tricia Bent-Goodley, PhD