2007 Statistics on Social Work Education in the United States

  • Release Date12/13/2010
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6. Doctoral Programs


Doctoral Programs

In 2007, 54 doctoral programs (76%) responded to the Annual Survey of Social Work Programs – a lower response rate than usual.  New questions added this year identifies information on joint degree offerings, number of years to degree completion, and the current employment of recent doctoral program graduates.

Doctoral programs are asked if they require students to take the GRE (verbal, quantitative, analytical, and written sections), MAT, and/or TOEFL.  The percent of programs requiring the GRE is greater than at the master’s level, the percent requiring TOEFL is also higher, however, few programs reported requiring the MAT.









Doctoral Programs: Enrollment

The acceptance rate for applications to doctoral programs is 39.9%.  Because students may apply to multiple programs at a time CSWE is unable to produce a count of unduplicated applications.  In all, 2,247 students were enrolled in doctoral programs as of November 1st of the 2007-2008 academic year. 










The Enrolled Students section of the doctoral instrument is more detailed than the instruments used with master’s and baccalaureate programs.  Doctoral instrument included questions that examine students who are “newly enrolled,” “currently taking coursework,” and “completed coursework.” 










Doctoral Programs: Degrees Awarded

During the 2006 – 2007 49 doctoral programs awarded 304 students degrees.  The highest number of graduates were in the “41 and over” age category (49.0%; 149) – as expected graduates from doctoral programs tend to be older than graduates from baccalaureate and master’s program.  The percentage of minority graduates was comparable to the percent enrolled (31.7%; 93).












Approximately one quarter of graduates finished their degree in five years (24.9%; 72), another 17% (49) in four years, and 14.9% (43) in six years.  This year there is a lower percentage of students to finish in 10 years or more (9.3%; 27, compared with 14% last year).  Only 20 programs (28.2%) responded to questions about loan debt, reporting that on average 38.6% of graduates had loan debt.  The average debt load for graduates was $25,451 (18 programs responding, 25.3%).








Doctoral Programs: Employment of Graduates

In 2007, new questions were included to try to gather more information about current employment of the new graduates.  Information was provided for the employment status of 238 graduates (78.3% of reported graduates).  As indicated in table 7, “tenure-line faculty positions” represented the largest number of graduates in a single category (40.3%; 96).  Over half of the graduates (57.1%; 136) reported as employed in an “academic” position (faculty, research, or administration).


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Document Date: December 13, 2010
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