The curriculum at the Brown School emphasizes substantive, theoretical and methodological preparation. Courses include:
- Introduction to Advanced Research
- Introduction to Social Measurement
- The Role and Use of Theory in Applied Social Research
- Foundations of Data Analysis
- Computer Applications for Data Analysis
- Multivariate Statistics
The first year of study includes basic principles in research, statistics, measurement, as well as theoretical orientations and content underlying the knowledge base of social welfare and social work.
The second year turns to a more individualized program of study. A curriculum plan is developed by each student and the advisor, focusing on an area of specialization within the field of social welfare.
The orientation of the PhD program is interdisciplinary, requiring 15 credits of course work in the social sciences. Social science courses are selected that are related to the student's developing area of specialization. Courses in research methodology, research and teaching practica, and specialized courses also help to build the student's expertise as a social work scholar. Professional competence is assessed through a qualifying examination and successful completion of a research dissertation.