Ph.D. in Social Work - Medical Social Work

Walden University

Program Description

Ph.D. in Social Work - Medical Social Work

Walden University

Ph.D. in Social Work - Medical Social Work

The medical social worker plays a vital role in caring for individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, or other treatment facilities. This specialization helps you develop and assess the best possible strategies in practice interventions with individuals and families facing chronic or terminal illness, disability, and issues associated with aging. Coursework provides opportunities to create, analyze, and extend knowledge of methods used by medical social workers to address the needs of clients and families, particularly the aging population.

Completion Requirements

77 total quarter credit hours

  • Core courses (42 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
  • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  • Four Ph.D. residencies

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable.


  • SOCW 8000 Foundations of Graduate Study
  • SOCW 8110 Advanced Social Work Theory and Practice
  • SOCW 8116 History and Development of Social Work
  • RSCH 8100W Research Theory, Design, and Methods
  • SOCW 8204 Medical Social Work I
  • SOCW 8137 Contemporary Issues, Social Change, and Social Policy
  • SOCW 8138 Program and Practice Evaluation
  • RSCH 8200W Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • SOCW 8205 Medical Social Work II
  • RSCH 8300W Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • SOCW 8815 Contemporary Gerontology/Geriatric Psychology
  • SOCW 8550 Writing a Quality Prospectus
  • RSCH 8250W Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • or RSCH 8350W or Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • or RSCH 8450W or Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis
  • SOCW 9000 Dissertation

Career Options

Walden University’s online Ph.D. in Social Work program can help you gain the skills needed to address social issues through research or to teach in a university setting. Whichever path you choose, this doctoral degree program will prepare you to work in a variety of professions in the public or private sectors.

Enter a High-Growth Field

  • Opportunities for social work professionals are expected to grow by 25% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all other occupations.
  • Employment opportunities for college professors are expected to grow by 17% between 2010 and 2020.

Expand Your Career Options

A Ph.D. in Social Work can provide you with greater opportunities to move your career forward as a:

  • Social worker
  • Researcher
  • Evaluator
  • Agency leader
  • Policy analyst
  • Educator/professor/faculty member
  • Supervisor in the social work field
  • Program director

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.


Aligned with Walden University’s mission of social change, this program allows you to:

  • Learn from nationally recognized experts in the profession.
  • Focus your studies in a relevant area that aligns with your interests, such as addictions, medical social work, or clinical expertise.
  • Gain strategies and skills for publishing and presenting research.
  • Enhance your professional development by participating in a residency program.
  • Acquire an understanding of how diversity shapes the human experience.
  • Design, implement, and analyze your own research related to the social work profession.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Utilize current research, best practices, and theory to promote prevention and intervention strategies that address social problems and needs of social groups.
  2. Employ various research and statistical tools to gather data used to address the etiology and dynamics of social problems and social needs.
  3. Evaluate the role of research and evaluation in social work in improving social interventions and advancing theory development.
  4. Critically evaluate the history of social work, its mission, and its core values.
  5. Promote social change by collaborating with leaders, agencies, and universities to advocate for policies and programs that advance the economic and social well-being of culturally diverse clientele.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to assess the role of diversity in characterizing and shaping the human experience.
  7. Apply ethical decision making and practices in social work.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 7, 2015
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2016
Part time
Full time
42,735 USD
Start date Sept. 2016
USA Auburn, Alabama
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
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Price 42,735 USD