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School of Social Work Now Accepting Applications for New PhD Program

The School of Social Work in the West Virginia University Eberly College of Arts and Sciences is accepting applications for the inaugural class of its PhD program.

“This new program will offer the first PhD degree in social work in West Virginia,” said Deana Morrow, professor and Director of the School of Social Work. “The program is crucial for advancing social work research and leadership throughout the state and beyond.”

The new PhD in Social Work is structured around community-focused research and will promote scholarship that has significant impact on people’s lives at the local, regional and national level. Students will graduate with skills to excel in teaching, research and leadership in the field of social work and higher education settings.

The program will offer students individualized professional development and career placement support, as well as support for cross-disciplinary training and mentorship opportunities.

“Consistent with WVU’s research and land grant missions, the PhD program will provide a structure for facilitating the expansion of knowledge to strengthen communities, eradicate disparities and advance excellence in social services,” said Morrow.

Dr. Carrie Rishel, an experienced academic leader with a record of teaching and research at the graduate level, will serve as the director of the PhD program. She is a professor in the School of Social Work and the director of the Rural Integrated Behavioral Health Training Program.

The PhD in Social Work will begin its courses in Fall 2023. The program is full-time, and it offers a hybrid course plan so students can complete latter portions of the program remotely.

“I am delighted that the School of Social Work is launching its Ph.D. program. This will, no doubt, augment Eberly’s rich portfolio of doctoral programs,” said Greg Dunaway, Dean of the Eberly College. “More importantly this program promises to make vital contributions to social work research and education within and outside of the state of West Virginia.”

Applications have a priority deadline of January 15, 2023 but will be accepted until March 1, 2023. For more information visit or contact Rishel at

Tagged with Social Work