Bryn Mawr admits students to the Ph.D. program for either full-time or part-time study. Part-time study entails enrollment in a minimum of two courses a semester. Full-time study entails enrollment in three courses a semester. Enrollment in four courses is considered an overload and requires adviser approval. A minimum of four semesters of class work is required for the degree.
Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research Ph.D. students must complete 12 courses, including ten required courses and two electives. The required courses are designed to balance theoretical training with training in data collection methods and quantitative and qualitative analysis. Required courses ensure that each candidate leaves Bryn Mawr with the intellectual preparation essential to beginning a successful scholarly career in social work and social welfare. Electives provide opportunities for advanced study in a number of different areas. Students can take approved courses at the GSSWSR, enroll in a tutorial with faculty approval, and/or enroll in appropriate classes at the Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences at Bryn Mawr or at the University of Pennsylvania.
Students have a maximum of eight years to finish the doctoral program. Within this timeframe, particular guidelines have been set for the completion of each phase of the program (coursework, comprehensive examinations, preliminary examination, dissertation proposal, and submission of dissertation).