Welcome Message


Sara Goodkind

Greetings! Thank you for your interest in the Social Work PhD program at Pitt. Doctoral education in our school will be an exciting and rewarding intellectual journey for you. Our school has a legacy of deep commitment to education and scholarship. Our graduates have made important scholarly contributions to the social work profession via various roles in the education, research, and leadership realms. Many of our graduates serve as faculty, deans, and directors in other Schools of Social Work, both nationally and internationally. Other graduates work for research think tanks, for government, and in other roles where their work is having important societal impact.

Our program provides a supportive learning environment for students as they encounter cutting-edge theories and methodologies and develop their own lines of scholarship. Our school is the home for the Center on Race and Social Problems, which supports interdisciplinary anti-racist research and engagement, mentors emerging scholars, and disseminates race-related research findings and scholarship. It is also the home for the Center for Research on Innovations, Services and Equity in Mental Health, which convenes researchers and community partners to conduct projects with immediately actionable findings for community mental health service providers.

Additionally, our school has faculty engaged in research in range of other essential areas, including gerontology, health, substance use, poverty and income inequality, and the juvenile and criminal legal systems, as well as a large training and research program focused on child welfare services. There are numerous opportunities for collaboration for doctoral students with faculty within our school and in the larger university community. Our school is at the center of campus, in the beautiful and historic Cathedral of Learning. Our campus is at the center of the city of Pittsburgh, and students have the opportunity to develop relationships with local residents, agencies, and policymakers and to collaborate on community-engaged research.

With a highly competitive admissions process, we typically admit between five to eight students each year. Each doctoral cohort represents a variety of geographical regions, countries, educational, and practice backgrounds. As a result of a committed faculty who work closely with our doctoral students, along with our program of funding support, our student program completion rate is extremely high. 

We thank you for virtually visiting our School. Please reach out with any questions you may have. 


                                                Sara Goodkind, PhD, MSW

                                                Professor and Doctoral Program Director