The Doctoral Program

The Ph.D. in social work provides master practitioners with rigorous research training and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with world-class research centers. Graduates are positioned for advanced careers in academia, healthcare and human service agencies, and other fields. The Program prepares scholar-practitioners to develop new knowledge, engage in applied research, and advance social justice and the field of social work.

Tamara Cadet

Interdisciplinary Option

Interdisciplinary Social Work/Public Health Training Opportunity with the Harvard School of Public Health and the Simmons School of Social Work

There is substantial interest in combining education in social work with education in public health. Faculty and staff at the Simmons School of Social Work (SSW) and faculty at Harvard School of Public Health will collaborate with interested students to facilitate such an opportunity.

Interdisciplinary Social Work/Public Health Training Opportunity with the Harvard School of Public Health and the Simmons College School of Social Work provides highly qualified M.S.W. and Ph.D. students with the opportunity to combine the applied clinical expertise of a social work degree with comprehensive scientific public health training. Graduates of each of these degree programs enter the workforce with advanced skills to address health and mental health needs of diverse populations. Career paths include program and policy development, administration, and evaluation in international and domestic organizations. Potential employers include NGOs, departments of health, humanitarian agencies, advocacy coalitions, hospitals, and health-care organizations.

For additional information on this program please contact:

Peter Maramaldi, M.S.S.W., M.P.H., Ph.D., L.C.S.W.
Simmons School of Social Work


Ms. Trish Lavoie, Senior Coordinator,
Maternal and Child Health/Children Youth and Families,
Harvard School of Public Health

A Rich and Varied Body of Knowledge

SSW doctoral candidates conduct thorough, thoughtful research, generating powerful dissertations. Some recent topics include:

  • Reclaiming and Constructing Identities: The Journey Out of Homelessness for Persons With Mental Illness
  • Self-perceived Unpopularity in Children and Adolescents: Its Antecedents, Characteristics, and Relationship to Later Maladjustment
  • To Hear and to Respond: The Influence of Zen Buddhist Meditation on the Practice of Clinical Social Work
  • Helpful and Unhelpful Interactions Between Professionals and Parents of Children with Cognitive Challenges: A Developmental Perspective
  • Adaptation and Transformation: The Transition to Adoptive Parenthood for Gay Male Couples
  • Young, Urban, Unwed Fathers: Depressive Symptoms, Problem Behaviors, and Psychosocial Correlates
  • El Sufimiento de los Colombianos en Nueva Inglatera: Como Salen Adelante (Suffering of Colombians in New England: How They Cope)