Social Work Research

  • SSW SR 743: Introduction to Social Work Research I
    Graduate Prerequisites: Required of all students. Permission of SSW Registrar for non-SSW students.
    The goal of this introductory course is to develop the student's ability to use and engage in both quantitative and qualitative research in order to inform and evaluate their own social work practice. The course addresses key research concepts and procedures such as hypothesis formulation, measurement, sampling, research design, and data collection. The course also examines ethical issues in the conduct of social research, including informed consent, anonymity and confidentiality, culturally sensitive research methods, and the NASW Code of Ethics.
  • SSW SR 744: Social Work Research II
    Graduate Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of SSW SR 743 (C or above) or permission of department chair. Required of all students.
    Students are introduced to the concepts and procedures that are fundamental to both descriptive and inferential statistics. Empirical research examining the effectiveness of social work practice, particularly in the urban environment, is explored. Utilizing existing national data sets, students generate their own research hypotheses and then formulate and carry out an analytic strategy to answer these questions effectively. Emphasis is also placed on gaining skills in presenting and communicating key findings to relevant audiences and stakeholders
  • SSW SR 904: Clinical Research Methods in Social Work Practice
    Graduate Prerequisites: PHD level course, permission required for graduate students
    This course familiarizes graduate students with design, implementation and analytic strategies for quantitative research with clinical populations. A particular emphasis is on the conduct of intervention studies. Topics include conceptualization and design, sampling of participants, assessment, data organization and management, analysis plans, evaluation and outcomes, and ethical concerns.
  • SSW SR 905: Directed Study
    Directed Study. Approval of instructor needed.
  • SSW SR 906: Qualitative Research Methods
    This course provides doctoral students with foundational knowledge of some of the major theories and practices of qualitative research. The history of qualitative methods is reviewed to situate this long-standing approach within current practices in the social sciences. A variety of approaches to data collection (ethnography, observation, focus groups and individual interviewing) and analysis (narrative, grounded theory, Listening Guide) are introduced along with ethical issues in the practice of qualitative research. Strategies for enhancing rigor are discussed as are writing qualitative research proposals and publications. A series of exercises culminates in a proposal for a small qualitative research project along with an accompanying IRB application. (SR906 and SR907 comprise a two-course qualitative methods sequence.)
  • SSW SR 907: Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
    This course is the second in a two-semester sequence (SR906 and SR907) designed to introduce students to qualitative approaches in social science research and foster development of foundational skills in qualitative research design, data collection, data analysis, and presentation of qualitative research findings. The course builds on students' developing understanding of the diversity and philosophical underpinnings of qualitative approaches and provides an opportunity to deepen one's skills in data collection and analysis through the completion of a small-scale qualitative research project. Students are expected to have obtained IRB approval for their projects prior to the start of the semester so that work on these can begin immediately.
  • SSW SR 908: Directed Study
    Directed Study. Approval of instructor needed.
  • SSW SR 909: Directed Study
    Directed Study. Approval of instructor needed.
  • SSW SR 910: Doctoral Dissertation Seminar
    Designed as a seminar format, this course guides students in the transformation of their latent ideas into novel researchable dissertation projects. The course focuses on enhancing student knowledge and skills necessary to develop the many components of the dissertation in a coherent manner: introduction, literature review, theoretical or conceptual framework, research questions, methods, results and discussion sections. The seminar also addresses a number of dissertation research-related tasks such as creation of the dissertation committee, understanding research ethics and the institutional review board process, exploring dissertation funding and identifying needed resources, creation of realistic timelines for dissertation phases, and strategies for dissemination of work through conference presentations and publications. Each student will develop a complete draft of his/her dissertation prospectus and evaluate the proposed research in terms of its relevance for the field of social welfare, including relevance to the profession's mission to pursue social justice, the rigor of the proposed study, the originality of the research, and the feasibility of the overall proposal.