Doctor of Social Work Program Looking for Top Social Work Doctoral Programs?
As full members of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education, the School of Social Work believes the purpose of the Ph.D. in social work is to prepare students to be scholars who function as “stewards of the discipline.”
Our program offers
- Forward-thinking approaches to professional education, addressing critical social issues and transforming professional practice and social policy
- Interdisciplinary training and collaboration opportunities to enhance health and well-being across local and global community systems
- Flexible full-time and part-time programs of study
Each student works closely with their adviser and graduate committee to develop their own learning agenda and dissertation proposal. The student’s background, experience, personal schedule, and learning goals are considered when developing the program of study.
CSU’s Social Work doctoral program is part of the WICHE/Western Regional Graduate Program exchange.
Learn more about how you can tailor your program to fit your research and career interests.
Meet our newest cohort of Ph.D. students
Josh Bylotas (he/him) is a U.S. Air Force Officer and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. Prior to studying at CSU, Josh worked as a clinical social worker treating a variety of mental health disorders. His research interests include suicide prevention and postvention, as well as related program development and evaluation.
Arnold Cantú (he/him) is excited to join the PhD program in Social Work at Colorado State University. He is a clinical worker originally born in Mexico, raised in Texas, and most recently residing in New Mexico. He has a great interest in psychotherapy, working with children and adolescents, and making a contribution to the body of literature pertaining to critical theory and perspectives of global mental health while advocating for a paradigm shift within the field.
Natalie De Sole
Natalie De Sole (she/her) is a macro social worker who has worked as a generalist program evaluator for the past 13 years. Natalie grew up in Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe and has dual citizenship with the United States and Italy. Her research interests relate to participatory approaches for positive youth development and organizational learning, which use mixed methods and consider social justice, equity, and decolonial lenses.
Sarah Grace Hafen
Sarah Grace Hafen (she/they) is a first-year Ph.D. student and a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Elizabeth Kiehne. Sarah Grace is passionate about bringing research to practice in support of immigrant rights. They aim to advance community self-determination by providing data for local advocacy efforts. Sarah Grace has worked in program management, coalition building, and grassroots organizing. When they’re not doing social work research, Sarah Grace likes to hang out with their dog Pepe, and they enjoy volunteering at the Fort Collins Bike Co-op.
Jessi Pettigrew (she/her) is excited to be starting the PhD program in social work at Colorado State University. She comes to CSU from the University of Kentucky, where she has been working as a clinical social worker since graduating from there with a master’s degree in social work in 2011. Clinically, Jessi has enjoyed working with individuals with sleep disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, trauma and brain injury sequela. Her research interests include sleep health disparities as a risk factor for mental health challenges.
Débora Viana (she/her) is a Brazilian student passionate about public policy. She is excited to work with Dr. Elizabeth Kiehne and support organizations fighting for immigrant rights in our community. She joins us from Abilene Christian University where she worked in student support services, specifically the TRIO program, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Social Work.
Hillary Vervalin (she/her) is a Colorado native pursuing her Ph.D. in Social Work from Colorado State University. She plans to study how social work theories and interventions can contribute to criminal legal reform and to sustainably reducing recidivism rates. In 2014, she received her Master of Social Work from the University of Denver with a focus on family systems and trauma-informed care. Since 2014, she has worked as a forensic social worker with the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel. She remains incredibly passionate about combining social work skills, values, and ethics with work on criminal defense teams to provide client-centered, positive outcomes. In her free time, Hillary enjoys hiking, yoga, and enjoying all the beautiful state has to offer.
Interdisciplinary Research Centers
You will have the opportunity to work with interdisciplinary research centers during your doctoral tenure.