University of Connecticut

PhD Electives Policy

The University of Connecticut School of Social Work PhD curriculum requires students to complete 6 elective credits prior to sitting for their Comprehensive Exams. Electives provide the opportunity for students to explore a focused area of study within or across other social science disciplines in preparation for their doctoral research.

The University of Connecticut Graduate School requires that all PhD students must satisfy a foreign language requirement. The SSW has determined that the University foreign language requirement will be fulfilled by completing 6 credits of study in a substantive area outside of the School of Social Work. Therefore, all students enrolled in the University of Connecticut School of Social Work Doctoral Program will be required to complete 6 elective credits in upper level graduate program offerings (courses numbered 5000 or above) of other schools or departments within the University. The six credits must be distributed as follows:

One elective (3 credits), relevant to the student’s dissertation, must be taken in a core social science discipline (i.e., anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, or sociology). The remaining elective (3 credits) must also be taken outside of the School of Social Work, but can be decided by the student and her/his major advisor based on the student’s dissertation area or substantive area of interest. Elective courses may be taken within the regular academic year or during scheduled summer sessions. *

Alternatively, with prior approval by the student’s advisory committee, students may take up to 6 elective credits at an institution other than the University of Connecticut. Approval from the Executive Committee of the University of Connecticut Graduate School to use transfer credits in satisfaction of the foreign language requirement must be received before the courses are taken. In exercising this option, students should be aware that they will need to assume the financial burden of part-time status within the alternate institution and that transfer credit will be allowed only for courses completed with a B (not B-) or above (see requirements for Foreign Language; Related or Supporting Area of Study and Transfer Credit as specified in the University of Connecticut Graduate Catalog). Distribution of elective course credits taken at other institutions (3 in a core social science discipline; 3 in a substantive area of interest) must adhere to the policy as stated above.

Students may satisfy the “foreign language” requirement of the University Graduate School by taking an advanced mathematics or statistics course (content beyond that covered in SSW412 and SSW413) outside of the School of Social Work. Students electing this option will still need to take an additional 3-credit elective. These students may take that elective within the School of Social Work (as an Independent Study) but only if another elective within a core social science discipline relevant to the dissertation is not available.

All electives, whether acquired at the University of Connecticut or at another institution, must be included on the student’s Plan of Study. The Plan of Study must be prepared, signed by the student and members of her/his Advisory Committee, and submitted to the Graduate School for approval by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council, before the student has completed not more than 12 credits of course work toward the degree (i.e., before the end of the first full year of study). Any requested changes to the approved plan of study must be submitted (on the appropriate form, signed by the student and members of the Advisory Committee) for approval by the Executive Committee

* Reflects policy approved and reported in 02/04/08 Doctoral Committee Meeting minutes.