A Research Reputation

The UNC School of Social Work offers doctoral studies that are consistently ranked among the best in the world. The Ph.D. program is known internationally for its advanced statistical methodology, which prepares doctoral candidates to discover whether theories and interventions work in real-world settings and to determine what changes are needed. This unique curriculum gives our doctoral graduates a distinct advantage as they pursue post-doc research positions and professorships. Our Ph.D. candidates rely on grants and stipends to continue their studies. We compete with other top schools to attract the best candidates, and strong financial assistance is part of that competition. As North Carolina’s only provider of doctoral-level social work programs, our school must offer strong support to retain our students and our standing.

Ph.D. student Christina Horsford is researching a critical question: What is needed to ensure that older adults age well and successfully? Her work assists long-term care communities with challenges unique to aging populations. For example, nursing homes sometimes struggle helping residents to eat and drink regularly. Christina examines how utensils that are not adaptive might affect residents with arthritis or how room lighting might impact how well residents see food during mealtimes.

Ph.D. student Joseph Frey hopes to inform more effective program interventions for LGBTQ populations in the South. His research examines the mental health implications of LGBTQ stigma and indicates that geographic location plays a role. There’s only one top-ranked school of social work in the southeastern United States — here at Carolina. The UNC School of Social Work has provided Joseph with both rigorous academic preparation and an ideal research setting, where he has a direct perspective into the populations he studies.

Joseph, Christina and other doctoral students at our school conduct research that helps inform public policies and improve services for vulnerable populations.