Research (Ph.D.) studies

Research (Ph.D.) studies

The School of Social Work and Social Welfare offers three study tracks towards the Ph.D.:

  1. The track for holders of a master’s degree in social work
  2. The track for holders of a master’s degree with thesis that is not in social work
  3. The direct track, for students who have excelled in their undergraduate studies and the first year of graduate studies

Secretary for teaching affairs and coordinator of research students – Mr. Ori Sagi, room 425, tel: 02-5881802


The track for holders of a master’s degree in social work



A student meeting the following four conditions may apply for the Ph.D.:

  1. Received the MSW with a weighted average of at least 88.
  2. Received a grade of at least 90 for the master’s thesis.
  3. A faculty member who is at least a senior lecturer is willing to supervise the dissertation.
  4. Meets the requirements of the Research Students Authority regulations.



In addition to the research that the student will conduct, s/he must participate in supplementary studies according to the instructions of the supervisor and the accompanying committee, in coordination with the chair of the committee for doctoral studies at the School of Social Work and Social Welfare and with the approval of the Research Students Authority.


Supplementary studies

Students holding the MSW who wrote a thesis must study 6 annual hours (12 credits) and achieve an average of at least 85, as required by the Research Students Authority.


The track for holders of a master’s degree with thesis that is not in social work


These students are required to take 6 credits of supplementary studies as follows:

  1. Historical and philosophical roots of social work practice.
  2. Welfare policy in comparative perspective.
  3. An additional course that will be decided on by the supervisor together with the head of the doctoral program. The course will be chosen, according to the student’s prior studies, from the following fields of study:
    • Theories of family intervention
    • Advanced theories of personality
    • Organizational theory
    • Civil society and the third sector

In addition, the student must take 12 credits that are connected to the dissertation topic, according to the decision of the accompanying committee.



The direct track


This track is intended for select students who have completed the BSW and the first year of the MSW with outstanding excellence, and who can devote their entire time to advanced studies towards the Ph.D. – this in order to complete their studies within five years, including the MSW and supplementary studies. These students study in a special program, as detailed below.



Students whose final grade for the BSW is at least 90 and who finished the first year of the MSW with a grade of at least 92 may apply for this track.

Students who meet these requirements should apply to the school’s secretary for teaching in order to find out about the rest of the process.

The number of places in this track is limited.


Structure and extent of the study program

Students in the direct doctoral track will register for a MSW program and complete two full years of study in a research MSW program. Their study plan will be constructed according to the intended advanced studies and must be approved by the head of the MSW program and the chair of the school’s committee for doctoral studies.

  1. The structure of the study plan will be similar to that required in research MA programs, with the possibility of slight changes on the basis of personal counselling (including two research seminars). The total number of credits required of students in the direct track is 38.
  2. Instead of a thesis, the direct-track student will write a research proposal for his/her doctoral dissertation [= “research proposal”] and may submit it to the Research Students Authority after registering as a Stage I research student (see the conditions for progress to Stage I research student below).
  3. The direct-track student will be required to take at least 24 credits in the first year of studies, and to achieve an average of at least 90.
  4. The direct-track student will be required to take the compulsory courses common to all MSW tracks (table A in the course catalogue).
  5.  The direct-track student will be accepted into one of the following programs: general-integrative (table B in the course catalogue); direct therapy (table C); welfare services policy and administration (table D). Of the 38 credits requires by the direct track program, s/he will take 18 credits common to all students and 18 credits in the specific program, according to the table in the course catalogue. According to the decision of the program head, the student will be required to take a 2-credit reading course in addition.

To view the course catalogue, click here. The course catalogue shows compulsory courses (table A) as in paragraph (d) above; and the courses of the general-integrative program (table B), direct therapy program (table C) and welfare services policy and administration program (table D), as in paragraph (e) above.


The study program enables students to choose elective courses so that they form a “specialization”. Specializations are offered in children and family welfare, community work, trauma, and mental health rehabilitation. Within the welfare services and policy program, it is possible to specialize in social policy or in welfare services administration. For details of these specializations, see the relevant section of the MSW program.


Additional and joint programs


Multidisciplinary Ph.D. program (social sciences-humanities-law, social work and education), jointly with Freie Universität Berlin

The dissertation must focus on “human rights under pressure”. To apply:

The link provides information about the academic and economic support offered by the program. The program is open also to current research students at the Hebrew University.


The Research Students Authority

Research students’ seminar

Aim of the seminar:

The research students’ seminar provides a framework for mutual study of the research topics of the students and faculty of the school and of the university generally, enabling students to learn from the faculty’s experience of various topics (e.g., theoretical, methodological, procedural, organizational, socio-cultural, socio-political, ethical, etc.), challenges they have met while conducting research, and how they have coped with them. We intend the research students’ seminar to be one of the ways to form a dynamic, active, interactive and supportive academic community, on the one hand, and a means to overcome the feelings of alienation and loneliness that occur from time to time among research students, on the other. Research students are required to participate in this seminar for two academic years.



The dissertation

Research proposal

The student will prepare a research plan for the dissertation under the supervisor’s guidance. The proposal will include and comprehend all aspects that are required according to the procedures laid down by the committee for research students.

The proposal will be brought before the accompanying committee (see below). After approval by the accompanying committee, it will be submitted to the Research Students Authority for approval. After the latter’s approval, the student may register as a Stage II research student.

Accompanying committee

According to the regulations of the Research Students Authority, an accompanying committee is appointed for each student. This committee comprises, in addition to the advisor, two or more faculty members who are close to the student’s research topic. The committee’s members are proposed by the supervisor, and this is approved by the Research Students Authority, which appoints the accompanying committee. The accompanying committee follows the student’s research up to the stage of submission for evaluation.

Evaluation of the dissertation

The dissertation will be evaluated according to the rules and procedures of the university committee for research students.

Seminar for research students

The program includes two seminars for research students: one for Stage I students and one for Stage II students.

Coordinator: Prof. Mimi Eisenstadt.

Takes place twice a month.

The seminar discusses theoretical, methodological, organizational, ethical and other questions, and how to plan and conduct dissertation research.

It is compulsory to participate in the seminar for two years.

Students will register for 03098-Research Students Seminar I (in the first year) or 03099-Research Students Seminar II (in the second year) with the coordinator for research students, Ori Sagi.


Conditions for progress


In order to continue to the second and subsequent years within the framework of the direct track, the student must successfully complete a full course load of 12 annual hours (24 credits) with an average of at least 90.

Conditions for progress to status of research student (stage I):

Direct-track students will be permitted to register as Stage I research students if they meet the following conditions:

  1. Completed a full program of 39 credits of MSW studies.
  2. Found a faculty member who is willing to supervise their dissertation work.
  3. Meet the regulations of the Research Students Authority.

After acceptance as a Stage I research student, the direct-track student is required by the Research Students Authority to complete 12 credits of supplementary studies.

Receiving the MSW while studying on the direct Ph.D. track

The direct-track student will be entitled to the MSW after accumulating all the credits required for the MSW with thesis.

Receiving the MSW after leaving the direct Ph.D. track

A student who does not meet the conditions above at the dates and conditions required, or a student who decides to leave the direct Ph.D. track, can complete MSW studies, according to the requirements of the MSW program, and receive the degree.



Fellowships and prizes for Ph.D. candidates


Fellowships and prizes for Ph.D. candidates

The School bestows prizes and fellowships with the support of donors and foundations, as follows:

  • Grant for a thesis or dissertation on the topic of mental disability
  • Bracha Ben-Zvi Prize for excellence and innovation in research on social work and social welfare
  • Nira Shenhar Fellowship for the topics of immigrant absorption and civil society in Israel
  • Louis and Rebecca Schoenfeld Fellowship
  • Shulamit Yosopovich Fellowship
  • Milton Rosenbaum Fellowship
  • Amy Rosenberg Fellowship
  • President’s Fellowships – each year the University, together with the School, bestows President’s Fellowships upon excellent research students. The invitation is published in January on the general university website
  • Hoffman Fellowships for research students
  • Truman Institute Fellowships for doctoral and post-doctoral students
  • Writing-up grant for research students nearing the end of writing their dissertation

Further information on fellowships is available from Ori Sagi (

Joint international courses

The School for Social Work and Social Welfare initiates and encourages meetings with students from other places in the world, as well as studying topics connected to social work in various places around the world. We believe that exposing students to a range of approaches and systems in the field of social work, becoming acquainted with systems and procedures that differ from Israel, will enrich their knowledge and open further paths of thought for our students.


A list of the programs currently offered at the school, as well as information about past meetings/programs, is as follows:


Courses offered in the framework of undergraduate studies in the 2017-18 academic year:

Course in Hong Kong during the first semester