During the course of the program—in which every full-time student receives tuition and stipend support—PhD candidates focus on a specific concentration that most aligns with their long-term interests. Students from all five concentrations attend class together to gain a multifaceted perspective on today and tomorrow's most critical social policy issues. In addition to the coursework, they participate in a doctoral seminar, write an integrative comprehensive paper and successfully defend a dissertation within four to six years.
Heller is a top ten school of social policy, and a research powerhouse. We are home to ten renowned research centers and institutes that cover social areas ranging from disability policy to asset inequities. In fact, all of our sponsored research (of which we had $19 million in 2015) addresses issues of equity. Students partner with center and institute researchers to dig into critical questions when they select a concentration.