News Details

PhD in Social Welfare Program waives GRE requirement

Four graduate students stand together talking near a whiteboard

Authored by: Juliana Rosati

Photography by: Eric Sucar

Student Life


The PhD in Social Welfare Program at Penn’s School of Policy & Practice (SP2) no longer requires Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores as part of its application process as of Fall 2023, following discussion and a vote by the School’s faculty.

“Studies show that GRE requirements discourage underrepresented populations from applying,” says SP2 Associate Professor Yoosun Park, co-director of the program.

Associate Professor Tamara Cadet, also co-director of the program, states, “This decision seeks to attend to issues of power, inequality, and disparity, in keeping with the School’s commitment to social justice.”

Drs. Cadet and Park took on leadership of the program as of July 1, 2023.  In their directors’ welcome to the program, they emphasize the significance of social justice in the work of social welfare. “We believe that the vitality of the social welfare field is maintained by the passion for social justice brought by those who enter it. SP2’s rigorous yet flexible curriculum aims to provide the training necessary to forge the students’ passion into disciplined scholarship,” they write.

The program takes an interdisciplinary approach to preparing students for careers as researchers and scholars across domains that include health, poverty, education, incarceration, climate change, racism, migration, philanthropy, homelessness, and history.

Dr. Park, a theory-driven scholar, has built a nontraditional body of scholarship to extend the borders of social work knowledge. Her award-winning scholarship informs the next generation of social work practitioners and researchers as required readings in courses of social work in the United States and abroad. Dr. Cadet, a leading scholar in the arena of social work and public health, works to create interventions and reduce disparities in health among under-resourced, underserved, and underrepresented populations. Her research has a particular focus on cancer screening and cancer care for older people.

At upcoming online information sessions on September 19 and October 10, staff of the PhD in Social Welfare Program will be available to answer questions about doctoral study and the career benefits available through the program. Registration is available at the links below.

September 19, 2023 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

October 10, 2023 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST