Social Work Doctorate

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) is a professional doctorate that prepares master’s-level social workers for leadership in organization or academic settings. It is offered in a three-year, part-time format, which allows students to maintain their employment while studying.

The program prepares them to practice ethically, translate research into policy, and assume leadership in the implementation of advanced social work practice. The self-designed externship (240 hours) and capstone project allow students to enhance their expertise in one of the following areas of focus:

  • Advanced clinical practice
  • University teaching
  • Leadership and management

Graduates of the DSW program are, therefore, competent and compassionate agents of change.

Plan of Study (48 credits)

The DSW program is offered in a three-year, part-time format that allows students to pursue a doctorate while maintaining their employment. The plan of study consists of two courses per semester (summer, fall, and spring) over three calendar years. Summer courses are hybrid courses; each course meets on ground during a five-day residency, and the remaining coursework occurs online. The residency week is always the last full week of June.

For specific DSW degree requirements and course descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog.

Semester and Year Course Title Credits
Summer (Year 1) SWK 800 - Evidence Informed Practice
SWK 803 - Historical and Contemporary Analysis of Social Policy
3
3
Fall (Year 1) SWK 805 – Paradigms, Epistemology, and Heuristics in Social Work
SWK 820 – Emergent Models and Critical Issues in Clinical Social Work Practice
3
3
Spring (Year 1) SWK 823 – Neuroscience and its Application for Social Work Practice with Couples and Families
SWK 821 – Therapeutic Relationships: Advanced Clinical Practice
3
3
Summer (Year 2) SWK 822 – Mental Health and Substance Abuse: Advanced Clinical Practice
SWK 831 – Leadership and Management in Social Work
3
3
Fall (Year 2) SWK 806 – Education for Social Work
SWK 804 – Clinical Social Work Supervision
3
3
Spring (Year 2) SWK 802 – Program Evaluation
SWK 809 – Capstone I: Capstone Proposal - Translational Project or Peer-Reviewed Manuscript
3
1.5
Summer (Year 3) SWK 833 – Technical Skills in Social Work Administration
SWK 809 – Capstone I: Capstone Proposal - Translational Project or Peer-Reviewed Manuscript
3
1.5
Fall (Year 3) SWK 807 – Externship I
SWK 810 – Capstone II: Capstone Final Project - Translational Research Project or Peer Reviewed Manuscript
2
2.5
Spring (Year 3) SWK 808 – Externship II
SWK 810 – Capstone II: Capstone Final Project - Translational Research Project or Peer Reviewed Manuscript
2
2.5
Total   48

Admissions

Successful applicants to the DSW program must meet the following minimal requirements:

  • MSW from a CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) program.
  • A minimum of 3.00 undergraduate and graduate grade point average*
  • At least 3 years of post-MSW social work practice experience.
  • A 4-5-page, double-spaced essay addressing the following:
    1. Social work practice experience, including supervision, leadership, and/or teaching.
    2. Most significant aspects of social work professional mission and values for one’s practice.
    3. Reasons for pursuing doctoral study, including influence of prior experience.
    4. Professional goals and the desired impact of doctoral study on career trajectory.
  • Essay must also demonstrate proficiency in professional writing.
  • Demonstrated capacity for doctoral coursework and independent
  • Applications must be completed and submitted by December 15th for admission the following summer (Application material will be available in August each year).

 

* Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may be eligible for conditional admission. For more information, click here.

Applications

Applicants for the DSW program are required to complete all admissions materials required by both the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Social Work Department. Applications to the Doctor of Social Work program must be submitted and complete by December 15th for admission the following summer. Any applications submitted after this date will be reviewed only if spaces remain for the upcoming year. Applicants to the DSW program apply to the School of Graduate Studies .

Application Requirements:

  • Transcripts from all degree programs attended.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from employers, teachers, or community, civic, or clinical/management leaders attesting to potential as a Doctoral Candidate.
  • Essay describing the student’s professional life to date, including a vision for how this doctorate would add to personal and professional growth and development.
  • Completion of application form.

Student Handbook

Click here for DSW Handbook