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    Nov 28, 2022  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work Major, Doctor of Social Work

The College of Social Work offers the Doctor of Social Work degree (DSW). The College of Social Work DSW program is designed for MSSW/MSW graduates with significant clinical social work practice experience interested in earning an advanced clinical degree in social work. At the completion of the DSW program, graduates will be able to: 

  • Integrate social work social and behavioral science with other disciplines as the basis for the highest level of evidence-based social work practice.
  • Demonstrate professionalism, advocacy, ethical principles, and scientific integrity in advanced social work practice.
  • Provide collaborative leadership in the development of social work evidence-based practice models and standards of care for diverse populations.
  • Generate client, system and outcomes research and analyze other evidence to guide improvements in practice.
  • Utilize information systems/technology to support and improve social work care and social and health care systems. 

Admission Requirements 

  • Submit online application to Graduate Admissions Office. Meet requirements for admission to the Graduate School.
  • Hold a Master’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Applicants from international programs will be reviewed on an individual basis.
  • Have two years of post-MSSW/MSW clinical practice experience.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for previous graduate work.
  • Have achieved a competitive score on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination.
  • Have TOEFL scores of at least 550 on the paper test or 80 on the internet-based test if native language is not English.
  • Demonstrable information technology skills. 

Special Requirements and Policies 

  • Each student must hold personal professional liability insurance.
  • Students must adhere to ethical and professional standards.
  • Students will attend an annual week of on campus residency each summer devoted to intensive study and skills practice. 


The following courses are required for all students. Courses are listed below in the expected sequence of the DSW curriculum. Students must complete the courses listed above DSW Capstone I, before writing and defending the Capstone I paper. Students must complete all courses listed below the DSW Capstone I course before taking DSW Capstone II.  

  Credit Hours
SOWK 607   3
SOWK 609   3
SOWK 610   3
SOWK 614   3
SOWK 615   3
SOWK 611   3
SOWK 616   3
SOWK 620   3
SOWK 617   3
SOWK 618   3
SOWK 619   3
SOWK 624   3
SOWK 621   3
SOWK 622   3
SOWK 623   3
SOWK 625      3
 Total credit hours         48

The residence for the Doctor of Social Work is defined as four consecutive semesters with a minimum of 6-credit hours of enrollment per semester. Students will be admitted to candidacy after completing the period of residence and successfully writing and defending the Capstone I publishable paper. This tangible and deliverable academic product is derived from the student’s practice experience and immersion in the research literature. See Capstone I course description. The Capstone I paper is the comprehensive exam for the DSW program. It is reviewed and evaluated by the student’s academic committee. The academic committee for Capstone I and Capstone II projects is composed of a minimum of three doctorally-prepared faculty. One committee member may be a doctorally-prepared faculty member from another academic unit, or external to the university who holds special expertise relative to the Capstone I and II projects. The oral defense for both Capstone I and Capstone II may be conducted either via online, interactive video or during face-to-face meeting of the academic committee and the student. In case of failure of either examination, the student may request a retake. The result of the second examination is final. 

Advanced evidence-based practice in clinical social work is based on a dynamic and rapidly evolving theoretical, empirical and clinical practice literature. As such, DSW comprehensive exam must be taken within three years, and all requirements must be completed within five years, from the time of a student’s first enrollment in the DSW program.