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Doctoral Program

The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) is a professional doctorate that prepares master’s-level social workers for leadership in agency or academic settings.  DSW students enhance their practice through evaluation and translational research.  A self-designed externship of 180 hours expands students’ experience in one of the following areas of focus: 
  • Advanced clinical practice
  • University teaching
  • Leadership and management 
Building on a tradition of access and excellence in BSW and MSW social work education, Southern Connecticut State University is the only university in New England to offer the DSW degree.
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.  Following a five-day in-person residency that begins each summer term, all DSW courses are delivered online. 
For specific DSW degree requirements and course descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog.
Successful applicants to the DSW program must meet the following minimal requirements:
  • MSW degree from a CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) program
  • At least two years of post-MSW social work practice experience
  • Demonstrated proficiency in professional writing, such as scholarly or professional publications
  • Clear statement of professional goals and purpose for pursuing doctoral study
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of the social work profession
Applicants for the DSW program complete all admissions materials required by both the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Social Work Department. All application materials must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by December 15 for admission in the following year.