Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
This program is completed entirely online.
The Doctor of Social Work degree is intended to prepare social workers to assume advanced professional roles such as master practitioner, educator, administrator, policy practitioner, or leader in settings where social workers practice. The degree program will educate social workers holding a master's degree with at least two years of post-master's experience to become future practitioner scholars in teaching and social service leadership.
The overall goal of the degree program is to offer advanced education, training, and mentoring to social workers holding a master's degree with at least two years of post-master's experience who wish to become social work teaching faculty or leaders in public or private social service organizations throughout Kentucky, the nation, and abroad.
The integrated curriculum will equip students with both leadership and teaching skills so they will be able to assume either or both social service leadership and teaching faculty positions.
To apply to the Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program in social work, send the following materials by February 1 to:
University of Louisville
Houchens Building, Room 105
Louisville, KY 40292
- Completed Graduate Admissions Application for Admission to the University of Louisville's Doctor of Social Work (DSW) Program offered in the Kent School of Social Work
- Application fee
- Official transcripts from each college/university attended, and documentation of the receipt of a master's degree in Social Work, e.g. MSW, MSSW, from a CSWE accredited program or international equivalent.
- Current Resume or Curriculum Vita
- Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's work and/or academic ability and performance such as current or former supervisors and instructors
- A writing sample demonstrating the applicant's writing and analytical ability responding to the required writing prompt
- Personal statement of goals for pursuing the Doctor of Social Work degree
- Two years of post-master's degree social work experience
- Master's GPA of 3.0 (note: applicants with a master's GPA of below 3.0 showing potential for success as demonstrated in their other submitted application materials and/or in the interview for admission into the Doctor of Social Work program will be given consideration for admission)
The admission process involves the following:
- DSW Admissions Committee review of application materials
- Applicants may be interviewed per DSW Admissions Committee’s recommendations
- DSW Program recommendation to the Graduate School
|SW 730||Social Service Leadership and Teaching & Learning: History, Philosophy & Current Practices||3|
|SW 731||Ethics, Equity, and Social Justice: Theory and Practice||3|
|SW 735||Program Evaluation||3|
|SW 736||Applied Social Service Leadership, Management & Practice||4|
|SW 737||Program Planning, Finance, & Budgets||3|
|SW 738 Social Work Teaching & Learning: Theories, Methods & Assessment||3|
|SW 739 Teaching in Social Work: Course Design, Instruction & Evaluation||4|
|SW 740 Policy Analysis & Advocacy: Contemporary Issues||3|
|SW 774||Implementation Science, Program Development, & Administration||3|
|SW 775||Continuous Quality Improvement, Data Driven Decision-Making and Evidence Based Practice & Manage||3|
|SW 776||Research Methods||3|
|SW 777 Integrative Seminar & Qualifying Assessment||3|
|SW 778 Thesis/Capstone project||6|
|Minimum Total Hours||44|
Students complete two practicum experiences. In the fall semester of the second year, students complete a leadership practicum concurrently with Applied Social Service Leadership, Management & Practice. In the spring semester of the second year, students complete a teaching practicum concurrently with Social Work Teaching & Learning: Theories, Methods & Assessment.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at program completion
- Successful completion of all courses in the curriculum plan
- Proficiency rating of at least 85% on the qualifying assessment
- Successful defense of a thesis or capstone project
- Completion of all school and university requirements for awarding of the degree
- Completion of the program within four years from the time of passing the qualifying assessment
Doctoral Qualifying Assessment
The qualifying assessment allows students to demonstrate their abilities to apply and integrate their skills and readiness to address complex issues within thesis or capstone projects. After successfully completing the qualifying assessment, students are admitted to candidacy status.
Doctoral Thesis/Capstone Project
After admission to candidacy, students complete an original thesis or capstone project under the supervision of a faculty mentor and three other faculty members (one of which is from outside the school of social work). Students will defend their thesis/capstone project.