- Online MSW Programs
- Understanding the Basics of DSW
What is a DSW degree?
A Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) offers advanced training in a specific area of practice in social work. Students pursuing a DSW usually focus on social work administration and clinical social work. A DSW is different than a Ph.D. in social work, which requires more research for candidates that is focused on academic or research in social work career. A DSW degree offers programs that train students to advance their career in social work and innovate the social work space. Candidates are prepared for a leadership role and are trained on innovation and management in areas of social work like social work administration, clinical social work, and child, family and school social work. Most DSW programs require a form of residency or dissertation that helps form skills towards advancing a candidate’s professional career.
Social Work Administration
Social work administration includes working at the macro level of social work. Rather than focusing on one client, social work administrators focus on the future and success of the practice as a whole. Popular social work administration jobs include those with family or social service agencies, child welfare departments, school settings, hospitals and home health care agencies, and probation agencies. Necessary skills for this line of work include active listening, organization, emotional intelligence, empathy, and critical thinking.
Clinical Social Work
Clinical social work involves utilizing methods of treatment and prevention to address mental illness. Clinical social workers pursue careers in a variety of settings to provide services and treatments to individuals, groups, and families. They apply their knowledge on analysis, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health.This social work career is known for its variety of roles and career paths. Popular careers in clinical social work include child, family and school, substance abuse, and medical social work. Necessary skills for this line of work include social perceptiveness, organization, cooperation, relaxation, and active listening.
Do I need my MSW to get my DSW?
Requirements for DSW admission vary by university. Even so, candidates must have obtained a master’s degree in order to pursue a doctorate degree. Some programs require a MSW while others, such as our partner DSW@USC, require a master’s degree in similar areas of study such as an advanced degree in Public Administration (MPA), Public Health (MPH), Nursing (MSN), Public Policy (MPP), Business Administration (MBA), Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), or any professional doctorate.
The average salary for individual with an MSW is $60,527 while the average salary for someone with a DSW is $86,070. A Doctorate of Social Work is an option for students wishing to pursue a career in leadership or organization in the social work space. A Master's of Social Work is a viable option for someone who wishes to study and concentrate on a specific field of social work and become a licensed social worker.
Why should I get a DSW degree?
A Doctorate of Social Work demonstrates that you have a greater understanding of how to solve problems faced in the real world, such as bullying, child welfare, and poverty. DSW programs, including our partner DSW@USC, are designed for working professionals who wish to have a greater impact in their practice. A DSW degree takes an MSW one step further for social workers who want to excel in their area of practice and expand their spectrum of career opportunities in social work. A DSW degree can guide professionals become more aware of policies that can directly impact their practice.
How long does it take to get a doctorate in social work (DSW)?
The length of a DSW program varies by which school you choose to attend. Some programs, like our partner DSW@USC, offers a part-time, 24-month program that includes completing a residency and capstone project. Other universities may offer similar part-time options or full-time enrollment tracks. Most DSW programs can take anywhere between two to five years to complete.
DSW vs. Ph.D
A Ph.D in social work is primarily a research-based degree while a DSW offers advanced training in a specific area of social work with a more hands-on experience. A DSW degree ensures that the qualified candidate will gain extended knowledge on problem-solving skills to help create and advocate for a better society. Ph.D social work candidates may conduct an extensive amount of research that provides advancement in social work careers.
Do I need my MSW to get my DSW?
Not necessarily, students should hold a master’s degree in social work or in a related topic. However, this does vary by program.
Is professional experience required to be accepted into a DSW program?
Most programs require a certain amount of professional experience in order to get accepted into the DSW program.
Are there full time DSW programs?
There are both full-time and part-time options offered, however, it depends on the university. Most programs are designed for professionals who work full time and participate in the program simultaneously.