DSW Program-at-a-glance

Doctorate in Social Work (DSW). This DSW program has been approved by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. (At this time, doctoral programs are not accredited by CSWE)

Education as Practice: Exceptional preparation for the practice of teaching in higher education


  • Three-year curriculum; 45 semester credits (15 courses) required.
  • Cohort model: Students move through the program as a group, forming strong personal and professional connections
  • Online synchronous and asynchronous instruction
  • On-campus residency each summer in St. Paul, MN (2 weeks) (see Getting Started)
  • Fall and Spring semesters each comprised of two successive, 8-week sessions (see Sample Course Schedule)
  • "Banded" dissertation (see Course Descriptions page)


  • MSW degree from a program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Minimum of two years post-MSW social work practice experience
  • Previous teaching experience in higher education (adjunct or full-time) - strongly preferred
  • Social work license eligibility
  • Minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for previous graduate work
  • Commitment to teach and lead in the social work profession.


  • Application deadline for Summer 2018: January 15, 2018
  • 2017, Cohort 4 program start:
    • Orientation at Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska, MN: July 14-16
    • On-campus residency at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN: July 16-28