Program Overview

This program is for those who have a master's degree in social work from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Capella University's online Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program prepares you to be an advocate for social justice and lead public policy changes. This program, designed around national social-work education guidelines, is one of very few online DSW programs. It also features face-to-face learning experiences, including a week-long, intensive, dissertation writing retreat, and a course that requires participatory research.

The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, action research, and the integration of theoretical knowledge with practical experience. There is a strong focus on the growing use of technology to expand the reach or effectiveness of social service programs, build awareness of important social issues, and enhance professional development. This DSW can be completed in as little as three years, with all courses taken in sequence, allowing you to learn and build professional relationships with the same cohort of students.

Your DSW in Social Work program includes 4 integrated components: online coursework, an in-person writer’s workshop, a participatory research course, and dissertation. Each facet of your education builds on the others to take you through your program and to your goal of a DSW.

With your Doctorate in Social Work from Capella you'll apply theory, knowledge, and research and develop innovative approaches to social issues. You'll also provide leadership that promotes sustainable change in social service programs and practice to improve the quality of the field of social work.

Common jobs with an online Doctorate in General Social Work include adjunct, part-time or full-time faculty, author or keynote speaker, child, family, or school social worker, clinical instructor, director of quality assurance, human services director, medical or public health social worker, researcher or senior social worker. Potential workplaces include: consulting firm, community college, government, hospital or clinic, nonprofit organization/non-governmental organization, land-based or online college or university, or research organization.

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Doctorate

    Delivery Format: Mostly Online

    Accelerated Degree: No

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    • Higher Learning Commission: www.hlcommission.org.
    • Capella University, Capella Tower, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402.

    Requirements

    Your program of enrollment determines the admission requirements. 

    Basic requirements for all programs:

    • Admission application and non-refundable $50 application fee
    • Acknowledgement agreement
    • All applicants must understand, read, speak, and write fluently in English
    • Official transcript(s) from previous institutions for degree and post-degree coursework, if applicable
    • Minimum GPA as defined by your program

    Minimum level of education required:

    • Master's degree in social work from an institution accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). Grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Admission to the General Social Work specialization requires learners to complete and submit the Cohort Auto-Registration Form.
    • One in-person, 7-day residency experience is required.

    School Overview

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.

    Respected programs that move you forward
    Organizations around the world have acknowledged Capella’s commitment to quality education with accreditations, state approvals, certifications, awards, recognitions, and designations. Right now, more than 37,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs. 

    Online education. Two ways.
    Our FlexPath format lets you set your own deadlines and move at your own pace. Our GuidedPath format offers extra structure for those who need it.

    Explore options in key professions

    • Analytics
    • Business
    • Counseling
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education (K–12 & Higher Education)
    • Emergency Management
    • Health Care Administration
    • Human Services
    • Information Assurance and Security
    • Information Technology
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Public Administration
    • Public Health
    • Social Work

    Multiple ways to help you save

    • Employer and association discounts
    • Military discounts
    • Transfer credit
    • Scholarships
    • Streamlined programs
    • Guides (online resource)
    • Credit for real-world learning

    Online flexibility and personalized support 
    At Capella, online learning means you can take your courseroom anywhere, learning when and where it fits your life. And if you need backup, support services are available every step of the way.

    Ready to go further?
    Connect with an enrollment counselor to discuss your education options. Select a program of interest and request information about a degree program to advance your career.

    Affordability

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    Disclosure

    Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, endorsement, certification, authorization, other professional credentials, or salary advancement. State regulations and professional credential standards vary. It is the learner’s responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their states and professional associations. For more information on licensure, see the Licensure section on the School’s website. Enrollment restrictions and/or other restrictions may apply to certain programs. Contact Capella University for more information.

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