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Doctor of Social Work Degree in Clinical Practice & Leadership Program (DSW Program)

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Program Overview

The College of Social Work offers a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in Clinical Practice and Leadership that prepares graduates for advanced clinical practice and leadership. Geared toward working professionals, the DSW is an intensive accelerated program that enables students to satisfy all degree requirements in three years, without career disruption. The DSW Program is unique in the country in that it has an advanced clinical social work curriculum focused on evidence-based practice, clinical leadership, clinical science, and applied research. Part of the unique nature of the DSW program is that it is a professional practice degree – designed to prepare students for advanced clinical practice and advanced practice leadership – and we offer this curriculum in an online format where students who are full-time working clinical social workers can continue in their on-going clinical practice while studying to earn their doctorate.


The DSW curriculum follows eight (8) semesters of rigorous coursework with two classes per semester. Courses within the DSW curriculum are listed in the expected sequence. Students will complete three semesters, or six courses, before writing and defending the Capstone I paper. DSW Capstone II papers are completed in the final semester.

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Student Testimonial

These degrees (MSSW & DSW) have given me options. It’s not just this one door that’s opened, it’s the ability to choose which door to go through… I didn’t know how much it would change, really, who I am – in such a good way. Thankfully, I had amazing field supervisors and other people along the way that showed me and taught me what it means to be a social worker. And now I am one! And I’m really proud to be able to say that. So thank you to the College of Social Work and to UT!

Clay Culp, DSW

Choose Your Path

Which doctoral program is right for you?

PhDDoctor of Philosophy Degree in Social Work

  • Four-year program with leading-edge curriculum
  • In-person, full time program
  • Learn from nationally-renowned, cutting-edge research faculty
  • Competitive funding package includes tuition waiver
  • Preparation for faculty and research positions
  • Collaboration with two research centers

DSWOnline Doctor of Social Work Degree

  • Three-year online program
  • Advance clinical practice and leadership
  • Two classes per semester
  • One week per summer on the UT Knoxville campus

Contact the DSW Program

For more information, or if you have questions that aren’t answered here on the website, feel free to contact us.

Learn more about the DSW Program