Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

DSW Program Courses

DSW Curriculum Requirements

The following courses are required for all students. Courses are listed below in the expected sequence of the DSW curriculum. Students must complete the courses listed above DSW Capstone I, before writing and defending the Capstone I paper. Students must complete all courses listed below the DSW Capstone I course before defending DSW Capstone II paper.

Semester 1

  • 607 Neuroscience for Clinical Practice (3)
    Provides a neuroscience framework for understanding lifespan development, trauma, addictions and other mental health disorders, psychotropic medications, and attachment.
  • 609 Epistemology & Clinical EBP Methods (3)
    Examines the foundations of knowledge, tools to find resources, design tailored interventions, and implement evidence-based interventions and evidence supported common therapeutic factors.

Semester 2

  • 615 Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology (3)
    Examines psychopharmacological interventions for psychopathological conditions across the lifespan.
  • 620 Clinical Research and Applied Statistics (3)
    Explores the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods and applied statistics in clinical research.

Semester 3

  • 610 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy I (3)
    Reviews theoretical underpinnings of CBT (behavioral, social learning, cognitive, acceptance based / mindfulness), development of case conceptualizations, and technique development.
  • 614 Interpersonal Psychotherapy (3)
    Examines the role of interpersonal and psychodynamic processes in biopsychosocial problems. Provides the theoretical and clinical framework of Interpersonal Psychotherapy, a time-limited, structured psychotherapy. Develops and enhances clinician technical skills to improve client’s interpersonal relationships.

Semester 4

  • 624 DSW Capstone I (3)
    Preparation of a publishable paper that includes 1) selection of a biopsychosocial problem experienced by a specific population served in student’s current practice, 2) addresses the empirical and theoretical understanding of the etiology, 3) reviews the array of possible evidence-based interventions and the demonstrated outcomes. Student defends his/her paper at an oral defense.
  • 611 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy II (3)
    Advanced practice course that covers specific protocols and CBT interventions for specific disorders.

Semester 5

  • 617 Clinical Management (3)
    Examines principles of leadership and management; Management practice (employee supervision and evaluation; conflict resolution); Strategic planning; Program design and development; Financial management (budgeting, cost/benefit analysis); Resource development; and Informatics.
  • 622 Translational Research (3)
    Examines methods for implementing practice evaluations of evidence based practices in clinical settings.

Semester 6

  • 616 Advanced EBP for Addictions and Dual Diagnosis Treatment (3)
    Examines the interaction of addictive and other mental health disorders. Particular focus is placed on case-conceptualization, assessment, and intervention with multiply diagnosed clients.
  • 619 Individual/Group Practice with Diverse Populations in Complex Systems (3)
    Examines adaptive evidence-based practice with individuals and groups in service delivery for complex, diverse & multi-problem populations.

Semester 7

  • 621 Clinical Leadership (3)
    Presents knowledge and skills for effective management of clinical teams, clinical supervision, and educational andragogy.
  • 618 Trauma Focused Interventions (3)
    Presents current bio-ecological research findings that inform our understanding of trauma. Emphasis is placed on understanding biopsychosocial influences on the incidence, course and treatment of acute stress and PTSD, and the differential effect of these factors on diverse populations at risk. The course focuses on the acquisition of diagnostic skills as they relate to comprehensive social work assessment of adults, adolescents and children. Assessment and interventions skills will be taught for specific types of trauma, e.g. rape, war, natural disasters. Evidence-based interventions to treat victims of trauma will be presented.

Semester 8

  • 623 Emergent Intervention Methods for Complex Populations (3) Presents a review and exploration of emergent and cutting-edge intervention methods and clinical skills.
  • 625 DSW Capstone II (3) Preparation of a publishable paper reporting the results of student’s clinical research study. Student defends his/her paper at an oral defense.

The residence for the Doctor of Social Work is defined as four consecutive semesters with a minimum of 6-credit hours of enrollment per semester. Students will be admitted to candidacy after completing the period of residence and successfully writing and defending the Capstone I publishable paper. This tangible and deliverable academic product is derived from the student’s practice experience and immersion in the research literature. See Capstone I course description. The Capstone I paper is the comprehensive exam for the DSW program. It is reviewed and evaluated by the student’s academic committee. The academic committee for Capstone I and Capstone II projects is composed of a minimum of three doctorally-prepared faculty. One committee member may be a doctorally-prepared faculty member from another academic unit, or external to the university who holds special expertise relative to the Capstone I and II projects. The oral defense for both Capstone I and Capstone II may be conducted either via online, interactive video or during face-to-face meeting of the academic committee and the student. In case of failure of either examination, the student may request a retake. The result of the second examination is final.

Advanced evidence-based practice in clinical social work is based on a dynamic and rapidly evolving theoretical, empirical and clinical practice literature. As such, DSW comprehensive exam must be taken within three years, and all requirements must be completed within five years, from the time of a student’s first enrollment in the DSW program.