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Doctor of Social Work

Develop advanced, real-world social work leadership skills and get ready for a management role with the online Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program from Capella University. Designed to meet guidelines established by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), this program prepares you to take on the responsibilities of a leader, advanced practitioner, or educator in the field of social work.

Capstone: doctoral project

Finish your program with a culminating project. Focus on applied research to solve a real-world problem in your field.

Doctoral project development seminar

Work on your capstone topic, methodology, application to theory, and project plan from the beginning of your program. Learn more

Scholar-practitioner faculty

Learn the latest in academic theory and applied practice from experienced doctoral faculty members who are actively engaged in their professions.

Classes start April 10

Use the code WINTER to waive the $50 application fee.

At a glance

  • Online
  • 14 Core courses
  • 2 Virtual Residencies
  • Capstone

With Capella Tuition Cap, you won't pay more than $45,000* in tuition costs for your degree.

*Eligibility rules and exclusions apply. Connect with us for details.

What can you do with a DSW degree? 

Your education can help you reach your professional and personal goals. Here are some of the jobs and employment settings to consider with a Doctor of Social Work degree.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Social worker
  • Clinical social worker
  • Adjunct or part-time social work faculty
  • Full-time social work faculty
  • Clinical manager
  • Clinical director

Employment settings to explore

  • Community college
  • Online and land-based college
  • Ambulatory care service
  • Hospital
  • Government-local, state, federal
  • Insurance carrier
  • Individual and family service

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Articles and resources

Expand your perspective on academic and career topics with articles and resources from Capella University.

How to Start and Grow a Career in Social Work

What are the steps necessary to start and grow a career in social work? A Capella faculty member shares her perspective.

Helping Professions Program Guide

Get details on Capella University programs in counseling and family therapy, psychology, social work and human services, and applied behavior analysis. Compare learning formats, financing options, and more.

What’s It Like to Be a Doctoral Student?

What does it take to earn a doctoral degree? Learn more about the experience and explore each step of the journey.