Doctor of Social Work

Exceptional preparation teaching and leadership in higher education

The DSW is designed to fill a gap in social work doctoral education as the first online DSW program to focus on preparing social work faculty specifically for university-level teaching and leadership in teaching-intensive colleges and universities. Strong social work educators and practitioners with an MSW degree will gain the skills and credentials to teach and lead in the social work profession and become stewards of the discipline. The online delivery format makes this program accessible to working professionals from throughout the country. Graduates will be prepared to:
  • Engage in transformative teaching
  • Develop an identity as a scholar practitioner
  • Write for publication
  • Pursue social justice through leadership
The St. Catherine University – University of St. Thomas School of Social Work is a collaboration between two private, liberal arts universities, committed to student development through teaching excellence, community engagement, and mentoring relationships. Our 30 full-time faculty are recognized scholars, researchers and practitioners.
We encourage all prospective students to join us for an online information session if possible. You can learn the basics by visiting

About the DSW

  • Three-year curriculum; 45 credits
  • On-campus residency each summer in St. Paul, MN (2 weeks)
  • Online synchronous and asynchronous instruction
  • Banded dissertation
  • Cohort model for experienced social work practitioners and teachers


DRSW 700History of Social Work and Social Work Education3
DRSW 710Social Work Education3
DRSW 717Pedagogies in Social Work Education: Theory and Practice3
DRSW 718Mission and Purpose through Curriculum3
DRSW 720Social Work Theoretical Perspectives3
DRSW 721Teaching Social Work3
DRSW 723Engaged Scholarship3
DRSW 725Career Development Practicum3
DRSW 726Writing for Publication3
DRSW 727Banded Dissertation and Scholarship (Banded Dissertation Proposal)3
DRSW 728Research and Scholarship I3
DRSW 729Research & Scholarship II3
DRSW 800Banded Dissertation3
DRSW 801Banded Dissertation II Defense3
Select one elective from:3
Grant Writing
Leadership, Mentoring, and Faculty Development
Independent Study
Total Credits45