Doctor of Social Work

Exceptional preparation for the practice of teaching

The DSW is designed to fill a gap in social work doctoral education as the first program of its kind to focus on preparing social work faculty specifically for university-level teaching and leadership in higher education. Strong social work 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. 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.

About the DSW

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


DRSW 700History of Social Work and Social Work Education3
DRSW 710Social Work Education3
DRSW 716Obligations of Professoriate3
DRSW 717Pedagogies in Social Work Education: Theory and Practice3
DRSW 718Curriculum Development: Manifestation of Mission and Purpose3
DRSW 720Social Work Theoretical Perspectives3
DRSW 721Teaching Social Work3
DRSW 722Using Mixed Methods in Social Work Research3
DRSW 723Engaged Scholarship3
DRSW 724Interprofessional Education/IPC Experiential3
or DRSW 725 Career Development Practicum
DRSW 726Writing for Publication3
DRSW 727Research and Scholarship3
DRSW 790Research: Fundamentals to Advanced Perspectives3
DRSW 800Banded Dissertation3
Select one elective from:3
Creating Hybrid, Online Course Formats
Designing and Implementing a Field Education Program
Grant Writing
Program Evaluation and Assessment
Program Administration
Supervision, Mentoring, and Faculty Development
Independent Study
International Social Work and Global Perspectives
Total Credits45

Education as Practice

Certificate Program

For those who wish to advance their skills in teaching and/or take the first step toward completing our doctoral program in social work education, the Certificate in Education as Practice is an excellent place to start. Upon acceptance to the doctoral program, individuals who have successfully completed the certificate for graduate credit can apply these courses to their degree program.
Courses include:
DRSW 700History of Social Work and Social Work Education3
DRSW 710Social Work Education3
DRSW 716Obligations of Professoriate3
DRSW 721Teaching Social Work3