2023 Commencement

May 12, 2023 - Ceremony for Class of 2023 PhD, DSW, MSW and MSN

Apply Now - Master of Social Work

Fall 2023 Deadline: Full-Time - April 3

Doctorate of Social Work

The Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) program offers an advanced practice doctorate in social change and innovation for agency and community leaders and entrepreneurs. Unlike other schools of social work that offer advanced practice doctorates in clinical practice or pedagogy, we prepare experienced professionals to develop practical, applied solutions to large-scale social challenges that directly impact vulnerable, marginalized or otherwise disadvantaged populations.

As a student in our online DSW program, you will develop characteristics of both practitioners and scholars. Our graduates are prepared to seek management or executive leadership positions that advance their careers in social work and related human service arenas, equipped to establish a legacy of social impact.

In contrast to a PhD program that trains future social work researchers, this DSW program expects students to engage with multiple actors to inform new ideas for addressing complex social problems.



An overview of the DSW program, for experienced professionals seeking leadership or management careers to address large-scale social problems.

DSW at USC Capstone Projects

DSW ’18 alums Nathan Graeser and Glenna Anderson share the concept and implementation of their respective capstone projects, the main focus of the DSW program.


Dr. Shay Sorrells being interviewed on Good Day LA

Alumni Impact in the Community

Shay Sorrells, DSW ‘20 and chief program officer for Orangewood Foundation, is providing resources and support for foster youth and families through an innovative new program, featured on Good Day LA/Fox 11.

DSW News

Doctorate of Social Work Faculty

Faculty - DSW