Sept. 21, 2018

The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama has approved the School of Social Work to begin offering a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program in fall 2019.

The board approved the new DSW program during its Sept. 21, 2018, meeting along with other degree programs for UA colleges and schools, including a bachelor of science in educational neuroscience, master of Science in business analytics, bachelor of science in computer engineering, bachelor of science in musical audio engineering, and master of arts in biological sciences.

The school’s new DSW program will be offered in fall 2019 with a distance format and program tracks for clinical social work and organizational leadership. In July, Dean Vikki L. Vandiver announced that Dr. Nicole Ruggiano, associate professor of social work, will serve as interim director of the DSW Program. Her appointment began in August 2018 and will extend to August 2020.


Get answers to your questions about the DSW Program.

Dr. Nicole Ruggiano

The board’s action marks the second time UA’s School of Social Work has offered a DSW program. In 1975, the school offered its first DSW program. Over the years, recognizing the need for increased emphasis on research within the profession, school faculty substantially revised the program. In 1992, the DSW program was replaced with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The school’s PhD Program focuses on preparing students as teachers and researchers for the social work profession. The PhD Program, which still exists today, is affiliated with the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE) in social work.

In fall 2019, the School of Social Work also plans to launch a new online bachelor of social work program.

Read about other board action taken at the meeting in the Tuscaloosa News.