Earn Your DSW in Advanced Clinical Practice or Organizational Leadership

The new DSW program is an exciting endeavor for students and faculty alike. It represents the continued commitment of the School of Social Work to strive towards excellence in social work and to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities, at the local and global levels. The curriculum developed for the DSW Program is designed to be rigorous, stimulating, and relevant for today’s MSW-level social workers who want to become leaders and more independent professionals in the field. Those who complete the DSW Program will have the skills and knowledge needed to tackle some of the most challenging and complex social and health problems facing society today.

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Meet our DSW Students

Learn more about the School’s DSW candidates, their experience and career goals.

Purpose of DSW

The University of Alabama’s DSW program prepares social work practitioners who have an MSW to become leaders within organizational settings, work with the highest degree of independence, and/or pursue a social work faculty appointment in higher education.

Careers for social workers with a DSW degree

  • Upper-level or executive-level administrative positions in health and human service agencies.
  • Leaders in social welfare and health policy at the local, state, or federal levels.
  • Independent, private practice clinicians, especially for clients with complex therapeutic needs that extend beyond the MSW-level curriculum.
  • Full-time social work educators and/or administrators in higher education involved with social work instruction or translational social work research.

Program Tracks

The DSW Program has two tracks that students may select from, based on their current and future social work interests.

  • Advanced Clinical Track offers coursework on advanced clinical theory and interventions; social justice and advocacy in clinical settings; research in clinical practice; clinical social work education and pedagogy; and policy related to clinical social work.
  • Organizational Leadership Track offers coursework on advanced administrative theory and interventions; social justice and advocacy for groups and larger populations; research in administrative social work; macro-practice social work education and pedagogy; and policy development and advocacy.

Program Overview

How to Apply

To enroll in our DSW program, you must apply through The University of Alabama Graduate School. Applications for next year’s DSW cohort are accepted starting in September and are accepted until March 1st at 11:59 p.m. Please note that references and transcripts are due by the deadline for an application to be viewed as complete. Also note that earlier application submission does not result in earlier decision on applications.

To begin the application process, please review the DSW program’s Application Checklist and Statement of Purpose Instructions and then select Apply Now!


Apply Now!


Still Have Questions?

You can request information using our online request form.

The University of Alabama School of Social Work is committed to making its web resources accessible to all users, and welcomes comments or suggestions on access improvements. If you are unable to access the contents of these documents, please contact (205) 348-7027 or ssw@ua.edu.