DSW stands for Doctorate in Social Welfare. Upon successful completion of all coursework and portfolio requirements, NYU Silver School of Social Work will confer the DSW in clinical social work.
The Council of Social Work Education accredits MSW and BSW programs in the United States. While there is no accreditation process for PhD or DSW programs, the NYU DSW program is a pending member of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE). GADE has both DSW and PhD program members.
NYU Silver School of Social Work offers a full-time PhD in social work, the primary aim of which is to position graduates for top-tier academic and research opportunities through a research-intensive curriculum. The DSW program in clinical social work, by contrast, is a clinically oriented program preparing advanced clinicians for leadership roles in academic and agency settings. The curriculum is geared toward enhancing clinical knowledge and skills through state-of-the-art coursework in theory, evidence-based and evidence-informed practice, and practice-oriented research and policy, as well as an internship in either academic teaching or agency-based supervision.
The Doctor of Psychology, or PsyD, is a professional, practice-oriented doctoral degree in psychology that prepares students for the practice of psychology. While both the PsyD and DSW foster the development of practitioner-scholar graduates, the DSW is reserved for advanced social work practitioners who hold an MSW or equivalent graduate degree in social work. Additionally, the NYU DSW program is focused on the development of clinical leadership in academic and agency-based settings.
Unlike a psychoanalytic training institute that generally requires students to see clients for the duration of their education and focuses primarily on the development of analytic skills, the NYU DSW program is intended for advanced social work practitioners who are interested in furthering their knowledge and skills in theory, evidence-based and evidence-informed practice models, clinical research, and policies that impact direct practice. Students are not required to see clients concurrent with the program.
There is a great need for clinically oriented faculty members who can assume academic and organizational leadership in colleges and universities, the nonprofit sector, and governmental agencies. Schools of social work are constantly seeking qualified clinically oriented faculty members who can assume academic leadership in clinical theory and practice areas, and agencies are looking for leaders with advanced knowledge of social work practice and evaluation research.
Admission requirements include the following:
Master’s degree in social work with a graduate grade point average of 3.5 or higher, based on a 4-point scale
Minimum of two years post-MSW practice experience
LMSW or equivalent required with an LCSW or equivalent strongly preferred
International students are required to submit TOEFL scores if English is not the first language
Three academic or work-related letters of reference
Current curriculum vitae/résumé
A recent professional writing sample
Personal essay (5–10 pages)
Interview as requested by the Admissions Committee
Two or more years of full-time direct practice experience in either an agency or private practice setting fulfills this requirement. Students who have or are LCSW eligible, or its equivalent, are preferred.
The intent of the writing sample is to assess the quality of one’s writing and the ability to present ideas clearly and effectively. Examples of acceptable writing samples include published articles, professional newsletter articles, book reviews, policy briefs, white papers, redacted case studies, administrative reports, and program evaluations. Academic papers written for courses within the last five years are also acceptable.
Financial assistance is available to select candidates. Please see Scholarships and Financial Aid for funding opportunities.
The program is considered a part-time program as it is designed to accommodate students who are engaged in full-time work.
Yes, the intention of the DSW program is to accommodate working students.
Courses take place in fall, spring, and summer semesters over the course of three years. It is anticipated that students will complete the program as a cohort.
Courses and workshops will be held in-person at our Washington Square campus and are conveniently scheduled on Wednesday evenings during the fall and spring semesters, and on Monday and Wednesday evenings during a compressed summer session.
No, the requirement for graduation involves the development of a portfolio consisting of two publishable papers and presentation at a professional conference. Students work with a committee consisting of an advisor and two other faculty members who guide them in the development of the portfolio. The capstone course provides the opportunity for students to present and defend their work to their committee, as well as to other faculty members and students.
Yes, in the fall semester of the third and final year of the program, students are required to complete an internship in either academic teaching or agency-based supervision. During the same semester, students take a course in either teaching clinical practice or supervision/field education. Students already working as agency supervisors or teaching in a university setting may use this experience to complete the internship requirement.
Upon review and approval, students who elect a supervisory internship may be able to use their current supervisory work to fulfill the internship requirement in agency-based leadership. Students who elect a teaching internship and are currently teaching in a CSWE-approved BSW or MSW program may use that experience to complete the internship requirement. Students are required to take the corresponding teaching or supervisory course concomitant with fulfillment of the internship requirement.
The Fall 2023 application is not yet avialable. Our application cycle is usually October 15 to April 1 of the following year. Check the DSW Applications and Deadlines page for the latest information.
The DSW Committee will consider accepting course credits from other social work doctoral programs on a case-by-case basis. Students are required to submit their transcript and description of the curriculum and course for which they seek transfer credit.
The application is completed online.
Classes are small and seminar style with a maximum of 15–20 students in each cohort. One of the goals of the program is to foster an exchange of ideas among students who will become clinical leaders and scholars.