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Earn an Online PhD in Social Work

A PhD in Social Work Online is a perfect choice for students who want to develop their counseling abilities as well as conduct research to improve social work methods.

As part of this program, you could have the chance to work with advanced topics in psychology and sociology.

These classes could help you better understand different needs of diverse communities. In turn, you could also use this information in your dissertation research to create new techniques to serve large groups facing similar obstacles.

By developing these skills and knowledge, you could be taking the next step to designing supportive systems for communities in need.   

Earning a PhD in Social Work Online

When researching potential online PhD in social work programs, you may notice that they’re commonly referred to as a DSW programs. This stands for doctorate of social work. It’s also important to note that online DSW programs are typically offered as a doctorate of philosophy (PhD).

This is a great way for students to expand their clinical knowledge through research intensive courses and practical application of their skillset in real-world scenarios. This could develop your skills and knowledge to better serve clients with varying states of obstacles and challenges in their life.

What Do Courses Teach in an Online PhD in Social Work?

While undergraduate degrees might have focused on social work basics, an online PhD in social work aims to develop students’ understanding of clinical concepts and their applications. This comprehensive course of study not only addresses how to assist individuals in needs, but also how to investigate, assess, and treat larger communities.

Depending on your school, online DSW Programs classes could include the following.

  • Case Studies Examination
  • Research Methods, Development & Implementation
  • Social Theory
  • Qualitative Interpretation Approaches
  • Applied Social Statistics
  • Measuring Social Phenomena
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychopathology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

In many of these classes, students may have the chance to work with real-world clients. As part of their studies, you could practically apply your knowledge to address their concerns. For online students, in-person counseling is often conducted via video chat, or during short, on-campus stays.

Courses differ by doctoral program. Be sure to check with potential schools for more information.

Did you know?

Social workers are the nation’s largest provider of mental health services.

Dissertation for a Phd in Social Work Online

To complete your online PhD in social work, many schools require you to write a dissertation. The goal of the completed dissertation is to make a contribution to the clinical social work community.

Students are charged with conducting research and gathering data from communities to write an informed piece about an area of social work. Dissertations could address some of the following areas.

  • Analyze Current Data Trends
  • Curriculum or Training Advancement
  • New Treatment Intervention
  • Critical Examination of Current Literature

Once written, students present their findings to a committee of their professors. It’s important to note that a dissertation defense may require students to venture on campus to present their work.

In some cases, schools may provide video chat options for distance learning students. Dissertation requirement vary by program.

PhD in Social Work Online Admissions

An online doctorate in social work is the culmination of social work education. Unlike other doctoral degrees, it often requires students to be currently licensed social workers at the time of application.

Typically, schools request students to hold both a masters in social work (MSW) and have completed at least 2 years of post-graduate work experience. In addition, students may be requested to submit a 3.0 or higher graduate GPA along with GRE scores. Requirements may vary by school.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online PhD in Social Work?

Typically, students could earn an online PhD in social work in 3 to 4 years. This translates to completing around 54 credit hours in addition to writing your dissertation. Program length differs by program.

Earning Your PhD in Social Work Online: Next Steps

If you’re ready to help a people in dire straits, you’re ready to earn an online PhD in social work! To continue your search, start by browsing the programs on this page.  If you think a Masters more your speed, visit our page with Masters in Social Work online programs

When you see a program that seems interesting, click its associated link. This provides you with a brief description about the potential program. While there, click the “request info” button.

This way, you could check out relevant admission deadlines, program length, and curriculum. A perfect online PhD in social work might only be a few clicks away!

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