Our Guide to Becoming a Doctor of Social Work
Why Obtain Your Doctor of Social Work?
Social Work Doctorate Job Duties and Responsibilities
What are the Education Requirements for a Doctor of Social Work?
What Licensure is Needed for a Doctor of Social Work?
3 Common Steps to Earning a Doctorate in Social Work
We’ve outlined three common steps to earning a DSW degree, but don’t fret if your journey doesn’t match the path below. Everyone’s process to becoming a social worker is different—and it’s possible to transition into the social work field a bit later in life.
- Complete a Master’s Degree in Social Work
DSW programs typically require that prospective students complete an MSW before applying. You can enroll in certain MSW programs without a bachelor’s degree in social work—making the degree an accessible pathway to switch careers and enter the field regardless of your educational background.
- Earn Your LCSW or LMSW License
Before practicing in the field, you’ll need to become licensed by the ASWB. With an MSW under your belt, you can apply for LMSW licensure. Although not typically required by DSW programs, some students achieve an advanced license (like an LCSW).
- Complete Two Years of Postgraduate Experience
Once you earn your master’s degree, it’s time to get licensed and gain some postgraduate experience in the field. You may gain two or three years of this before enrolling in a doctoral program—although certain schools may prefer five years of professional experience, depending on the program.