Doctor of Social Work

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While the master of social work (MSW) degree is widely accepted as a terminal professional degree in the field, the doctor of social work (DSW) is a professional doctorate in social work, most often offering advanced training in a professional area of practice. The DSW usually focuses on clinical practice or nonprofit administration. The DSW is related to, but also distinct from the more traditional PhD, which is a more research-oriented degree for social workers who wish primarily to further their careers in academia or research settings. Although different schools vary in the extent to which they emphasize each, both DSW and PhD candidates in the field of social work gain experience in education, advanced practice, teaching, supervision, research, policy analysis, administration and/or program development. As with other doctorates, a holder of a DSW is entitled to use the title 'doctor'.


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