About the Program

Our 39-credit DSW program builds on the signature strengths of the school’s trauma-informed and human rights (TI-HR) perspective, and is aimed at experienced social workers with a desire to advance their professional practice. DSW students will have the opportunity to build knowledge and learn to more effectively incorporate these concepts into the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based treatments with vulnerable populations. As a part-time, fully online program that is accessible to students regardless of geographic location, the DSW capitalizes on the latest digital technologies to innovate social work education and practice.

The DSW program is intended for experienced social work practitioners with access to a client population. Graduates are prepared to assume leadership in the dissemination of advanced social work practice knowledge and skills, and contribute to bringing a TI-HR perspective into practice.  

The following highlight the three fundamental aspects that make our online DSW program unique:

  • Incorporates a trauma-informed and human rights perspective (TI-HR) to truly transform social work practice.
  • Utilizes implementation science strategies to translate research into best practices interventions and identify barriers and enablers of effective treatment.
  • Integrates state-of-the-art digital technologies to innovate social work education and practice, including developing a global professional collaborative network.


  • Credit hours: 39
  • Program length: 3 years (7 semesters), part-time
  • Program start: Fall semester only

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

*Electives: Students are required to complete a total of two, 3-credit electives throughout the DSW program. These electives will be selected in consultation with the DSW Program Director. Electives should have a direct relevance to the student’s substantive area and/or enable the student to expand pedagogical skills. In any case, students should have a clear rationale for electives they select.

Suggested electives include:

SW 623 Neurobiology and Psychopharmacology in Social Work Practice

SW XXX Teaching and Pedagogy

SW XXX Budgeting and Grant Writing

In general, electives should be taken at the graduate level and from within the UBSSW DSW or Master of Social Work (MSW) program. In order to take a MSW course for DSW elective credit:

  1. The course must be taught by a faculty member holding a doctorate.
  2. The instructor must agree to adjust assignments and expectations to qualify as doctoral-level work.
  3. Course content may not duplicate a previous course (including from the student’s MSW program).
  4. The student must submit a DSW Elective Permission form, including clear justification, for review and approval by their advisor and the DSW Program Director prior to enrolling in the course.

Online Course Delivery Methods

  • The DSW will require a mandatory on-campus orientation session in August before the start of the program, but the coursework itself can be completed without physically coming to campus.
  • Online courses can have both synchronous and asynchronous components to them. Synchronous sessions will require students to log on at a specific day and time for live video sessions, while asynchronous means students have the flexibility to complete required work within a prescribed time frame and deadline. Faculty members will advise students on the number of synchronous sessions required in any course. 

Receive NY Social Work Contact Hours

Select DSW courses are approved for NYSED social work contact hours to renew your license registration. If you have a license in another state, check with your state regulatory board to determine if NY hours will be accepted in your state. Each of the 3-credit online DSW courses listed on the form is approved for 45 NYSED live online social work contact hours.

Use the form below to request a contact hours certificate upon completion of DSW coursework.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

Approved tuition rates for fall 2019 are as follows. 

  New York Residents Out-of-State/ International
(per credit hour)
$800 $1050
Tuition + Fees
(per credit)
$1,000.01 $1,250.01

Online DSW students are able to request a waiver for some (not all) of the fees.

DSW students can apply for financial aid via the FAFSA.  

Learn More