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 take electives to expand their knowledge and skills in advanced clinical practice and professional development. Electives may be taken in the School of Social Work, in other departments, or outside of UB with approval by the student’s advisor.

The program will offer special topics each semester that provide knowledge and skills in advanced evidence-based interventions and professional development. Special Topics will reflect advanced clinical practice at the doctoral level and may be cross-registered with the MSW program with the approval of the Director of the MSW Program and the Director of the DSW Program.

Online Course Delivery Methods

  • The DSW will require a mandatory four-day 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. 

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

Proposed tuition rates for fall 2019 are as follows. These rates are still pending official approval, and do not include fees.

  New York Residents Out-of-State/ International
Proposed Rate
(per credit hour)
$800 $1050

DSW students will be able to apply for financial aid via the FAFSA.  

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