Mission Statement of the DSW Program

The DSW Program at The University of Alabama is designed to increase specialization, independence, and leadership of social workers across systems and agencies in underserved communities. The program prepares advanced practitioners to lead efforts in promoting social and economic justice through service, advocacy, teaching and research. 


The DSW program can be completed in three years and consists of 45 credit hours of coursework. Students will choose a track in clinical or organizational leadership. The clinical track includes coursework in advanced practice theory and techniques, research methods and clinical supervision and practice. The organizational leadership track curriculum hones students' leadership and management skills for organizational and community settings. Both tracks include courses on teaching social work. 

The Goals of the DSW Program

The DSW Program has several goals: 

  • To provide a rich, supportive environment that enables a diverse group of students to pursue and attain their academic, professional, clinical and/or leadership goals.
  • To prepare students to integrate theory, evidence, and critical thought to develop innovative solutions for complex challenging issues experienced by agencies and populations at the local, regional, national, and/or global levels.
  • To prepare graduates to be innovative and successful educators of future social workers.
  • To prepare practitioners to use social work research methodologies to evaluate practice and translate evidence-based interventions into practice settings.
  • To prepare advanced practitioner-scholars to incorporate theory, research, practice, and policy to contribute to existing knowledge on social work practice and advance social justice.
  • To develop stewards of the social work profession within interprofessional settings who apply and enforce ethical standards and address ethical dilemmas in health and social service systems.
  • To prepare advanced social workers to be effective and ethical managers within clinical, administrative, and/or community settings.
  • To prepare students to communicate evidence-based social work knowledge through teaching, scholarship, and professional writing.