Doctor of Social Work

Leadership and Education

The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program (fully online) at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on advanced preparation for Leadership and Education, prepares graduates for innovation and leadership within organizations and universities. The DSW program requires residencies that can be attended virtually or in person. Easily accessible by car from major cities such as New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, Washington DC, and Pittsburgh, Millersville University is located in Lancaster County, which is serviced by Amtrak and International Airports in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.  

Prepare for your future in Social Work

The DSW program educates social workers for leadership positions out in the field and those who want to teach.

The DSW curriculum, which includes coursework in Leadership, Teaching, Research, and Theory prepares students to complete a dissertation on a topic of their choosing. Fostering interprofessional education, our students complete electives taught by professors in other disciplines such as nursing, education, business, and psychology. The majority of students complete the DSW program in three years due to the close, collaborative relationship with their dissertation chair whom the student selects in year two.   

Our alumni have advanced their careers, securing full-time tenure track assistant professor positions as well as leadership roles in healthcare, clinical practice, and non-profit management. Due to the online nature of the program, students in the DSW program are from across the country, coming together to hone their skills with the best in their profession and to prepare for leadership excellence. With mentoring from expert and diverse faculty who bring global research and expertise to the program, Millersville University offers a prime opportunity in quality doctoral social work education for the select student. 

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The doctorate in social work (DSW) of Millersville University educates future social work scholars who can transform both organizations and educational environments through innovative instruction and values of anti-oppression, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“The DSW program helped to bolster my teaching and leadership abilities, which has allowed me to become more confident in myself, my knowledge, skills and abilities. ”

- Dr. Karen Hinton-Polite | Doctor of Social Work Graduate


The Doctor of Social Work comprises an outcome-based curriculum. The curriculum, including coursework, praxis, and residencies, is continuously evaluated based upon the student's ability to demonstrate a series of competencies. These competencies are operationalized via specific practice behaviors and are evaluated using multiple measures.


CSWE’s Board of Accreditation (CSWE-BOA) is currently piloting the accreditation of professional practice doctoral programs. Although there are currently no CSWE-BOA accredited professional practice doctoral programs, in June 2020, CSWE-BOA approved and adopted the Accreditation Standards for Professional Practice Doctoral Programs in Social Work. Millersville University’s Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) program has adopted the Accreditation Standards for Professional Practice Doctoral Programs in Social Work and is prepared to undergo accreditation once it becomes available. For information about professional practice doctoral program accreditation and the current pilot, please visit the Council on Social Work Education website.


The program will have rolling acceptance of applications. For each fall’s cohort, full consideration will be made for those applications received by March 1.

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To learn more about the admissions process, contact the College of Graduate and Adult Learning at 717-871-4723 or

For specific program information, contact the DSW Director:
Dr. Marc Felizzi -

For all other inquires please complete this form.