2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (March 2022) 
    Sep 27, 2022  
2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (March 2022) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Policy Practice - Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Return to: Doctor of Social Work (DSW)  

This program is no longer accepting new students. Current students must complete their programs of study in accordance with Walden’s Time-to-Degree Completion policies.


Effective policy and sustainable change are the result of successful collaboration with legislators, lobbyists, grass-roots organizations and other groups, and individuals. This specialization can help students advance social welfare by identifying community needs and learning best practices in working with key stakeholders on today’s most pressing social policy issues. Students will have the opportunity to analyze the key factors that influence decision making related to positive social change and learn how to engage with community, state, and federal governments.

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Professional Development Plan
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (25 cr.)
  • Research courses (15 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
  • Elective course (5 cr.)
  • Completion of Doctoral Study
    • Doctoral Study Action Research Project (5 cr. per term; taken continuously until completion)
    • Quarter Plans
  • One residency

Course Sequence

Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Quarter Course Credits
1    3 cr. 
   5 cr. 
  Complete the residency as soon as you begin your program; required before you begin your 2nd research course (RSCH 8210 OR RSCH 8310).  
2    5 cr. 
   5 cr. 
3    5 cr. . 
   5 cr. 
4    5 cr.  
   5 cr. 
5    5 cr.  
  OR    5 cr.  
6    5 cr. 
Elective course chosen to support Capstone research project 5 cr.
7+  * Continuous enrollment in 5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 terms until completion

* Students take this course for a minimum of four terms and are continuously enrolled until completion of their doctoral study with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. In general students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

To complete a doctoral study, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Doctor of Social Work Guidebook.