Practice Doctorate Program Accreditation

Practice Doctorate Program Accreditation

CSWE and its Board of Accreditation (BOA) are currently piloting the accreditation of practice doctorate programs. For a history of Practice Doctorate Program accreditation visit the PDP Timeline of Activities, which documents the process from 2010-2025.

CSWE’s BOA is currently recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit baccalaureate and master’s social work degree programs in the United States and its territories. Before the scope of accreditation can be expanded to include practice doctorate programs, the BOA must conduct a pilot of the accreditation process in accordance with CHEA requirements. 

For information regarding the accreditation pilot, please click here

For information regarding practice doctorate program accreditation standards, please click here

What are social work practice doctorate programs?

Practice doctorate programs in social work prepare graduates to advance practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels as well as in higher education and/or professional leadership. Individual programs determine their own degree designation but most of these programs designate “DSW” as the degree awarded.
These doctorate programs educate master’s-level social work practitioners who are graduates of CSWE-accredited programs as doctoral level practitioner-scholars who will develop, translate, and advance social work practice knowledge; engage in systematic inquiry; and apply and disseminate research-informed knowledge, values, ethics, and skills in social work through practice, professional leadership, and teaching.