Explore our DSW Addictions and Social Work specialization
Addiction affects people of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and lifestyles. This specialization can help you learn to identify the needs of families, individuals, and communities whose lives have been affected by addiction. You will begin by studying best practices in addictions treatment and case management. Subsequently, you can apply your knowledge to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies to support clients whose lives are directly or indirectly impacted by substance abuse or addictive behaviors.
Minimum Degree Requirements
- Doctoral Writing Assessment
- Foundation course (3 cr.)
- Core courses (25 cr.)
- Specialization courses (15 cr.)
- Research courses (10 cr.)
- Elective course (5 cr.)
- Completion of Doctoral Capstone Research Project
- Capstone research project (continuous enrollment in 5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 terms until completion)
- One 4-day face-to-face residency
Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.
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.
Please refer to Walden’s catalog for more information about degree requirements.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
DOCTORAL WRITING ASSESSMENT
Doctoral Writing Assessment
This course is part of Walden's commitment to help prepare students to meet the university's expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors. Based on the essay score, students will complete or be exempted from additional required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required assessment course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it at the beginning of their doctoral program.
Foundations of Graduate Study
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Through this course, students gain a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Course assignments focus on practical application of writing and critical- thinking skills and promote professional and academic excellence. Major assignments include the preparation of the Professional Development Plan and Program of Study.
Advanced Social Work Theory and Practice
In this foundational doctoral course, students are provided with an overview of the ways of knowing diverse contemporary theories in social work and the social sciences. Students will be able to understand how the assumptions of various epistemological paradigms (i.e., ways of knowing) inform research. Students will also explore how theories inform social work practice, policy, and research, and they will discuss the role of the social worker in social issues at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. In addition, there is an emphasis on the delivery of culturally sensitive and ethical services.
Clinical Seminar I
Doctoral students taking this first clinical seminar receive a comprehensive overview of the history, development, and evolution of clinical social work knowledge and practice with individual and family clients.
Diversity and Multiculturalism
This course is designed to prepare students to provide leadership to communities, institutions, employees, and agencies to address social justice, fairness, and equity for diverse, vulnerable, and marginalized populations. Students examine the intersections of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, ability, and socioeconomic status to understand individuals', communities', and families' experiences of oppression, power, access, and opportunity in society. In addition, students can engage in extensive self-awareness activities to address how their own values, attitudes, and beliefs will impact their ability to practice, advocate, and collaborate around social work, welfare, and policy.
Contemporary Issues, Social Change, and Social Policy
How can students prepare for ethical leadership in social work practice, administration, and advocacy? In this course, students can enhance their understanding of the responsibility of social workers in advanced practice to foster social change for their community, clients, and profession through practice, policy, and advocacy. Students can use current research to analyze and evaluate policy and identify how community, national, and international issues affect the social work profession. In addition, students examine opportunities to learn how to influence policy as a response to the changing needs of a diverse population. Students also can gain an understanding of how to ethically initiate advocacy and social change processes.
Program and Practice Evaluation
Using models of evaluation derived from social science and social work theory and research, students can learn to apply research in social work to inform practice, future research, policy, and advocacy. Topics include the history and theory underlying program and practice evaluation, approaches to evaluation, selection of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative models and techniques used to perform the evaluation, strategies for getting gatekeepers to be invested in the development of the research and in the outcomes, demonstration of program effectiveness, and dissemination of results to stakeholders. Students can gain an understanding of how to address dimensions of diversity (race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, sexual identity, gender, etc.) in their program and practice evaluations in an effort to ensure equity and fairness in program delivery and advocacy.
Introduction to Addiction
Students in this course are introduced to aspects of functioning as a professional as an addiction counselor, including but not limited to role setting of addiction counselors; history, philosophy, and trends in addiction counseling; professional standards for addiction counselors; effects of crises and trauma-causing events on persons with addictions; self‐care; and ethical and culturally sensitive practice of addiction counseling. Students also explore competencies, credentialing, and other professional issues. Students explore the future as addiction counselors with an overview of the addiction counseling profession.
Treatment of Addictions
Students in this course are introduced to theories, treatment intervention, and case management strategies for addiction counseling. Students are introduced to various models of treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, and continuing care for addictive disorders. In addition, students explore the treatment principles and philosophies of addiction-related programs. Students increase their self-awareness by understanding their own limitations as addiction counselors; recognizing when they need additional resources and support; and knowing when and where to refer clients when appropriate. In addition, students examine substance abuse policies and regulatory processes that influence service delivery in addiction counseling.
Social Change in Action: Prevention, Consultation, and Advocacy
This course is designed to prepare students for their roles as counselors in prevention, intervention, and consultation endeavors with specific populations in specific settings. Using an action-research model, students will prepare a blueprint for a prevention, intervention, or consultation project for a community, agency, or organization.
Research Theory, Design, and Methods
In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography. (Prerequisite(s): RESI 8401.)
Choose one course from the following courses:
Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
In this research course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing and carrying out quantitative research at the doctoral level, including the application of statistical concepts and techniques. Students explore classical common statistical tests, the importance of the logic of inference, and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. Students approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to derive statistics from quantitative data and interpret and present results. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)
Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills for conducting qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry, how theory and theoretical and conceptual frameworks uniquely apply to qualitative research, data collection procedures and analysis strategy, and how the role of the researcher is expressed in the ethical and rigorous conduct of qualitative research. Students practice collecting, organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and they develop a detailed research topic for conducting a qualitative study. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)
Students choose a course to support their capstone research project
Complete one residency face-to-face as soon as you begin your program; required before you begin your capstone research project.
Capstone Research Project
The purpose of this research forum is to assist and guide students in completing the Doctor of Social Work (DSW) capstone project study. Modules 1–3 are individual stages of the doctoral process that are a requirement for the completion of the capstone project. At the beginning of each quarter, students will submit a quarter plan that outlines a proposed schedule for completing the module and the final project. Within this forum, students will engage in regular scholarly discussions with the doctoral study committee and fellow doctoral students. This forum will include resources related to the capstone project, residencies, research, writing, and doctoral program expectations.
|(5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms until completion)|
|VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses|
Students are continuously enrolled in SOCW 8610 for a minimum of 4 terms until completion of their capstone project with final Chief Academic Officer (CAO) approval.
To complete a doctoral dissertation/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/doctoral study process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
8-Year Maximum Timeframe
Students have 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements. See the policy in the Walden University Student Handbook. Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe, but an extension is not guaranteed.
Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.
Tuition and Fees
|Tuition-Coursework||58 quarter credits||$610 per quarter hour for coursework credits||$35,380^|
|Tuition-Doctoral Study/Project||20–130† quarter credits||$610 per quarter hour for doctoral study/project credits||$12,200–$79,300*|
|Technology Fee||$160 per quarter||$1,600–$5,120*|
|Residency Fee||One Residency||$1,475 (travel, lodging and other expenses are additional)||$1,475|
|(assuming completion in a 2.5-year timeframe)||(assuming completion in an 8-year timeframe)|
These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.
Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.
Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.
^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.
† Based on a 2.5-year minimum completion requirement and an 8-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.
*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.
+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-642-0198.
Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.
*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.Find Ways to Save
A master's degree or higher. At least two years of full-time or part-time post-MSW practice experiences within the past 5 years, to include agency-based social work practice, Resume – 2 years post-MSW practice experience within past five (5) years.
Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.
I will always recommend Walden because of how much support is given to ensure success. I love Walden so much, I applied for a fellowship.
Kimberly Bainruel Doctor of Social Work (DSW) Graduate
Walden’s mission is about social change, which is what social work is all about.
Justa Smith Doctor of Social Work (DSW) Graduate
I found both the staff and the program to be very helpful to prepare me well for my field of practice.
Samantha Cole Doctor of Social Work (DSW) Graduate