Dissertation Process — Doctor of Social Work

Once you have successfully completed the clinical preceptorship, and passed the clinical oral and comprehensive exam, you may begin the dissertation process. You will secure a dissertation chair and form a dissertation committee that will consist of the dissertation chair and two others, accepted the committee assignment and approved by the chair of the DSW program.

You will then embark upon the clinical dissertation. This includes successfully completing the four-course research sequence, developing a successful clinical dissertation proposal, securing university Institutional Review Board approval, gathering and analyzing data, and defending the completed clinical dissertation.

You will work closely and under the guidance of you dissertation chair to develop the clinical dissertation proposal, which will ultimately be orally presented to the dissertation committee. Once approved, you must secure Institutional Review Board approval for research on human subjects and may proceed to gather data. Once all data has been gathered and analyzed and the clinical dissertation has been written, you will present an oral defense of your study to the committee and public.

You will enroll in four credit hours of dissertation supervision upon the successful completion of the research course sequence. You may take all four credit hours at one time in the summer semester of your third year, or enroll in two credit hours each in the summer and fall semesters of the fourth program year. If you have not successfully completed the dissertation process by the end of the fall semester of the fourth year, you will receive an 'X' grade for your final two dissertation supervision credit hours. You may continue the dissertation process while you carry the 'X' grade, but you must complete the dissertation no later than your fifth year in the program.

You must complete the program within five years. In rare circumstances, students may apply for a one-year extension to complete the dissertation in six years. While carrying the 'X' grade and completing their dissertation, students will be charged a semester dissertation fee.