Doctorate Programs In Clinical Social Work

We’ve compiled a list of the best doctoral programs in clinical social work that are also the most inexpensive.

Ph.D. Programs In Clinical Social Work

There is a growing need for inventive and empathetic educators in Clinical Social Work as the nature of education evolves.

Out-of-state tuition for colleges on our list is less than $25,000, and all offer special education programs online or in a hybrid format. With so few schools to compare,

DSW Programs In Clinical Social Work

Below are the best doctorate programs in clinical social work

1.   University of Notre Dame

The APA-accredited clinical psychology department at Notre Dame provides outstanding research and practical training for students who desire to make a difference in clinical counseling.

Training in clinical psychology could suit academically-minded psychologists who value the connection between research and practice.

Training for students and the environment in which it takes place is based on a commitment to cultural and individual diversity.

The program is searching for candidates interested in becoming culturally and research-informed clinical psychologists emphasizing diversity and inclusion.

All costs associated with a student’s education and health insurance are covered for at least five years.

As part of the program’s commitment to diversity, students have been exposed to clinical and research settings and social justice and inclusion issues.

Faculty members’ current research interests include a wide range of topics, such as:

  • Cognitive processes, stress, and emotion regulation in anxiety disorders;
  • Developmental psychopathology: the effects of child maltreatment on development, translational research interventions;
  • Resilience and poly victimization;
  • Effects of honesty, deception, and impression;
  • The use of marijuana extracts such as hash oil; and more.

2.   City College of New York (CUNY)

To develop competent clinical psychologists who can handle mental health concerns at all levels, from the individual to the community, City College’s Clinical Psychology doctoral program sets out to train students in clinical psychology.

To attain this purpose, training, in theory, research, and practice is provided, which includes evaluation, diagnosis, and individual and group psychotherapy, among other things.

Students receive training to work with people of all ages and with organizations and agencies in the community.

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology are taught to be scholar-practitioners throughout the program. Under this notion, research and practice are interwoven, stressing the mutual and reciprocal effects between the two disciplines.

However, while psychodynamic thinking and social justice are significant themes in this course, many other theoretical approaches are also treated in-depth and with equal emphasis.

The various student body at City College fosters a culture of tolerance and openness among its members. The curriculum strongly emphasizes interdisciplinary thinking, and the faculty members that teach in it are no exception.

The Commission has approved the program on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA).

3.   St. Thomas (& St. Kate’s) University (Minneapolis)

St. Thomas/St. Catherine’s online DSW (Doctorate of Social Work) program is a joint venture between the two Minneapolis-area liberal arts colleges.

To address a need in social work doctorate education, their DSW program is the first online DSW to concentrate on training social work faculty for university-level teaching and leadership in higher education.

Those who complete an MSW degree in social work will be well-equipped to teach and lead in the field and serve as stewards of the profession.

Thanks to its online delivery model, this curriculum is now available to work professionals nationwide.

Since the Ph.D. is a research-based degree, it requires extensive research methodology and classroom instruction training.

Since a Ph.D. is the standard research degree expected of its staff, research-intensive institutions will likely need PhDs for tenure-track professors.

4.   Georgia State University

The Clinical-Community (CLC) focus of the PsyD program at Georgia State University prepares students for clinical and community psychology careers.

Therefore, dual enrollment is intended to give a strengths-based, culturally competent approach to mental health and healthy development that stresses theory, research, and practice at several levels of analysis – psychological, social, and ecological.

Students enrolling in community psychology and clinical psychology get training influenced by the traditions of prevention and social justice in community psychology and the emphasis on evaluation and tailored mental health therapies in clinical psychology.

In addition to being qualified for clinical licensure, dual-enrolled students will receive training in various indirect services required for interventions at the institutional and community levels, including consultation, program development and evaluation, social policy, and action research, among other things.

Those accepted into the dual enrollment program are registered in both the clinical psychology and the community psychology programs.

5.   University of Southern California

The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program at the University of Southern California (USC) is an online advanced practice degree program for working professionals who desire to make a more significant impact in their field.

In addition to participating in live online classrooms, students are expected to participate in two in-person residencies held during their respective degrees’ third and sixth semesters.

Each residency is six days long, beginning on Sunday evening and ending on Friday afternoon. Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are the locations for the residences.

The curriculum integrates social workers into the broader public discourse as they investigate and develop strategies to deliver fundamental human rights to individuals and establish a fair and equitable society.

Following graduation, participants and leaders in discussions on broad issues such as gun violence, foster care, and homelessness will be prepared to engage in and lead these discussions.

6.   New York University

Clinical social workers who complete New York University DSW program will be well-prepared for leadership positions in academic and agency settings.

The DSW program builds on the NYU Silver School of Social Work’s well-established reputation for clinical training quality.

It will help students understand the latest breakthroughs in clinical models, clinical research, and government regulations that affect their work.

Students can maintain a full-time job while attending this executive-style program.

Students can attend 19 courses or workshops over three years on Wednesday nights during the autumn and spring semesters and Monday and Wednesday evenings during a compacted summer session, all conveniently arranged.

You could well take elective courses in other NYU schools and NYU Silver.

There is an online component to every class.

To fulfill the graduation portfolio requirement instead of a dissertation, students must write and present their work at a professional conference under the guidance of an advisor and committee.

The DSW program is privileged to have a strong core faculty known for clinical, theoretical, policy, and research competence.

7.   Indiana State University

Indiana State University Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program follows a practitioner-scientist approach to education.

If you’re looking for a challenging Ph.D. program that teaches clinical skills and research possibilities, this program may be right for you.

When building a professional identity that values and strives for clinical excellence, ISU’s Ph.D. program adheres to the concept that educating students about diverse concerns is essential.

The school’s goal is to foster a culture of acceptance and inclusion that honors the contributions of varied viewpoints, such as those impacted by gender and ethnicity and those influenced by sexual orientation and age.

For the most part, the program’s central purpose is to help students become competent psychologists by providing them with a well-rounded education in clinical competence and research.

The program’s objectives are an active feeling of social duty, awareness, and tolerance for cultural and individual diversity.

Students who participated in the Internship match during the last three years have placed graduates at 100 percent, with 96 percent finding internships certified by the American Psychological Association.

8.   Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

With a focus on a holistic approach to multidisciplinary treatment and service to diverse and underprivileged groups, the Clinical PsyD program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine prepares practitioner-scholar psychologists to work in various clinical settings.

Program professors are highly certified in cognitive-behavioral theory and empirically validated therapies, and their clinical applications enhance learning in the American Psychological Association-approved program.

Professional self-reflection, sensitivity to diversity, activism, and social justice are all emphasized in this curriculum.

Didactic courses address scientific and clinical underpinnings, experiential components, and laboratories for skills training in the program’s first two years.

Using standardized patient actors offers a way to get formative feedback on integrating didactic and clinical abilities.

Third and fourth-year seminars and fieldwork allow students to apply theory and research to real-world situations. Students get dissertation guidance and support throughout this period.

The internship is an intense, yearlong, supervised work experience for the clinical psychology Ph.D. student to learn, practice, and integrate new therapeutic abilities.

The final practicum before receiving a doctorate is the completion of doctoral experience.

9.   Yeshiva University

Yeshiva University’s School-Clinical Child Psychology Program offers doctoral-level instruction in integrating school and clinical psychology.

However, students may also work with adults in individual, parental, or couples therapy as part of their study.

In schools, medical institutions, mental health facilities, early childhood centers, and other similar settings, graduates are qualified to provide psychological and psychoeducational services to students and their families.

Developmental psychology, neuropsychology, and school psychology are covered in the program.

Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of ethical and professional standards as they apply their knowledge of these topics to their work in the field.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT in our clinic, and completing psychological, psychoeducational, and neuropsychological examinations are also part of the practicum requirements.

10. Adelphi University

Adelphi’s Doctor of Psychology in School Psychology degree program focuses on helping students, their families, schools, and communities prepare them for other jobs.

Students pursuing a doctorate in school psychology get exceptional clinical, diagnostic, and consultative psychology education.

The program’s ecological approach tackles school-based injustices and the difficulties of providing effective services to children and adolescents in a multicultural setting. We are dedicated to community participation and social justice.

Students will learn practical skills and research and become acquainted with various theoretical methods under the guidance of a core staff that has worked in clinical and community settings.

Schools, agencies, hospitals, community groups, and colleges and universities are among the possible workplaces for program graduates. School psychologists, psychotherapy instructors, or behavior experts in schools are among the full-time faculty members at the university.

School districts on Long Island have a full-time field placement coordinator who tries to put students in internships.

11. Adler University

Adler University’s program in psychology claims to be the only one in the country focusing on social justice.

Graduates of the program may choose from six concentrations, this includes:

  • Military clinical psychology
  • Advanced Adlerian psychotherapy
  • Primary care psychology
  • Behavioral medicine
  • Drug misuse treatment, and
  • Traumatic stress psychology.

Clinical psychologists who have completed the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree are prepared to empower people and enhance communities worldwide.

Graduates of Adler’s program are prepared to help the most disadvantaged members of society.

School provides a unique four-year program that incorporates diversity and individual differences while providing students with a one-year full-time internship to complete their degree.

Some world-class academics are devoted to their students’ achievement and are trained in a scholar-practitioner approach.

Students benefit from the expertise of world-renowned academics, researchers, clinicians, and educators, all of whom provide one-on-one guidance and introduce them to cutting-edge professional development resources.

12.   Point Park University

The Psy.D. program in clinical-community psychology at Point Park University combines community psychology with clinical psychology that no other program does, preparing students for a wide range of careers.

There are just a handful of Ph.D. schools in the country that teach humanistic psychology, which tries to better understand and explain human behavior via an empathetic awareness and respect for the many ways people live today.

Point Park’s Psy.D. program emphasizes community-based research and applications, which is uncommon among clinical psychology doctoral programs.

To run or develop their own clinical and community programs, students will be well-prepared for graduation.

Psy.D. students at Point Park are taught to understand human suffering in its larger social and cultural context, particularly the social justice and ethical implications of clinical theory and treatment.

Psychology is interpreted in a way that preserves the dignity of those it serves.

It is a 90-credit Psy.D. program that consists of full-time, weekday, daytime courses. Including the dissertation and a full-time clinical internship, the Psy.D. program is meant to be completed in four years.

13. Wright Institute

Students in the Wright Institute’s Psy.D. program progress through the program steadily, gaining knowledge and skills as they go.

The research, assessment methods, and theoretical understanding form the basis of this developmental approach to learning. In all situations, the focus is on putting what pupils learn into practice.

Students in this cutting-edge Psy.D. program learn about a wide range of topics in psychology.

They are challenged to think critically about their clinical work while drawing on subjective and objective information sources.

It is emphasized in the Wright Institute’s Psy.D. curriculum that the clinician and the patient are interdependent. The Wright’s Psy.D. program is three years long.

Throughout the Psy.D. program, students are challenged to become more acutely aware of the complex system of interpersonal forces in the clinical setting, from studying lifespan development, research, and psychological testing to the clinical process.

14. University of Tennessee

DSW alumni who have completed the University of Tennessee’s Clinical Practice and Leadership program are well-prepared for clinical leadership and management positions.

The DSW is an intense accelerated program designed for working professionals that allows students to complete all degree requirements in three years without disrupting their careers.

Students who complete a DSW degree are prepared for advanced clinical practice and leadership roles in mental health care.

Students who are full-time professional clinical social workers can maintain their clinical practice while pursuing their Ph.D. via this online program. Synchronous and asynchronous modes are used to teach online courses.

The Doctor of Social Work program provides a method for social workers to become advanced practitioners and leaders in their clinical practice.

Students work in a variety of settings to assist those who are in need. Students in the program take two courses each semester for eight consecutive semesters. All DSW students spend one week of their summers on campus studying.

15. Spalding University

The clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Spalding University was one of the country’s first and has been continually recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1989.

Students study in a collaborative and cooperative environment via generalist training in clinical psychology based on scientific concepts anchored in evidence-based practice.

To become a qualified and licensed psychologist who can work with many clients, students might choose to focus on

  • Adult psychology
  • Child/adolescent/family psychology
  • Forensic psychology, or Health Psychology.

The curricula emphasize critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and the promotion of social justice. Students are trained in psychological evaluation and evidence-based therapy for four years for a broad spectrum of clients.

16.   Widener University

The Doctor of Psychology program at Widener University has been around for the longest in the country.

Its Ph.D. program prepares students to apply scientific knowledge to improve patient care and become leaders in their profession.

The options available for students includes:

  • Counseling of children
  • Adolescents, and families;
  • CBT/ACT; Consulting psychology;
  • Cross-cultural and diversity psychology;
  • Forensic psychology;
  • Health psychology; and
  • Psychoanalytic psychology.

Students get to learn from clinical psychologists who love to teach and are dedicated to teaching the future generation of clinical psychologists.

17. Institute for Clinical Social Work

The three-year Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work program at the ICSW is geared toward doctors already in practice.

It is aimed to blur the barriers between classroom and practice, allowing students to utilize their cases as a foundation for learning.

Advanced clinical practice, theoretical study, and research experience are part of the curriculum. After completing their coursework, students may count on assistance with their dissertation throughout the whole writing process.

There are a few notable events in this timeline: Full-time students must complete 76 semester credit hours of courses over three years. Courses are offered in three semesters: fall, spring, and summer, with classes meeting each week.

The Dean’s consent is required for the part-time option to be offered.

The ICSW’s Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work program is available through distance learning and is approved by the organization.

Students who enroll in the Distance Learning program can interact with their peers and professors through live video.

Additionally, students must attend weekend courses at ICSW’s Chicago location twice every semester.

18. University of San Francisco

Students in the PsyD program at the University of San Francisco learn to put their theories into practice by participating in hands-on training that focuses on marginalized populations’ mental, emotional, and physical health needs.

Graduates of the program will be qualified to work as health service psychologists in various community health settings, emphasizing clinical practice.

Students who complete the program will understand the empirical and theoretical foundations of integrated behavioral health therapies and an awareness of the individual’s and community’s cultural, spiritual, and socio-economic contexts.

Teaching, clinical practice, and research at the USF PsyD program are grounded in the university’s commitment to social justice, health fairness, and cultural sensitivity. It’s a full-time program.

The majority of practicums take place during business hours on weekdays. Graduate students may only apply for a small number of scholarships.

Even while the program offers the essential training for a graduate to enter private practice, the program’s concentration is on something else entirely.

Underserved groups receive specialized integrated behavioral health training via the USF PsyD Program.

19.   George Mason University

George Mason University offers one of the best curricula for a doctorate in clinical social work. The curriculum aims to produce clinical psychologists capable of combining research and applied therapeutic activities.

The curriculum takes a social psychological, and contextual approach to clinical psychology.

The theory and study of social psychology explain emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal functioning. In a contextual approach, social and cultural elements influence the person and vice versa.

Students learn about humanistic, existential, and psychodynamic viewpoints and cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal techniques, which faculty members often use in their research and therapeutic practice.

Students who want to specialize in this area must earn 76 graduate credits, including doctorate coursework and dissertation research.

As stated in the criteria for the Ph.D. in psychology, a previous master’s degree may lower the number of credits necessary.

20.   Loyola University Maryland

Students enrolled in Loyola Maryland’s Psy.D. program learns in an innovative, service-oriented manner that prepares them to meet the ever-changing needs of mental health professionals.

Since the APA has approved the curriculum, students will graduate with a thorough knowledge foundation, the right attitudes, and clinical skills that prepare them for careers as psychologists.

This is the first program in Maryland, and it takes five years of full-time study (four years if you already have a master’s degree) to get licensure in any U.S. state.

Graduate students in psychology often attend four or five classes every semester and put in around twenty extra-curricular hours per week in clinical training.

Other prerequisites include both written and oral comprehensive exams and a dissertation. Admission to the program’s second year is open to applicants with a master’s degree and equivalent course work.

The first through fourth years of classroom study and clinical experience are performed at Loyola’s Baltimore campus and regional field placement locations.

Clinical internships may or may not be held in the Baltimore region during the fifth year of study.


Doctor of Social Work (DSW) and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) programs with a strong focus on social justice could be ideal for social workers who have already worked in the area but want to expand their knowledge and expertise.

However, the distinction between research and practice PhDs may be hazy, depending on the program’s specifics.

Advanced clinical skills-building and social work’s critical analysis of broader socio-economic factors are included in all programs.