Alternative Program Name

Doctor of Social Work (Clinical Leadership)

Special Notification

  • Great news for students admitted for the 2024-2025 academic year! You'll receive a $10,000 tuition waiver spread across your program.
  • Please see the bottom of this page for information about the cost of attendance.
  • The DSW program is an online program. Courses use a combined synchronous and asynchronous format. Externships are completed in person and local to the student as available and with approval of the program.
  • DSW applicants must hold U.S. citizenship. Preference will be given to residents of California. Applicants from other approved states will be considered as space permits. See this page for the list of approved states.

Program Description

The online Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree is an 83-quarter unit, 3-year program designed to meet the needs of post-master's social work professionals desiring to advance their careers in the areas of clinical leadership and practice innovation. Loma Linda University's internationally and nationally recognized faculty will guide experienced and accomplished social work practitioners to become scholar-practitioners, capable of advancing clinical social work practice knowledge and innovation through applied scholarship, leadership, education, and the promotion of social justice in support of whole person care in an increasingly diverse and global practice environment.

Program Website

Program Length

3 years (11 quarters)

Possible Careers

Clinical leadership; upper administration in large public and community-based non-profit agencies; behavioral health research and evaluation; health care administration.

Admissions Requirements

• An MSW (or equivalent e.g., MSSW) from a program that is accredited by the CSWE.
• A minimum of four years' professional social work experience post receipt of the MSW degree.
• A minimum MSW GPA of 3.3.
• License to practice clinical social work is preferred.
• Structured essay.
• Structured oral interview with program.
• Curriculum vitae.
• Three letters of recommendation (academic and professional).

Please note: The GRE and/or first author publication requirement has been eliminated and is no longer required. This change will be noted in the next catalog update.


An MSW from a CSWE-accredited university and a minimum of four years’ experience post-MSW.

Discipline Accrediting Agency

The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) is presently drafting accreditation policies and standards for DSW programs. LLU faculty are participating in the development of this criteria, and have designed the DSW program at LLU to meet forthcoming accreditation policies and standards for DSW programs.

State Accrediting Agency

Loma Linda University is regionally accredited by the WSCUC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges [WASC] Senior College and University Commission).
Integrating faith and health
Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.

Expected Cost of Attendance

The following estimated cost of attendance is based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. Estimated amounts may vary based on a number of factors. Students may use these estimates when applying for financial aid.

Required Program Costs

Academic Year 2024-2025

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Tuition & Fees $21,864 $26,419 $25,508
Books, Materials, Supplies & Equipment Allowance
(May or may not be purchased through the school)
$1,800 $1,800 $1,800

Other Educational Costs

Non-required costs that can be funded with scholarships/loans.

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Living Expense (Food & Housing Allowance)
Students will be assigned one of the following Living Expense Budget Options:
  • On Campus Dorm
  • $11,835 $15,780 $15,780
  • LLU Owned Rental Property
  • $18,900 $25,200 $25,200
  • LLU Owned Rental w/ Dependents
  • $19,800 $26,400 $26,400
  • Undergraduate Dependent w/ Parents
  • $7,200 $9,600 $9,600
  • Off Campus
  • $18,900 $25,200 $25,200
    Transportation Allowance $3,150 $4,200 $4,200
    Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $3,150 $4,200 $4,200
    Federal Student Loan Fees $216 $216 $216
    Cost of Obtaining Professional License 0 0 0
    Dependent Care
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request
    Disability-Related Expenses
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request


    No quarterly enrollment fees for online students.
    • Estimated amounts are for the academic year specified only. Amounts are based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on these amounts.
    • Amounts are expected to increase each year consistent with inflation in the professional education sector.
    • To qualify for financial aid, most students must be enrolled at least half time in an aid eligible program and be taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.