Alternative Program Name

Doctor of Social Work (Clinical Leadership)

Special Notification

Due to issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE General Test is waived for all 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 applicants to doctoral programs in the School of Behavioral Health. Please do not submit GRE scores through ETS or report your scores in any application materials as they will not be taken into consideration.

All academic courses available fully online. 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.

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.

Tuition and Fees

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.
• Writing assessment, GRE general test: The analytical writing section score must equal 4.0 or higher, or applicant can demonstrate proficiency in professional writing as evidenced by first authorship on a professional publication.
• License to practice clinical social work is preferred.
• Structured essay.
• Structured oral interview with program.
• Curriculum vitae.
• Three letters of recommendation (academic and professional).


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
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

Academic Year 2023-2024

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Tuition $20,217 $28,128 $24,612
Books & Supplies $1,250 $1,250 $1,250
Misc (e.g., Boards, Licensing exam, Uniforms) $216 $216 $216
Total $21,683 $29,594 $26,078


No quarterly enrollment fees for online students.

Estimated Living Expenses

Academic Year 2023-2024, off campus, with a roommate

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Months enrolled 9 12 12
Food and Housing $17,280 $23,040 $23,040
Transportation $3,150 $4,200 $4,200
Miscellaneous Personal Costs $2,700 $3,600 $3,600


  • Amounts are what a student can apply to borrow for the number of months shown in each academic year based on living off campus with a roommate and not with a relative.
  • International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on the numbers listed here.
  • In general, to qualify for financial aid a student must be enrolled at least half time taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.