Rutgers DSW Curriculum

A Case Study of What?
The Rutgers DSW Program Mission

Our Doctoral Program asks, in the fullest sense, two simple and yet powerfully important questions: 1) How do we study and understand what it means to be a person?  And 2) why does clinical practice matter?  We seek to answer these questions, for both personal and public gain, through an intensive curriculum comprised of expert lecturers and a customized Writing Program that guides the translation of practice experience into phenomenological description and exploration–disseminated by way of the case study.  Theoretically-framed narrative case studies advance clinical skills in connecting three attributes of all social work scholarship: curiosity, empathy, and doubt.  The DSW Program’s clinical concentration is designed to teach critical use of evidence-based practice, which is not to dismiss EBP as a valuable resource, but to use it only when applicable to narrativized case-studies that frame theory-to-practice events, dilemmas, or concerns, derived from lived practical experience.  And in disseminating such products of new knowledge through traditional print publication and online multimedia projects, our students produce work suitable for self-reflexivity, with inter-disciplinarity at the core of our mission–a “takeaway” that not only seeks to explain the human condition, but also how we act upon it as social workers.