The Institute for Clinical Social Work

Program Overview

ICSW’s doctoral program is a non-resident, full-time course of study arranged to avoid interruption of our students’ clinical employment. While many of the students who enroll in our Ph.D. program are licensed clinical social workers and licensed clinical professional counselors, this is not a requirement for admission. Classes meet at the Institute on Friday afternoons and all day Saturday on alternating weekends, from September to December and from January to June. Completion of the doctoral requirements results in the acquisition of the Ph.D. in clinical social work.

Details and Requirements

  • Four years of coursework
  • 72 total credit hours (35 class credit hours, 18 clinical practicum credit hours, 19 research independent study credit hours)
  • Incorporates independent studies, clinical practica, and case consultations
  • Dissertation submission and defense required to graduate


The doctoral curriculum consists of three central sequences:

  1. The Clinical Sequence: Ensures that students develop a comprehensive and well-reasoned framework for clinical practice.
  2. The Research Sequence: Prepares students to engage in the brand of high-caliber scholarly research that defines and redefines the field.
  3. The Conceptual Foundations Sequence: Provides students with a thorough theoretical foundation, as well as a bridge connecting theory and practice. In addition, students have the opportunity to choose from elective courses that cover topics ranging from family therapy to forensics.

Sample Curriculum

First Year Fall: 
RM 601 – Traditions of Inquiry in the Social Sciences I
CF 611 – Psychodynamic Psychology I:  Psychodynamic Theories I
CF 621 – Developmental Theory I
CL 601 – Case Conference I: The Case Study
CL 611 – Clinical Process and Technique I:  The Therapeutic Situation
Clinical Practicum I

First Year Spring:
RM 602 – Traditions of Inquiry in the Social Sciences II
CF 612 – Psychodynamic Psychology I:  Psychodynamic Theories II
CF 622 – Developmental Theory II
CL 602 – Case Conference II:  The Case Study
CL 612 – Perspectives on Clinical Formulation

Second Year Fall:
RM 701 –Research Methods I
CF 711 – Psychodynamic Psychology III:  Freud
CL 721– Beyond 50 Minute Hour
CL 701 – Case Conference III
CL 711 – Clinical Process and Technique II:  The Therapeutic Attitude
Clinical Practicum II
Clinical Practicum III

Second Year Spring:
RM 702 –Research Methods II
CF 712 – Psychodynamic Psychology IV:  Object Relations
CF 721 –Psychoanalytic Social Theory
CL 702 – Case Conference IV
CL 712 – Perspectives on Human Suffering

Third Year Fall:
RM 801 – Research Methods III
CF 811 – Psychodynamic Psychology V:  Self Psychology
CL 821 –The Social Construction of Difference I:  Race, Racialization, and Social Class
CL 801 – Case Conference V
CL 811 – Clinical Process and Technique III: Therapeutic Response
Clinical Practicum IV
Clinical Practicum V

Third Year Spring:
RM 802 – Research Methods IV
CF 812 – Psychodynamic Psychology VI:  Relational Theory
CF 822 – The Social Construction of Difference II:  Gender and Sexuality
CL 802 – Case Conference VI
CL 831 – The Clinical Unconscious

Fourth Year Fall:
RM 901 – Dissertation Seminar I
ESCF 101 – **
ESCL 101 – **
Clinical Practicum VI

Fourth Year Spring:
RM 902 –Dissertation Seminar II
ESCF 102 – **
ESCL 102 – **
CF 911 –Psychodynamic Psychology VII: Contemporary Controversies