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DSW alum presents to a class.

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Banded Dissertation

About Your Banded Dissertation

The St. Thomas Doctorate in Social Work program's banded dissertation is a series of three written works of scholarship that are linked by issues, theme, pedagogy or population. Students will complete all three products before graduation.

How it Works

During the 2nd summer residency, students complete DRSW 727: Banded Dissertation and Scholarship. As stated in the course description, students will "identify their primary area of scholarship and research inquiry and develop the proposal for their Banded Dissertation (BD)".


Create two distinct, solo-authored publishable articles
  • One article must be research-based and completed while in the program
  • The second may be another research-based article or a conceptually or theoretically-based article
These articles are completed during the second and third year of the program, as part of these courses:
  • DRSW 723: Engaged Scholarship
  • DRSW 726: Writing for Publication

The third product will be completed concurrent to other coursework during years 2 and 3.

Options for the 3rd product:

  • Option 1: A third publishable article meeting the standard of the two required articles.
  • Option 2: A peer-reviewed publishable article that takes another form such as Teaching Notes or Narrative Essay for a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Option 3: A peer-reviewed presentation at a regional, national or international conference related to social work and/or the banded dissertation focus that is completed, with documentation of materials as required within the time in the program.
  • Option 4: The development of a new BSW or MSW course with peer-reviewed documentation of all materials.
  • Students will work with course instructors and their banded dissertation advisor to ensure their works meet the "publishable" criteria.

The final course is DRSW 801: Banded Dissertation: Defense. The three main components of the defense include:

  • Final in-depth review of your BD products.
  • Public defense of banded dissertation to peers, instructor, Banded Dissertation advisor, faculty and community members, either face to face or through Zoom video conferencing.
  • Revision(s) of the banded dissertation after public defense.

DSW candidate speaks at graduation

See what’s been done

Our Graduates' Banded Dissertations

Check out our most recent graduates' banded dissertation abstracts and full products (downloadable as PDFs).

SEE CURRENT GRADUATES' BANDED DISSERTATIONS