Master of Public Health

The Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH) dual degree program is a “natural.” Both disciplines are vitally concerned with human and social well-being, whether at micro (clinical practice) or macro (societal and policy) levels. The urban dilemmas of substance use and abuse, mental and behavioral health policy and practice, violence incidence and interventions, and access to health care are particularly vital areas of mutual focus. Research-based strategies in both disciplines address differential access and treatment in these and other health domains stemming from such categories as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic position, and gender. This dual degree is open to all MSW students in both the clinical and macro concentrations.

Full-Time MSW/MPH Course of Study

On its own, the MSW is a 16 CU degree, consisting of 11 required courses and 5 electives. On its own, the MPH is a 14 CU degree, consisting of 9 required courses and 5 electives. When students complete the MSW/MPH dual-degree, up to a total of 6 courses are cross-counted between the two degrees, enabling students to complete both degrees in 24 CUs. This means that up to three MPH courses are applied to the MSW degree and up to three MSW courses are applied to the MPH degree. Students may work with their academic advisors in the MSW and MPH programs to individualize their course of study, but the following courses have been pre-approved for cross-counting and represent the standard course of study:

  • PUBH 5010: Introduction to Biostatistics (fulfills SWRK Research Option)
  • PUBH 5050: Public Health Policy & Administration (fulfills SWRK Policy Option)
  • PUBH 5070: Public Health Law & Ethics (fulfills SWRK Elective)
  • SWRK 6020: Human Behavior in the Social Environment (fulfills PUBH Elective)
  • SWRK 6030: American Racism and Social Work Practice (fulfills PUBH Elective)
  • SWRK 7xxx: Elective TBA (fulfills PUBH Elective)

Students must take the following 24 credits to complete the dual-degree: (1) SWRK 6010, (2) SWRK 6020; (3) SWRK 6030; (4) SWRK 6040; (5) SWRK 6140; (6) SWRK 6150; (7) SWRK 7040 OR SWRK 7080; (8) SWRK 7140 OR SWRK 7180; (9) SWRK 7130; (10) PUBH 5010; (11) PUBH 5020; (12) PUBH 5030; (13) PUBH 5040; (14) PUBH 5050; (15) PUBH 5060; (16) PUBH 5070; (17) PUBH 9900; (18) PUBH 9901; (19) SWRK 7600 (for clinical students) or SWRK 7xxx macro elective (for macro students); (20) SWRK 7xxx (MSW Elective); (21) SWRK 7xxx (MSW Elective); (22) SWRK 7xxx (MSW Elective); (23) PUBH xxxx (MPH Elective); (24) PUBH xxxx (MPH Elective). In addition, students must meet the MSW Field Placement and MPH Fieldwork requirements.

MSW/MPH dual-degree students are permitted to take a maximum of three courses outside of the MSW program towards their degree. If students count three Public Health courses towards their MSW degree, their remaining 13 CUs for the MSW must be courses at SP2. Likewise, the MPH program permits MSW/MPH dual-degree students to take up to three of their MPH courses outside the Public Health program. In practice, this usually means that students who want to cross-count the maximum allowable number of courses between the two degrees do not have room to take classes outside SP2 or the PUBH program. However, students may be able to work with their advisor to find a course outside SP2 and Public Health that is one of their six cross-counted courses. Alternatively, students may choose to take additional courses beyond what they need for the two degrees.

Dual-degree students who are not completing SWRK 6040/6140 in the academic year immediately preceding the year in which they will take advanced practice class (SWRK 7040/7080 and SWRK 7140/7180) are responsible for reaching out to the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) Office of Field Education in December to begin planning for the upcoming year’s advanced field placement.

Students completing the Global Human Rights certificate should pay special attention to this policy, as it means they will most likely need all of their GHR courses to be SWRK and PUBH classes.

The following is a sample plan of study for a dual MSW/MPH student. Students are highly encouraged to work closely with the program directors on their course plan.

1SWRK 6010: History/Philos. Soc. Work and Soc. WelfareSWRK 6150: Intro to SW Research
SWRK 6020: Human Behavior in the Social Environment (Fulfills MPH Elective)SWRK 7xxx: Elective
SWRK 6030: American Racism (Fulfills MPH Elective)SWRK 6140 + Field: Foundations of Social Work Practice II
SWRK 6040 + Field: Foundation of Social Work Practice ISWRK 7600 (for clinical students) or SWRK 7xx
2PUBH 5010: Intro to Biostats (Fulfills MSW Research Option)PUBH 5070: Public Health Law & Ethics (Fulfills MSW Elective)
PUBH 5050: Public Health Policy & Admin (Fulfills MSW Policy Option)SWRK 7xxx: Elective
SWRK 7xxx: ElectiveSWRK 7130: Understanding Social Change
SWRK 7040/80 + Field: Advanced Clinical or Macro SW Practice ISWRK 7140/80 + Field: Advanced Clinical or Macro SW Practice II
Graduate with MSW at the end of year 2 spring
3PUBH 5020: Intro to Princ/ Methods of EpidemiologyPUBH 5030: Environmental/Occupational Health
PUBH 5060: Methods for Public Health PracticePUBH 5040: Public Health Theories & Frameworks in PUBH
PUBH Elective 5080: Capstone IPUBH 5090: Capstone
PUBH ElectivePUBH Elective

Advanced Standing MSW/MPH Program of Study

Advanced Standing MSW students may complete both the MSW and MPH degrees in 20 CUs, by cross-counting four courses between the two programs. Advanced Standing students take two MPH courses during their Advanced Standing year and earn the MSW in May of their first year. After graduating from the MSW program, students are primary to the MPH program, and can count two of the courses they took in the MSW program towards the MPH degree:

  • PUBH 5010: Introduction to Biostatics (fulfills MSW Research Option)
  • PUBH 5050: Public Health Policy & Administration (fulfills MSW Policy Option)
  • SWRK 6030: American Racism and Social Work Practice (fulfills PUBH elective)
  • SWRK 7xxx: Elective TBA (fulfills PUBH elective)

The MPH program requires 125 hours of field experience in a public health (i.e. population-focused) setting. Students in the dual degree program will consult with their Capstone Mentor and the Director of MSW Field Education when planning the advanced social work field internship such that the hours required by the MPH fieldwork can be included in the social work internship, provided that the internship has a public health focus.

Contact Us

Mai Le, JD, MSW

Administrative Director, MSW Program

215 746 4031

Moriah Hall, MPH

Associate Director, MPH Program

215 573 8841