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MSW/MPH Concurrent Degree Program

The MSW/MPH concurrent degree program offers interdisciplinary preparation in the fields of social work and public health, leading to the master of social work and master of public health degrees. Public health and social work share an interest in a preventive approach to health and social problems, a community perspective, and a focus on vulnerable populations. Both fields recognize the influence of social, behavioral, and environmental factors on contemporary health problems, and acknowledge the need for research and interventions that address all three components.

The objective of the concurrent degree program is to prepare professionals who will function at the interface of both fields in practice, research, planning, administration, and policy development. Students will develop (1) competence in social work practice in community health, (2) understanding of the organization and functioning of the health and social service delivery systems, and (3) basic analytical skills necessary to conduct research and to perform competently in a variety of public health social work roles. Students will also have an opportunity for in-depth study of particular issues related to their special interests and career goals.

Who May Apply for the Concurrent Degree Program?

The concurrent degree is offered by the School of Social Work and the Departments of Health Services and of Global Health in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. The program enables students to complete the requirements for the MSW and MPH degrees within three years, which would require four years of academic work if earned separately.

Students who matriculate into the full-time program in either Social Work or Public Health are eligible to apply for the concurrent degree program. Students must apply to and be accepted by both schools. Students admitted to the School of Social Work with advanced standing are eligible and should apply for both programs simultaneously. Students in the parttime Extended Degree Program in either the School of Social Work or Public Health are not eligible for the concurrent degree program.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete up to one year of studies in social work before entering the public health program. Each program or track in public health has its own applications/admissions process. Please refer to the links below and the School of Social Work Admission's tab at the top of the webpage for additional information and admission application deadlines. Typically, students apply to the School of Social Work in January and enter the MSW program in September. Then they apply to Public Health the following December or January and begin the MPH program in the summer or the next September for the COPHP. In some of the MPH programs, students begin taking MPH coursework as early as spring quarter of the SW foundation year. Staggered entry permits completion of all requirements within three years. The earliest SSW students should plan to complete the MSW requirements is Autumn of Winter of their third year.

Curriculum

Concurrent students select a concentration in social work and a track in health services or global health.

A concentration is selected during the first year of SW studies: Interpersonal/direct Practice, Community Centered Integrative Practice, Administration, or Policy.

Tracks in public health (Department of Health Services and Department of Global Health) are selected at the time of application.

Each concentration in social work and track in health services has a set of required courses, plus electives, as does the MPH program in global health. Students substitute some required courses in one program for electives or requirements in the other.

Concurrent students substitute some required courses in one program for electives or requirements in the other.

The MSW program requires 75 credits for graduation; the MPH Program in Health Services or Global Health requires 54 credits plus a thesis (9 credits). Students in the Community –oriented Health Public Health program do a “Capstone Project” at the end of their program instead of a thesis. Students in the concurrent degree program usually complete 115-125 for both degrees, depending on the number of electives taken.

Additional Requirements:

  1. Two separate sets of at least 36 credits each must be earned. 
  2. There must be at least 18 numerically graded credits for each master’s degree in courses numbered 500–599. All required courses in the MPH program must be taken. 
  3. Up to 12 credits taken in one school can be counted toward the other school’s total credit requirements, if approved by both programs. Electives for each department can be fulfilled by taking the required courses of the other department.

The MPH degree requires a thesis in the maternal and child health and social and behavioral sciences tracks in health services, and in the MPH in global health. The MPH in community-oriented public health practice (COPHP) requires a yearlong capstone project, and the MPH in health policy analysis and process requires either a capstone or a thesis. The thesis chair is a member of the Department of Health Services or of Global Health, as appropriate. Students are encouraged to select the second committee member from among the Social Work faculty. Other members may be added at the student’s discretion.

For MSW/MPH Information

J’May RivaraSW Faculty Adviser for Concurrent Degree Students, School of Social Work: 206-616-5792, jbr@uw.edu

Dave GrembowskiFaculty Adviser for Concurrent Degree Students, School of Public Health and Community Medicine: 206-616-2921,grem@uw.edu

Application Materials

School of Social Work 
Juanita Ricks, Director of Admissions, School of Social Work, Box 354900, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4900, 206-221-7428,jmricks@uw.edu

School of Public Health and Community Medicine 
Kitty AndertGraduate Program Manager, Department of Health Services, Box 357660, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7660, 206-616-2926, kitander@uw.eduhttp://depts.washington.edu/hserv/

Jennifer TeeDepartment of Global Health, Box 357965, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7660, 206- 685-1292, teej@uw.edu
globalhealth.washington.edu/