The list of social work dual degree programs is vast. Earning a masters in social work along with a masters in a complementary disciplines can allow for a multifaceted learning experience.
There are many degree options that can be paired with your Master of Social Work, allowing you to find a hyper-focused learning experience that can help you develop specialized expertise.
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A social work degree can be applied in many settings, and a dual degree program may help you gain an edge in this competitive field.
Master of Social Work (MSW) Dual Degree Programs
The interdisciplinary learning you receive through Master of Social Work dual degree masters programs can demonstrate your commitment to the discipline. It can also demonstrate your desire to differentiate your learning experience and amplify your skill set.
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The careers you may find yourself in following this dual degree program are rather broad. The path you pursue may be heavily influenced by your chosen complementary degree. A few careers in this field include social worker, health educator, clinical research assistant, program director, policy analyst, and human resources manager.
Common Master’s in Social Work Dual Degree Programs
There are a number of interdisciplinary pairings for your social work degree. Here are a few common masters degrees that are paired with a Master of Social Work.
MSW / MPH
Public health and social work go hand-in-hand. Earning a Master of Public Health alongside an MSW can help you develop the necessary skills for leading community outreach.
You can gain the foundational skills to speak to health disparities, epidemics, and prevention programs within the healthcare industry by enrolling in one of the MSW / MPH dual degree programs that some universities offer.
MSW / JD
Paired with a Juris Doctor, your social work dual degree program can enable you to build a foundation for aiding others in both a humanitarian and legal format.
An MSW/JD program can help you develop the necessary skills to participate in impactful field work in your communities.
MSW / MPA
Some universities offer MSW and MPA dual degree programs. With a Master of Public Administration, your social work dual degree can become tailored for expertise in finance, policy, and business management.
Your social services skills can be linked with tangible business applications and analytical skill growth.
MSW / MBA
Like an MPA, pairing your MSW with a Master of Business Administration can help prepare you for a social services leadership position in the business world.
Your skill set in management decision-making can be amplified with this dual degree.
MSW / MEd
Paired with a Master of Education, your social work dual degree can prepare you to work in the education industry.
You may study and address the changing needs of families and school communities. Professionals in the field may also work with children and families directly.
MSW / MDiv
Paired with a Master of Divinity, the ethics of your social work degree may be amplified with an element of faith. You may want to earn this degree to pursue leadership opportunities in your faith organization or to teach and help others through counseling.
MSW / PhD in Social Work
If you’re wanting to advance your research-based study in social work, you may consider pursuing a dual degree with a PhD in Social Work. This can be a strategic option if you wish to fast-track and launch yourself into doctoral studies of social work and policies.
Social Work Careers and Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for social workers is projected to grow 13% through 2029. The following career paths can benefit from an MSW paired with a complementary masters or doctorate.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Human Resources Managers||$121,220|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$104,280|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$69,600|
|School and Career Counselors and Advisors||$58,120|
|Healthcare Social Workers||$57,630|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$51,340|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||$48,720|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||$48,430|
With a social work degree, the industries you may find yourself in are quite extensive. A dual degree program can also expand your career opportunities, depending on the second degree you choose to earn.
How to Choose an MSW Dual-Degree Program
Here are a few factors you may want to consider when deciding which MSW dual degree program is best for you:
- Career goals. Your educational and career aspirations tend to be a defining foundation for the program you choose to pursue. Having an idea of the industry you want to practice in can help you choose between joint social work graduate programs.
- Program format. You can consider the location of the program and whether it’s in-person or online.
- Accreditation. It’s important for a program to come from an accredited institution, especially if you want to pursue licensure.
- Financial aid. If you plan to seek financial aid, choosing a program from a school that can assist you in this domain may be beneficial.
You may also want to look for programs that offer field placement opportunities that count towards your credit. This type of hands-on knowledge can beneficial for future employment as well as for your own experience.
Each school will have its own list of admission requirements, but here are some common requirements you may encounter:
- GRE or GMAT scores (only some schools require them)
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field to either graduate program
- Minimum GPA requirement
- Letters of recommendation from academic or work supervisors
- Work experience
It’s necessary to look at the admission requirements for each of your prospective schools because their criteria may be vastly different than this list.
Attending a graduate school with regional accreditation can be essential. Becoming a licensed social worker often requires earning a degree from an accredited school.
In addition, accreditation is often a factor for credit transferability. Regional accreditation is a status that signifies a school performs according to a high academic standard. Accreditation can also allow your degree to be recognized nationwide.
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The US Department of Education’s database of accredited institutions is a helpful resource that lets you ensure the school you’re interested in is reputable.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can help determine your eligibility for federal aid or state aid. Your state could offer grants, loans, or work-study funding. It’s free to apply for any student with an American social security number.
When it comes to searching for financial aid, you can also search for need-based or merit-based scholarship opportunities. You may even discover privately funded scholarships that are available for your specific field or graduate degree. Your school may offer school aid or scholarships as well.
If you are a former military service member or part of a military family, you can also look into service grants.
What Is the Salary Difference Between a BSW and MSW?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers with an MSW earn an average salary of around $50,000. Those with a BSW may find themselves with an average salary of about $40,000.
An MSW and state licensure are common requirements for clinical social workers. Those with a BSW may qualify for entry-level administrative positions in the field, such as caseworker or mental health assistant.
What Degree Goes Well with Social Work?
Social work is a broad and applicable discipline for many industries. Through dual degree graduate programs, you can develop a more dynamic and diverse skill set.
Here are some degrees that can complement a social work degree:
- Juris Doctor (JD)
- Master of Laws (ML)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
- Master of Bioethics (MBE)
The degree that pairs best with your masters in social work all depends on your educational interests, your career goals, and your preferred industry.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Dual Masters Degree in Social Work?
MSW dual degree programs typically take 3 to 4 years to complete, depending on the university and your chosen specialty. In addition to your regular coursework, many dual degree programs also require a mandatory field placement, which could take additional time to complete.
A typical 36 credit hour masters program can be completed in 1 year of full-time, year-round studies. A thesis requirement can extend your time to completion.
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The flexibility of online courses means you can also take an accelerated or part-time course load as you pursue your dual degree. A part-time course load may increase the time it takes to complete your dual masters program.
What’s the Difference Between an MBA vs. Masters in Social Work?
There are numerous differences between a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Social Work (MSW).
Which degree path you pursue depends on your career goals and personal interests. Alternatively, an MBA and MSW can pair quite well if you’re interested in leadership or management roles within the field of social services.
What’s the Difference Between a Masters in Human Services vs. Masters in Social Work?
There are many differences that distinguish a masters in human services from a masters in social work.
|Masters in Human Services||Masters in Social Work|
Both degrees focus on improving the lives of others and your community, but knowing your career goals can help you determine which path is best for you.
Is an MSW Dual Degree Worth It?
Yes, an MSW dual degree is worth it for many professionals. Finding employment as a social worker can be competitive, and a dual degree may help you become a more knowledgeable, dynamic, and committed candidate.
In addition, a dual degree program allows you to combine your dedication to social services with another discipline that you’re passionate about.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social and community service managers are expected to experience 17% job growth over the next ten years. Employment for social workers is expected to grow 13%, which is much faster than the average growth for all occupations.
Universities Offering Master of Social Work Dual Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online, campus or in a hybrid format.
Florida State University offers a Master of Social Work dual degree program. Students may add one of the following degree programs: Master of Business Administration, Juris Doctorate, Master of Public Administration, or Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
The programs can be completed at the Tallahassee campus. Those interested in the dual degree program must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5 and need to submit 3 letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.
Florida State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Howard University offers a dual degree program for students interested in obtaining a Master of Social Work.
Students may earn an MSW and a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Divinity, or a Master of Public Health. While the graduation requirements differ between programs, each requires students to complete field placements. To be eligible for the dual degree program, applicants must submit applications to both individual degree programs.
HU is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Loyola University—Chicago offers multiple dual degree program options for students interested in obtaining a Master of Social Work degree.
Students may apply to add a Juris Doctorate or a Master’s in Child and Family Law, Divinity, Social Justice, Women’s Studies, or Public Health. Certain degrees can be completed online. Application requirements for each program differ, but each requires references and personal statements.
Loyola University – Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Temple University offers a dual degree program for students interested in gaining both a Master of Social Work and a Juris Doctorate or Master of Public Health.
Students can pursue a Master of Public of Health in Social and Behavioral Science or Health Policy and Management. Students can typically complete both degrees in 3 to 4 years. To be eligible for a dual degree, interested applicants must apply to both programs.
Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Tulane University offers an online dual degree program for students interested in obtaining both a Master of Social Work and a Master of Science in Disaster Resilience Leadership.
To graduate, students must complete 75 credit hours and a field internship. Applicants must have a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in a liberal arts field with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Tulane University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Alabama—Birmingham offers a dual degree program for students who wish to gain both a Master of Social Work and a Juris Doctorate or a Master of Public Health.
The Master of Public Health degree requires 60 credit hours and allows any student enrolled in the MSW program to apply for the dual degree. The Juris Doctorate requires students to complete 114 credits and be accepted into both programs to apply for the dual degree program.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Houston offers students interested in a Master of Social Work a chance to obtain another degree.
Students in this program can add a Master of Public Policy, a PhD, an MBA, a Master of Public Health, or a Juris Doctorate. Each dual degree program requires interested applicants to be accepted into the school and both individual programs before the conclusion of their first year of study.
The University of Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Memphis offers dual degree programs for students looking to obtain a Master of Social work and another degree. Students can add a Master of Public Health, an MS in Special/Applied Behavior Analysis, or a degree of their choice with the approval of the graduate coordinator.
Those interested in making their own dual degree program must consult with an academic advisor to create a degree plan. Students may apply to take their courses online. All dual degree programs require that applicants be admitted into both individual degree programs.
The University of Memphis is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University of Oklahoma offers students in the Master of Social Work program the opportunity to pursue a Master of Public Health or a MA in International Studies as well. To be eligible for the dual degree program, applicants must first be admitted into both individual programs.
The University of Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of South California offers dual degree programs for students interested in obtaining a Master of Social Work.
Students may pursue a Master’s in Business Administration, Gerontology, Jewish Nonprofit Management, Urban Planning, Public Administration, or Public Health. They may also pursue a Juris Doctor or a PhD in Social Work. To be eligible for the dual degree program, applicants must be accepted into both individual programs.
The University of Southern California is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Senior College and University Commission.
Earning Your Dual MSW Degree Online
If you wish to pair your graduate studies of social work with another discipline, a dual MSW degree program can allow you to earn two graduate degrees simultaneously.
Earning an online social work degree with a complementary degree can also give you the opportunity to enhance your expertise with a specialized skill set. In addition, there are a number of accredited schools that offer dual MSW degrees online. The flexibility of online combined masters programs can help you earn your dual degrees according to your own schedule.
If you’re interested in expanding your expertise and career opportunities in this growing field, you can start looking into joint MSW degrees to find the dual graduate program that works best for you.