MBA / MSW dual degree programs enable you to earn a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Social Work simultaneously. Both of these degrees are quite versatile.
An MBA teaches you about business, economics, and management skills, while an MSW can enable you to pursue clinical licensure as a social worker.
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Earning both of these degrees together could provide you with a unique combination of skills that can be useful for providing leadership in a business setting or in nonprofit or public organizations.
MBA & MSW Dual Degree Programs
In a dual MBA/MSW program, you can study both business administration and social work. MSW/MBA dual degree programs are useful for pursuing career paths in either business or social work, and they can help you develop leadership skills.
These two disciplines are distinct but complementary. Social work knowledge is applicable to interpersonal skills in business, and business administration skills are needed to run a social work agency.
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An MSW – MBA dual degree program can enable you to better understand both the social and financial factors involved in running complex organizations and businesses.
You can enroll in an MSW/MBA dual-degree program either online or on campus, depending on the school’s program offerings. Schools with MSW MBA dual degree programs online may also offer part-time or accelerated course options.
So, a growing number of universities do offer options if you are interested in earning an online social work degree combined with an MBA.
Master of Business Administration
As part of a Master of Business Administration, you’ll generally study course topics like accounting, economics, finance, human resources management, information systems, and management.
Master of Social Work
As part of a Master of Social Work, you’ll likely study topics like social policy, human behavior, mental health, ethics, couple and family therapy, dynamics of racism and oppression, and strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations.
An MSW also typically includes clinical practice experience.
Social Work Administration Careers & Salaries
After graduation from an MSW/MBA joint degree program, you could pursue a career that involves both business and social work.
Some graduates pursue leadership positions in human resources or social and community service management. Others follow the path to become a licensed social worker. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some careers that relate to the fields of business and social work.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Human Resources Managers||$121,220|
|Training and Development Managers||$115,640|
|Social and Community Service Managers, Local Government||$87,720|
|Social and Community Service Managers, Religious, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations||$72,860|
|Social and Community Service Managers, Individual and Family Services||$64,330|
|Human Resources Specialists||$63,490|
|Social and Community Service Managers, Nursing and Residential Care Facilities||$63,340|
|Social and Community Service Managers, Rehabilitation Services||$61,450|
There are many career options in the fields of business, social work, and social administration that you could potentially pursue with a dual MBA/MSW. The majority of social and community service managers are employed by individual and family services (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
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Other industries that employ social service managers include nursing and residential care facilities, the local government, rehabilitation services, and religious, grantmaking, civic, professional and similar organizations.
Dual MSW – MBA Curriculum
Here are some examples of courses you might take in a MSW – MBA dual degree program:
- SW Foundations: In this course, you’ll study the basics of social work, with an emphasis on how to work with a variety of people and treat them all equally.
- Social Work Practice: This course provides the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the field of social work.
- Social Welfare Policy and Services: This course explains social work services that are available to aid the public as well as the policies that govern them.
- Human Behavior and Social Environment: In this course, you’ll study how people’s choices and actions are influenced by their surroundings and their interactions with other people.
- Introduction to Social Work Research: In this course, you’ll learn how to conduct scientific research to identify best practices in the field of social work. You’ll also learn how to correctly interpret and apply findings from other people’s research.
- Accounting Insight for Managers: In this course, you’ll study how to keep track of a company’s financial transactions.
- Resource Allocation and Decision Analysis: In this course, you’ll study how to make choices about spending money and using other limited resources to bring about the most benefit to your company.
- Business Finance: In this course, you’ll study how a business can acquire and maintain capital funds.
- Leveraging Information Systems in Business: In this course, you’ll study how to organize and store data for your business.
- Managing and Leading Work Behavior: In this course, you’ll study effective management techniques.
Exact course requirements will vary at different universities.
Dual Masters Admissions Requirements
Admissions requirements vary by school, but here are some common admissions requirements for dual masters degree programs in social work and business administration:
- Bachelor’s degree in business, social work, or a related field
- Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
- One to two years of work experience
- Statement of intent
For admissions into a dual degree program, just as with MSW and MPA dual degree programs, for example, you may be asked to write a statement of intent describing your career goals and why you want to pursue MBA and MSW degrees. You may also be asked to submit GRE scores or letters of recommendation, but these are no longer required by a number of schools.
Universities participate in the process of regional accreditation to demonstrate that they meet certain academic standards.
In order to become regionally accredited, a university must be regularly evaluated by an outside agency on the quality of the instruction, facilities, and resources they provide to students. There are a number of different agencies that award universities with regional accreditation.
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Before applying to an MBA MSW degree program, it’s strategic to ensure that the school is accredited. A university’s website often contains information about its accreditation status. You can also visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Financial Aid and Scholarships
There are many financial aid opportunities available to qualifying students in dual MSW-MBA programs.
There are nonprofits that offer scholarships to support students of social work, and a number of universities also have program-specific scholarships available through their social work departments.
MBA students often have access to paid internship opportunities. Work programs may help you finance your education, build your professional network, and gain work experience for your resume.
You may also be able to qualify for grants or loans through state aid or federal aid. To apply for need-based financial aid, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Is MSW Equivalent to MBA?
An MSW is a Master of Social Work, and an MBA is a Master of Business Administration. These two degree programs cover very different subject matters. An MBA prepares you for a managerial or administrative role in a business. An MSW can help qualify you to become a licensed social worker who helps people in need.
The two degrees generally take about the same amount of time to complete, so if you pursue a dual MBA/MSW degree, your time may be spent evenly between the two degrees.
MSW or MBA, Which Is Better?
If you only want to earn one masters degree, here are some factors that may affect whether you would prefer an MBA or an MSW:
- Your personal interests
- The types of courses you want to take
- Your specific career goals
If you are primarily interested in business, you’ll likely prefer an MBA. If you want a career that involves helping the community, then an MSW may be the right fit for you.
Of course, there are careers in which either degree could be useful. For instance, someone working in human resources at a large business corporation can apply social work knowledge to their job.
What Is an MBA Dual Degree?
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) dual degree is a type of graduate degree program that enables you to pursue an MBA simultaneously with another type of master’s degree, such as a Master of Social Work (MSW).
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In addition to knowing how to run a business from a financial standpoint, working in the business world tends to require knowledge of other subjects as well. An MBA dual degree allows you to combine business knowledge with a variety of other degrees, expanding your skill set and your career options.
What Can You Do with a Joint MBA/MSW Degree?
There are many career paths you could pursue with a joint MBA/MSW degree. Common careers in this sector include human resources manager, HR specialist, licensed social worker, and social and community services manager.
One benefit of earning a joint MBA/MSW degree is that it can apply to many different industries. Social and community service managers, for instance, can be found in such diverse workplaces as government agencies, civic organizations, nonprofits, nursing homes, and residential care facilities.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MSW/MBA Dual-Degree?
MSW/MBA dual-degree programs typically take 1 to 3 years to complete, depending on the university and your chosen specialty.
A typical MSW/MBA dual degree program requires between 80 and 90 credit hours of coursework to complete, with the coursework split between the two different degree programs. This is about the same as required to complete other combined programs, such as the MPH MBA dual degree or MBA and MHA dual degree programs that some universities offer.
Programs that take less time to complete, such as accelerated programs, usually involve taking more credit hours of coursework each semester. The pace of your program may be something you want to consider when deciding which university to attend.
Is an MBA/MSW Dual Degree Worth It?
Yes, an MBA/MSW dual degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics currently projects 17% job growth for social and community service managers over the next decade. This is much faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations.
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With an MBA/MSW dual degree, professionals with experience can go on to provide leadership in a variety of organizations, from small nonprofits to major corporations. A dual degree can also open the door to a variety of career options that might not be available with either degree on its own.
Universities Offering MBA and MSW 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, on campus, or in a hybrid format.
Andrews University offers a dual degree program for students interested in receiving both a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Social Work. To graduate, students must complete 74 credit hours. The MBA courses may be completed online. Applicants must be accepted into both programs to be eligible for the dual degree.
Andrews University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Aurora University offers an online dual degree program for students interested in obtaining a Master of Social Work and a Master of Business Administration. The program usually takes 4 years to complete and requires 84 credits. Each course is 8 weeks long. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Aurora University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Carlow University offers an online Master of Social Work and a Master of Business Administration. The program usually takes 3 years to complete and requires 87 credits. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and must submit 2 letters of recommendation and a personal essay.
Carlow University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University at Buffalo offers a dual degree program for students interested in a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Social Work. The program offers both a 3 year and a 2 year track. Applicants must submit 3 references, academic transcripts, and an application essay.
The University at Buffalo is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Pennsylvania offers a dual degree program for students interested in obtaining a Master of Social Work and a Master of Business Administration degree. The program usually takes 3 years to complete. To be eligible for the dual degree, applicants must apply for both programs.
The University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Getting Your Dual MBA and MSW Degree Online
A dual MBA and MSW degree can enable you to learn about business administration and social work for a balanced education with versatile applications.
The MBA portion of the program can help you develop a practical understanding of how to run a business. The MSW portion, on the other hand, can help you develop your human services knowledge and creativity.
There are many different options for obtaining this type of combined degree, such as dual master’s degree programs online that offer flexible scheduling and eliminate the need to commute to class. You can start your educational journey today by exploring graduate programs from accredited universities offering an online business administration degree paired with one in social work.