MSW/Master in Law (ML)

The MSW/ML dual degree program prepares graduates for careers in social work arenas that may overlap with our legal system, including advocacy, criminal justice, immigration, agency management, policy, and more. This dual degree is open to students in both the clinical and macro concentrations in the MSW program.

General Course of Study

This dual degree program allows students to complete both the Master of Social Work and Master in Law degrees in 20 courses. On its own, the MSW is a 16 CU degree, consisting of 11 required courses and 5 electives. On its own, the ML is an 8 CU degree, consisting of at least four ML foundation courses, at least one JD course and three additional courses chosen from ML or JD courses. When students complete the MSW/ML dual-degree, a maximum of up to four courses may be cross-counted between the two degrees. Students should plan to cross-count the following four courses between the two degrees:

  • SWRK 601: History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare (Fulfills ML elective)
  • SWRK 7xx: MSW Elective (Fulfills ML elective)
  • LAW 511: Intro to US Law and Legal Methods (Fulfills MSW Elective #1)
  • LAW xxx: Law course (Fulfills MSW Elective #2)

Students complete the following 20 courses: (1) SWRK 601, (2) SWRK 602, (3) SWRK 603, (4) SWRK 604, (5) SWRK 614, (6) SWRK 615, (7) SWRK 704 or 708, (8) SWRK 714 or 718, (9) SWRK 713, (10) SWRK 7xx: Research Option; (11) SWRK 7xx: Policy Option; (12-14) three SWRK electives*; (15) LAW 511; (16) LAW 528; (17) LAW 529; (18) LAW XXX: ML Foundation course; (19) LAW XXX: JD course; (20) one additional LAW course.

Students should work as early as possible with their academic advisors in the MSW and ML programs to plan their course of study. Depending on course scheduling and a student’s desired course load, students may be able to complete both degrees in two academic years and one or two summers. However, it is common for students to need five or six semesters (not including summers) to complete all requirements. Because the ML degree is only open to students who already have an affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania, students are able to apply to the ML any time after they have been accepted to the MSW program and before they complete their final semester in the MSW program.

The table below represents the basic course of study; students may move courses around in consultation with their academic advisors.

*Students in the MSW clinical concentration must take SWRK 760 as one of their electives.

Sample Course of Study

Year 1

SP2 Billing & Financial Aid

FallSpring
SWRK 601 (fulfills ML course #1)SWRK 614
SWRK 602SWRK 615
SWRK 603SWRK 7xx: Policy Option
SWRK 604Elective #1: LAW 511 (fulfills ML course #2)

Year 2

SP2 Billing & Financial Aid

FallSpring
SWRK 704SWRK 714
SWRK 7xx: Research OptionSWRK 713
Elective #2: SWRK 7xx (Practice Elective)Elective #4: SWRK 7xx
Elective #3: SWRK 7xxElective #5: LAW xxx (fulfills ML course #3)

Year 3

Law School Billing (Financial aid in the form of loans only)

FallSpring
LAW xxx - ML course #4LAW xxx - ML course #7
LAW xxx - ML course #5LAW xxx - ML course #8
LAW xxx - ML course #6

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