MSW/Master of Public Health (MPH)

The Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health 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.

MSW/MPH General Program 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 501: Introduction to Biostatistics (fulfills SWRK Research Option)
  • PUBH 505: Public Health Policy & Administration (fulfills SWRK Policy Option)
  • PUBH 507: Public Health Law & Ethics (fulfills SWRK Elective)
  • SWRK 602: Human Behavior in the Social Environment (fulfills PUBH Elective)
  • SWRK 603: American Racism and Social Work Practice (fulfills PUBH Elective)
  • SWRK 7xx: Elective TBA (fulfills PUBH Elective)

Students must take the following 24 credits to complete the dual-degree: (1) SWRK 601, (2) SWRK 602; (3) SWRK 603; (4) SWRK 604; (5) SWRK 614; (6) SWRK 615; (7) SWRK 704 OR SWRK 708; (8) SWRK 714 OR SWRK 718; (9) SWRK 713; (10) PUBH 501; (11) PUBH 502; (12) PUBH 503; (13) PUBH 504; (14) PUBH 505; (15) PUBH 506; (16) PUBH 507; (17) PUBH 508; (18) PUBH 509; (19) SWRK 760 (for clinical students) or SWRK 7xx macro elective (for macro students); (20) SWRK 7xx (MSW Elective); (21) SWRK 7xx (MSW Elective); (22) SWRK 7xx (MSW Elective); (23) PUBH xxx (MPH Elective); (24) PUBH xxx (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.

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 will have the opportunity to work with their academic advisor to discuss their plans along the way.

YearFallSpring
1SWRK 601: History/Philos. Soc. Work and Soc. WelfareSWRK 615: Intro to SW Research
SWRK 602: Human Behavior in the Social Environment (Fulfills MPH Elective)SWRK 7xx: Elective
SWRK 603: American Racism (Fulfills MPH Elective)SWRK 614 + Field: Foundations of Social Work Practice II
SWRK 604 + Field: Foundation of Social Work Practice ISWRK 760 (for clinical students) or SWRK 7xx
2PUBH 501: Intro to Biostats (Fulfills MSW Research Option)PUBH 507: Public Health Law & Ethics (Fulfills MSW Elective)
PUBH 505: Public Health Policy & Admin (Fulfills MSW Policy Option)SWRK 7xx: Elective
SWRK 7xx: ElectiveSWRK 713: Understanding Social Change
SWRK 704/8 + Field: Advanced Clinical or Macro SW Practice ISWRK 714/8 + Field: Advanced Clinical or Macro SW Practice II
Graduate with MSW at the end of year 2 spring
3PUBH 502: Intro to Princ/ Methods of EpidemiologyPUBH 503: Environmental/Occupational Health
PUBH 506: Methods for Public Health PracticePUBH 504: Public Health Theories & Frameworks in PUBH
PUBH Elective 508: Capstone IPUBH 509: Capstone
PUBH ElectivePUBH 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.

Questions about MSW requirements and completing the MSW/MPH dual-degree should be directed to:

Questions about application to the MPH program or the MPH requirements should be directed to:

Moriah Hall, MPH
Associate Director, MPH Program
3620 Hamilton Walk, Anatomy Chemistry Building, Room 141
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-573-8841
moriahh@mail.med.upenn.edu

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