NPL/Master of Social Work (MSW)

This dual degree program combines the efforts of social work and nonprofit leadership to support students passionate about social change and social impact on both the micro (clinical practice) and macro (societal and policy) levels. The NPL/MSW builds on a practical and theoretical foundation to prepare social workers to:

  • Start and lead nonprofit organizations in the local, national, and global spheres.
  • Shape programming and agencies to create innovative solutions to long-term challenges.

General Program of Study

The NPL/MSW dual degree program allows students to earn both degrees by completing a total of 22 courses (CUs). On its own, the MSW is a 16 CU degree, consisting of 11 required courses and 5 electives. On its own, the NPL is a 10 CU program, consisting of 4 core courses, 4 NPL electives, and 2 Penn electives. When students complete the NPL/MSW dual-degree, up to four courses are cross-counted between the two degrees. Students may count up to two MSW courses as NPL electives and up to two NPL courses as MSW electives. Depending on course scheduling, students may be able to complete the MSW/NPL in six terms (for example, two academic years and two summers), but students may also extend the dual-degree program to 2.5 or 3 years if they wish (not including summer terms). Ideally, students will apply to the MSW and NPL degrees at the same time, but applications may also be submitted to the NPL program while students are in their first year of the MSW program.

Students may work with their academic advisors in the NPL and MSW 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:

  • NPLD 7xx: Core course (Fulfills MSW Elective #1)
  • NPLD 7xx: Core course (Fulfills MSW Elective #2)
  • SWRK 7xx: Elective (Fulfills NPL Elective #1)
  • SWRK 7xx: Elective (Fulfills NPL Elective #2)

Students complete the following 22 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: Policy Option; (11) SWRK 7xx: Research Option; (12 – 15) 4 NPL core courses; (16-19) 4 NPL electives (taken within the NPL program); and (20-22) 3 MSW electives (one of which must be SWRK 760 (for clinical concentration students) or a macro practice elective (for macro concentration students), and two of which may be taken outside SP2). Students may take up to two of their MSW electives outside of SP2 with permission from their MSW academic advisor.

NPL Practicum & MSW Field Placement

The Second Year MSW Field Placement may fulfill the NPL Practicum requirement, regardless of concentration (clinical or macro).  However, in order to fulfill the NPL practicum, there must be the identification of a mentor who agrees to regular leadership and professional development meetings with the student at the field placement. In these situations, the student may not need to complete additional hours for the NPL practicum beyond those already required for the MSW field placement.

If a practicum leader cannot be identified at the MSW field placement site, the student will work with their NPL advisor to identify an appropriate mentor at another agency, and this may require additional hours beyond the MSW Field Placement. Please contact NPL Director Adam Roth-Saks with any questions regarding the field placement’s fulfillment of the practicum requirements.

Standard Course of Study

The table below represents the course of study for students who wish to complete the degree in two academic years and two summers.

1• SWRK 601
• SWRK 602
• SWRK 603
• SWRK 604 + Field
• SWRK 614 + Field
• SWRK 615
• SWRK 7xx: Policy Option
• SWRK 7xx: MSW Elective #1
• SWRK 7xx: MSW Elective #2 (Fulfills NPL Elective #1)
• NPL: Non-core
2• SWRK 704 or 708 + Field (Fulfills NPL Practicum)
• NPLD core
• NPLD core
• SWRK 7xx: Research Option
• SWRK 7xx: MSW Elective #3 (Fulfills NPL Elective #2)
• SWRK 714 or 718 + Field
• SWRK 713
• NPLD core (Fulfills MSW Elective #4)
• NPLD core
• NPLD non-core (Fulfills MSW Elective #5)
• NPLD non-core
• NPLD non-core

Contact Information

Adam Roth-Saks, MSEd

  • Administrative Director, MS in Nonprofit Leadership Program

  • Finance Manager, Center for Social Impact Strategy

3701 Locust Walk, Caster Building, Room C-14
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214
  • office: 215.898.1857
  • fax: 215.573.2099

Emily McCully, MSW

  • Associate Director of Academic Affairs and Global Programs

3701 Locust Walk, Caster Building, Room B-19
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214
  • office: 215.746.4031
  • fax: 215.573.2099