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Master of Social Work

Master in Law

The Master of Social Work/Master in Law (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.

Course of Study

This dual degree program allows students to complete both the MSW and ML 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:

  • RK 6010: History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare (Fulfills ML elective)
  • SWRK 7xxx: MSW Elective (Fulfills ML elective)
  • LAW 5110: US Law & Legal Methods (Fulfills MSW Elective #1)
  • LAW xxxx: Law course (Fulfills MSW Elective #2)

Students complete the following 20 courses: (1) SWRK 6010, (2) SWRK 6020, (3) SWRK 6030, (4) SWRK 6040, (5) SWRK 6140, (6) SWRK 6150, (7) SWRK 7040 or 7080, (8) SWRK 7140 or 7180, (9) SWRK 7130, (10) SWRK 7xxx: Research Option; (11) SWRK 7xxx: Policy Option; (12-14) three SWRK electives*; (15) LAW 5110; (16) LAW 5280; (17) LAW 5290; (18) LAW xxxx: ML Foundation course; (19) LAW xxxx: 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 7600 as one of their electives.

Year One: SP2 Billing and Financial Aid

FallSpring
SWRK 6010 (fulfills ML course #1)SWRK 6140
SWRK 6020SWRK 6150
SWRK 6030SWRK 7xxx: Policy Option
SWRK 6040Elective #1: LAW 5110 (fulfills ML course #2)

Year Two: SP2 Billing and Financial Aid

FallSpring
SWRK 7040SWRK 7140
SWRK 7xxx: Research OptionSWRK 7130
Elective #2: SWRK 7xxx (Practice Elective)Elective #4: SWRK 7xxx
Elective #3: SWRK 7xxxElective #5: LAW xxxx (fulfills ML course #3)

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

FallSpring
SWRK 7040SWRK 7140
SWRK 7xxx: Research OptionSWRK 7130
Elective #2: SWRK 7xxx (Practice Elective)Elective #4: SWRK 7xxx
Elective #3: SWRK 7xxxElective #5: LAW xxxx (fulfills ML course #3)

Contact Us

Mai Le, JD, MSW

Administrative Director, MSW Program

215 746 4031

mtle@upenn.edu