Dual Degrees in Social Work and Education

Aug 04, 2019

It is possible to earn a Master of Social Work and a Master of Education as part of a dual degree program in order to reduce time and costs towards pursuing both degrees.

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A Master of Social Work (MSW) and a Master of Education (MEd) can be earned simultaneously at many schools. This dual degree program can be helpful for those seeking graduate education in order to understand the mental health needs of those in educational settings. Read on to learn more about what this type of program would look like, some common courses, and admission requirements.

MSW/MEd Program Description

The two degrees can often be completed as part of a dual degree program in two and a half to three years of study. Students often take courses in each department during each year of the program; however some students may complete one program first before moving on to the next. Core requirements for each graduate degree will remain in place, but the chosen electives usually count towards each degree. Fieldwork is usually expected as part of the MSW degree and is a great way to gain hands-on experience working with different organizations. MEd programs may also include a specific focus, such as human sexuality, special education, or sports management.

Common Courses in MSW/MEd Programs

Dual degree programs in this area may require upwards of 80 total credits for completion. Some common courses are described below.

Human Behavior

A course in human behavior is a common social work core course. This course may examine development across the life span, along with how various systems play a part in development. Appropriate assessment and evaluation techniques across developmental levels could be considered.

School Social Work

Those who wish to work in schools would benefit from a class specifically directed to school social work. This class might review the role of school social workers within a school community and best practices for school social work. The institution of the school and relevant laws and policies may also be a topic of concern.

Ethnicity and Gender Issues

Ethnicity and gender courses will help students who hope to work with diverse populations to explore concepts of human diversity. The historic experience of racism and sexism might be considered. The course may then move to current issues in the field, such as gender socialization, class, and sexual orientation.

Behavioral Health

This class could review a range of behavioral health concerns, including mental health diagnoses, substance abuse, and learning differences. Models designed to integrate care within the behavioral health field may be discussed. A focus may also be policies surrounding behavioral health care.

Trauma-Focused Practice

Trauma-focused practice courses may focus on how to identify and treat a range of traumatic conditions, such as PTSD and dissociative disorders. How trauma can affect generations might be considered. Specific models, such as the sanctuary model, could be analyzed.

Admissions

Those who seek admission to a dual degree program will need to gain admission independently to each program. Students should hold a bachelor's degree. Typically, no specific undergraduate major is required. Applicants should expect to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, a goal statement, and a resume. Interviews or GRE scores may be requested as well.

Earning a dual MSW/MEd degree can provide an education designed to prepare practitioners for leadership positions around mental health and social welfare issues in schools or similar institutions. Earning these degrees will require a range of core and elective courses.

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