MSW Dual Degree Programs Online

Aug 21, 2019

An MSW dual degree program lets you earn two degrees at the same time. The combination of degrees depends on your interests and where you apply. This article describes three popular combinations that have online options.

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Online Dual Master's Degrees in Social Work

If you have a special interest in social work and a related field, you may consider an online dual degree program. These programs may give you better job training and may also reduce the number of course hours required to pursue each degree separately. There are a variety of Master of Social Work (MSW) dual programs, like a Master of Public Health (MPH), Juris Doctor (JD), and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Many of the courses in these programs can be taken online.


Programs of this type can be offered by a university's School of Social Work and School of Public Health. You can complete most coursework for these programs online, with the exception of a practicum. There are schools that allow you to complete the practicum in your location after approval; others require you to be in the same city. Most of the MSW/MPH dual degree programs are clinically focused, preparing you to actively work with clients. Programs like this can require up to 80 credit hours in a wide range of social work topics, such as human behavior and the social environment, social work with groups, and methods of social work research, and public health topics like health services administration, epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, and social/behavioral health.


Students who want to work in social services and social policy and want a legal background to help them to better navigate this area often decide to go for a dual master's degree program in social work and law. Programs like these offer almost all social work courses online. Depending on what degree you pursue first, your course sequence may vary. For example, if you enter as an MSW candidate at some schools, you could take the core social work courses in your first year. Then in years 2 and 3, you could take your law courses. In year 4, you could take both advanced social work courses and law school electives. Most programs require between 80-85 credit hours and take about four to five years to complete as a full time student.


Students who are interested in the principles of social work and developing skills for leadership in areas like nonprofit business may choose to enroll in a dual MSW/MBA program. An online program could require over 90 credit hours and 4-5 years to complete. The first year students may take foundation courses in social work. Course topics could range from social welfare policy to theories of human development. In years 2 and 3, students could take more advanced courses in social work. In the final year, students might complete the MBA portion of the degree with courses in areas like business management, data analytics, and nonprofit management.

Program Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary according to program, but candidates must meet the requirements for both programs to which they are applying. In other words, you usually must submit two applications instead one. Most MSW programs require a bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field, as well as acceptable scores on the Graduate Records Exam (GRE). Depending on what dual degree you go for, you must also take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Also, you'll probably be asked to submit between 2 and 3 letters of recommendation from professors or professionals who know your work. You may even be asked to include a statement of purpose.

In conclusion, there are several online dual degree programs related to social work. You could combine an MBA, JD, or MPH with an MSW.

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