A dual Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program will prepare you for a managerial career in the human services field. Although rare, online programs of this type will allow you to take classes in an online format or in a hybrid format that mixes online learning with in-person classes, but the program will usually require real-world field experience as well. In this article, we will discuss some of the common courses you may be required to complete in an online or on-campus dual MSW & MBA program as well as some common admittance requirements.
Common Coursework for Dual MSW & MBA Degree Programs
The exact coursework for your dual MSW & MBA degree program will vary by university. However, there are some common core courses that will usually be a part of this dual degree program, some of which we will discuss in-depth below.
Practice with Individuals & Families
For the MSW part of your dual degree, you will usually need to take a clinical course that teaches you the skills, theories and methods for intervening in groups or on an individual level. Usually, as a broad topic course, you will cover the major clinical practice models of social work and learn how to apply these to your social work practice. You may cover how to put together a care management plan and will practice professional awareness of how your planned intervention is or isn't working.
Human Behavior in a Social Environment
Another type of course you may take for your MSW will likely examine the biological, psychological, and spiritual development of humans throughout their lifetime. You might also study the way that humans interact and function within social groups, including families and communities, and how to apply these concepts and ideas to social work.
Psychopathology & Assessment
A course that examines various psychological and mental disorders in terms of their causes and symptoms is usually required for your MSW degree. This is also a wide-ranging course that will cover a variety of common disorders. Along with studying the disorders, you will also learn how to assess and diagnose these correctly. Further, you will learn about the various treatment methods of these disorders.
One core course that could be in your MBA curriculum is one that teaches you how to apply behavioral science concepts and theories to the way relationships function in a business-type organization. The main focus of this course centers on how best to manage people in business environments. You will look at how people function in different group settings, on a micro and macro level, and how different group dynamics affect the success of an institution.
You might also take a course about how to develop marketing strategies for goods and services and how these strategies affect the larger decision-making processes of an organization. Classes of this kind will usually examine specific case studies and current literature about marketing. You might also study the way that marketing strategies affect the larger financial health of an institution. Some classes will also have you develop marketing plans and competitive marketing simulations.
Finally, a course that examines accounting from a managerial perspective could be one of the core courses you take for your MBA. A class of this type will give you financial analysis skills related to the different tools and concepts of accounting. These courses will also usually cover how to use accounting information in decision-making processes.
Common Admittance Requirements
When applying to a dual MSW & MBA degree program, your application materials will most likely include a resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, and an application fee. Usually, you will need to apply to the MSW and MBA degree programs separately, meeting the admission requirements of both. If you apply to an advanced standing MSW program, you will also need to hold a Bachelor of Social Work degree; although, regular programs will only require a general bachelor's degree.
In an online dual MSW & MBA degree program, you will take coursework that fulfills the MSW requirements and the MBA requirements; however, credit hours for both degrees may be reduced compared to earning the two degree separately. Along with common coursework, dual MSW & MBA programs will have common entrance requirements that you must meet when applying.