MSW/MPH with School of Social Welfare

"I chose to come to Berkeley because they had one of the only concurrent degree programs in the country which would allow me to get my social work degree and my public health degree at the same time."

The School of Public Health and the School of Social Welfare offer two options that offer interdisciplinary preparation in the fields of social welfare and public health leading to the master of social work and master of public health degrees, generally in less time than it would take to obtain these degrees independently.

Concurrent Degree Program

The three-year concurrent degree program is designed to permit students the maximum amount of flexibility while fulfilling the requirements for both degrees. Students will be enrolled in the Community Health and Human Development Division with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health, or Health and Social Behavior in the School of Public Health and with the concentration in Direct Practice in Health or Management and Planning in the School of Social Welfare. First-time applicants can access the application online beginning in September at the Graduate Admissions Web site.

All applications for this program will be directed to the Concurrent Degree Committee. Admissions will be made in consultation with the admissions officers of each school and will be consistent with the admissions requirements for each school. For more information, send e-mail to socwelf@berkeley.edu or sphinfo@berkeley.edu.

Dual Degree Program

Continuing graduate students in either school who are interested in the MSW/MPH degree can apply to the MSW/MPH Dual Degree Program. Students apply to the dual degree program after enrollment in one of the schools.

A distinctive feature of the program is the opportunity it offers students to pursue any combination of concentrations within the two schools. In social welfare, the student may specialize in management and planning, children and families, community mental health, gerontology, or health. In public health, the student may select one of eight areas; most frequently chosen are health and social behavior, health policy and management, and maternal and child health.

The normal course of study for the dual degree takes three years, plus a full time summer field experience. Students meet the breadth requirements for public health as well as specific courses required in their area of concentration. They also meet the academic requirements of their selected emphasis in social welfare. Field faculty are available in each school to help plan and coordinate practice experiences. Typically, student progress follows the following sequence:

  • First Year: Public Health or Social Welfare
  • Second Year: Public Health and Social Welfare
  • Summer: Full-Time Residency/Field Work
  • Third Year: Public Health and Social Welfare

Admissions

Those interested in the MSW/MPH Dual Degree Program must first apply to and enroll in one of the two schools. Both schools require:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Grade point average of 3.0 or better (on a 4-point scale) in upper-division undergraduate course work
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a test date within five years of application

In the fall semester of the initial year, MSW/MPH applicants apply to the second school for dual enrollment beginning the following fall. Applicants may begin taking electives in the other school during the first year of graduate study. MSW/MPH applicants have already met the Graduate Division requirements and those of the school in which they are enrolled; they also must meet the admission requirements of the second school.

The School of Social Welfare seeks applicants who are committed to professional goals compatible with its mission to provide leadership in the provision of services to the disadvantaged and underserved. Successful social welfare applicants will have a broad liberal education consisting of knowledge drawn from history; philosophy; the behavioral, social, and natural sciences; and the humanities. Knowledge of the social welfare field and professional commitment to social work are also evaluated.

The School of Public Health seeks applicants with interests in population-based health, community interventions and health promotion/disease prevention. While undergraduate majors are diverse and vary according to the area of concentration, college level courses in human biology and math or statistics are recommended. In both schools, fluency in a second language and knowledge relevant to serving historically underrepresented minority groups and current immigrant and refugee populations are desirable. Experience in international settings is also valued.

Prospective applicants to the MSW/MPH Dual Degree Program are encouraged to obtain information from both schools prior to submitting their initial application. For more information see School of Social Welfare admissions and School of Public Health admissions.

Opportunities for Graduates

Advanced study in both social welfare and public health deepens knowledge and skills in the interface of the two fields, making graduates attractive candidates in the health and social service job market. MSW/MPH alumni work in managed care organizations and hospitals, in local and state health departments and federal health agencies, and with voluntary health agencies, community based organizations and advocacy coalitions. Those with social work training in direct service provide clinical services, often with additional management or planning responsibilities. Others serve as programs coordinators, administrators, planners, or consultants.

Major professional organizations of interest to MSW/MPH graduates include the American Public Health Association (Social Work Section), National Association of Social Workers, Association of State and Territorial Public Health Social Workers, Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care, and the Coalition of Social Work Organizations in Public Health.