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Upcoming Events

MSW/MPH Information Session
Friday, Sept. 29, 2pm - 3pm
Health Science Campus, Room TBA
Register

News

MSW-MPH Fall 2014 Poster Day

06.28.17
MSW/MPH student awarded Boren Fellowship

05.09.17
Taylor Kennedy (MSW/MPH '18) receives Georgia Gerontology Society graduate award

02.20.17
Social work students attend interprofessional training event

01.02.17
Mumbi Mwaura (MSW/MPH '15) joins School as new graduate recruitment and continuing education coordinator

11.02.15
UGA dual MSW/MPH degree adds gerontology, community empowerment concentrations

03.20.15
New course helps dual degree students develop professional identities

09.10.14
Dual degree students join the conversation at third annual State of Public Health Conference

07.24.14
Dual degree students invited to participate In the University of Georgia Emerging Leaders Program

07.04.14
UGA dual MSW/MPH degree adds community empowerment, program development focus

04.09.14
Alexandra Fitzsimmons receives Feldman Health Disparities Award

04.07.14
MSW/MPH Dual degree: 2013 milestones and a look at the program

12.13.13
UGA awards first dual master's degrees in social work, public health

06.06.11
School of Social Work and College of Public Health partner to offer MSW/MPH dual degree


MSW/MPH Program

Program Overview| Admissions Information | FAQ | Contact

Program Overview

The Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health dual degree program at the University of Georgia provides students with an interdisciplinary education using biopsychosocial and epidemiological perspectives to address critical health issues at the local, state, national, and international levels. Graduates of this program will have the knowledge and skills to combine social work intervention at the individual (micro) level with the public health goal of prevention at the population (macro) level. The program's focus on health disparities underscores the social justice commitment of both professions to enhance human wellbeing.

Currently, the MSW/MPH dual degree program is offered in the following concentrations:

The MSW/MPH dual degree program at UGA is the only program of its kind in the state of Georgia, and one of only five MSW/MPH programs in the Southeast. Students enrolled in this dual degree program complete a 90-hour curriculum of concurrent social work and public health classes. The program can be completed in as little as 2 ½ years (7 consecutive semesters) if students enroll in the program in fall of their first year of graduate school. The MSW/MPH program is available at the Athens campus at the University of Georgia. Students attend classes at both the main Athens campus and the Health Sciences Campus located about four miles west of the main campus. The UGA MSW/MPH program is not available online, to advanced standing MSW students, at the Gwinnett campus, or to students pursuing the MSW combined Micro/Macro concentration.

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Why Pursue Dual MSW and MPH Degrees?

"With the stronger emphasis on prevention, wider recognition of health disparities, and the demand for individuals and communities to connect to health resources, the need for public health social work has never been greater." (Jackson)

Graduates with dual MSW and MPH degrees demonstrate an ability to complete a rigorous program of study that involves trans-disciplinary methods by combining the “soft” competencies or “people skills” of social work with the “hard” competencies of public health1.  Dual degrees integrate public health’s focus on prevention and social work’s focus on intervention, which builds a strong foundation to improve the health and well-being of communities.

The fields of Social Work and Public Health complement each other in several ways2:

Earnings and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Having dual MSW and MPH degrees provides access to both of these fast-growing fields and increases marketability.

Areas of practice for MSW MPH graduates include:

Learn more about what UGA MSW/MPH students and alumni are doing by visiting our blog.

References
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-2015 Edition. (2014). Social Workers.  Available at:  http://www.bls.gov
2. Jackson, K. (2016). Public health social work: Now more than ever. Social Work Today, 15(6), 12. Available at: http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/111715p12.shtml
3. Sable, M.R., Schild, D.S. & Hipp, J.A. (2012). Public Health and Social Work.  In S. Gehlert & T. Browne (Eds.), Handbook of Health Social Work (pp. 64-99). Hoboken, NJ:  WILEY.

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Admissions Information

Applicants to the MSW/MPH dual degree program at The University of Georgia (UGA) must apply separately for admission to the School of Social Work and the College of Public Health. Acceptance into one program does not ensure acceptance into the other. Students may apply and be accepted into both programs before starting either, or they can apply to the second program early in the first semester of graduate school (e.g., will apply to the MPH program early in the first semester of the MSW program or will apply to the MSW program early in the first semester of the MPH program).

Completing two rigorous graduate degree programs simultaneously requires that students have a strong academic record. Although the admission requirements for the two programs differ, both reflect the demanding nature of graduate studies.

Application Process
Students must follow the application instructions for the program they are applying to:

Students must also apply again to the UGA Graduate School at the time they apply to the 2nd degree program.  When preparing the application with the 2nd degree program, it is recommended that the student contact the respective admissions coordinator (as listed on the application process website) to let them know they are planning an application and to receive any special instructions for the application.  Information about the Graduate School application process can be found at these web sites as well.

Admission Requirements
Admission requirements in the School of Social Work and the College of Public Health differ in terms of the emphasis placed on the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing components of the GRE.  Prospective applicants should carefully review the requirements for each program.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section for more detailed information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if a MSW/MPH is a good fit for me?

While we can’t guarantee that a dual degree is a worthwhile investment for a particular student, here are some suggestions to help prospective students weigh the pros and cons of a MSW/MPH:

   1. Review the codes of ethics of the two professions. If these principles and values resonate with you, then a MSW/MPH program might be a good fit for you:

2. Look at job announcements that you might be interested in applying to in the future – what degrees or credentials do they ask for?

3. Conduct an informational interview with individuals who are currently practicing in positions that look interesting to you – what degrees and credentials do they have; do they see potential value in someone having a MSW and MPH in that position?

4. Check out our “Reading List,” which summarizes what some of the research literature says about MSW/MPH professionals.

How do I know if the dual MSW/MPH at the University of Georgia is a good fit?

As you are considering if this program is a good fit for you, here are a few suggestions to help you make your decision:

   1. Review our blog!! Especially read about what our alumni are doing. Most have links to their LinkedIn profile. Reach out to them and ask them about their experiences at UGA.

   2. Contact us to talk about the program requirements and to get a copy of a sample program of study. This will give you a sense of the rigor and pace of the program.

   3. Look at the faculty biographies for the School of Social Work and the College of Public Health – are there any in particular who have research areas that fit with your interest areas?

What does the description of the MSW/MPH as a "dual degree" program mean?

The UGA School of Social Work and the College of Public Health use the phrase "dual degree" to describe a program that allows students to complete the master's degree requirements in social work and public health concurrently. Upon completion of the MSW/MPH program, students have earned two master's degrees: one in Social Work and one in Public Health. Students can start the MSW/MPH program in the School of Social Work or in the College of Public Health. Because Social Work and Public Health work collaboratively in scheduling classes, MSW/MPH students are able to complete the requirements of both programs in a shorter period of time than would be possible if the programs were completed consecutively.

Is the MSW/MPH an option for Advanced Standing MSW students or part-time students?

Not at the present time, although the plan is to make the MSW/MPH available to more students in the future. The decision to begin implementation of the MSW/MPH with the Micro concentration (Social Work) and the Health Promotion and Behavior concentration (Public Health) was based on the numbers as well as the complementary focus of these concentrations. Because they are the largest concentrations in their respective programs, a partnership between them means the MSW/MPH is an option for the greatest number of students.

Although Advanced Standing MSW students and part-time students are not currently able to participate in the Dual Degree Program of Study (for example, utilize the “double-counted” courses as listed on the Course Requirements document), students could consider completing the degrees consecutively.

Is the MSW/MPH an option for MPH students in the Biostatistics, Disaster Management, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, and Health Policy and Management degree programs?

Not at the present time, although the plan is to make the MSW/MPH available to more students in the future. The decision to begin implementation of the MSW/MPH with the Micro concentration (Social Work) and the Health Promotion and Behavior concentration (Public Health) was based on the numbers, as well as the complementary focus of these concentrations. Because they are the largest concentrations in their respective programs, a partnership between them means the MSW/MPH is an option for the greatest number of students.

Although MPH students in these concentrations are not currently able to participate in the Dual Degree Program of Study (for example, utilize the “double-counted” courses as listed on the Course Requirements document), students could consider completing the degrees consecutively.

What is the credit-hour requirement of the MSW/MPH at the University of Georgia, and how does it compare with MSW/MPH programs at other universities?

The UGA MSW/MPH program is 90 credit hours. MSW/MPH programs at most universities vary in length between 86-93 credit hours, making UGA's program comparable.

Why are University of Georgia students able to complete the MSW/MPH in less time than is possible at many other universities?

The UGA MSW/MPH can be completed in as little as 2½ years (7 consecutive semesters) if students enroll in the MSW/MPH program in fall of their first year. Many other MSW/MPH programs are 3 academic years.

The UGA MSW/MPH program is able to offer a shorter program of study through careful coordination of concurrent public health and social work courses (meaning that both public health and social work courses are taken in each semester). More commonly, MSW/MPH programs focus coursework in one program the first year, the other program the second year, and both programs the third year.

Am I required to take course work as scheduled in the MSW/MPH Program of Study?

In order to complete the program as quickly as possible, we strongly encourage you to take the courses as ordered in the program of study and to consult with your MSW/MPH program advisor before deviating in any way from the program. Students who take coursework out of sequence risk extending their graduation date. Taking the courses as scheduled also ensures that students have the requisite knowledge and skills needed for subsequent courses.

How is advisement handled in the MSW/MPH program?

MSW/MPH students are assigned a faculty advisor in the School of Social Work and in the College of Public Health, or are assigned to a faculty advisor who has a joint appointment in both schools. Advisors are very familiar with the MSW/MPH program and work to guide students through the program.

How are field placements and internships structured in the MSW/MPH program?

Both the MSW and MPH require hands-on learning “in the field.” Social Work refers to these as field placements, while Public Health refers to it as an internship. The MSW program has two field placements and the MPH program has one internship.

MSW/MPH students complete the first (foundation) social work field placement in fall and spring of their second year. MSW/MPH students then complete an “integrated” public health and social work field placement (in the same agency) during summer and fall of their final year in the program. Over the summer, students complete a block (40-hour per week) placement in which they complete requirements for their public health internship and social work field placement at the same time. During fall, they spend 2 ½ days per week at the same agency to complete requirements for the social work placement. Within this structure, students gain a clear understanding of the intersection of public health and social work in the field.

The School of Social Work and the College of Public Health work closely with MSW/MPH students to ensure that placements accommodate their learning needs and interests.

Can I work part- or full-time while completing the MSW/MPH program?

The MSW/MPH is an intensive and rigorous program in which students are typically taking 5 courses (15 credit hours) per semester. The summer and fall of their final year is especially intensive as students complete their integrated field placement. In addition, most courses are offered during the day. These are all important considerations as a student is considering working while attending the program. Past MSW/MPH students have been able to balance part-time work with completing coursework with careful time management and planning.

How much is tuition for the MSW/MPH program at the University of Georgia?

Tuition and fees information is available at the UGA Graduate School Bursar's Office Division. Tuition is calculated based on the number of credit hours a student registers for each semester. You can estimate tuition costs based on the tuition and fees information. Keep in mind that in the MSW/MPH program, students typically register for 15 credits per semester over 7-8 semesters. Actual tuition costs may vary depending on your specific course of study and on changes to tuition and fees by the university in the future. For more information, you can contact the UGA Bursar's Office Division.

I am interested in international and study abroad opportunities. What opportunities are available in the MSW/MPH program?

At UGA there are many opportunities to focus on international issues, including:

MSW/MPH students typically complete study abroad coursework during the summer of their first year.

Note that many of the study abroad programs are very competitive.

Where are classes held for the MSW/MPH program?

Most classes for the MSW/MPH program are offered at the main campus of the University of Georgia located in Athens and the University of Georgia's Health Sciences Campus (located about 4 miles from the main campus).

When do I have to make a decision about pursuing a MSW/MPH at the University of Georgia?

Students must begin the MSW/MPH during their first year of their graduate program. Students may apply to both programs before starting either. If they are accepted into both programs, they can begin concurrent public health and social work courses their first semester of their first year of graduate school.

Students may also apply to the second program during the first semester of their first program (e.g., apply to the MPH program during fall semester of Year I in the MSW program or apply to the MSW program during fall semester of Year I in the MPH program). However, the program of study may be 3 years (8 consecutive semesters) instead of 2 ½ years (7 consecutive semesters).

Applications for admission to Public Health and Social Work are due in the middle of Fall semester. Contact the admission coordinator of the respective program you are applying to if you have questions. The graduate programs notify applicants about admission decisions before the end of fall semester. Students accepted into the second degree program are admitted effective spring semester and begin taking concurrent courses in the spring semester of their first year of graduate school.

Where can I get more information about the University of Georgia MSW/MPH program?

To get more information about the MSW/MPH program, see the contact section of this webpage.

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Contacts

General Information

For more information about the UGA MSW/MPH program check out our:
Blog: ugamswmphprogram.blogspot.com/
LinkedIn Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12002787
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ugamswmph

Or contact the MSW/MPH Program Coordinator at: mswmph@uga.edu


Admissions Information

Social Work

Leon Banks, PhD, MSW
Admissions Director
banks03@uga.edu
706-542-5454
http://ssw.uga.edu/admissions/msw.html

Public Health

Lindsey Whittaker
MPH/DrPH Admissions Coordinator
mph@uga.edu
706-583-0885
http://www.publichealth.uga.edu/academics/apply