The Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Health (MPH) dual degree program at the University of Georgia provides students with a transdisciplinary 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 assessment and intervention with the public health goal of prevention to improve health at the individual, family, organizational and community levels. The program’s focus on health disparities underscores the social justice commitment of both professions to enhance human well being.
Currently, the MSW/MPH dual degree program is offered in the following concentrations:
- Master of Social Work concentrations
- Micro (Full time and Advanced Standing)
- Macro (Full time and Advanced Standing)
- Combined (Full time and Advanced Standing)
- Master of Public Health concentrations
- Health Promotion and Behavior
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 the Full time dual degree program complete a 90-hour curriculum of concurrent social work and public health classes. The full time 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. Students enrolled in the Advanced Standing dual degree program complete a 76-hour curriculum of concurrent social work and public health classes. The Advanced Standing program can be completed in as little as 2 years (6 consecutive semesters) if students enroll in the program in summer 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 2 ½ miles west of the main campus. The UGA MSW/MPH program is not available online or at the Gwinnett campus.
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 health. 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 ways:
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.
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.
While the School of Social Work does not require standardized test scores, admission requirements in the College of Public Health place emphasis 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.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Social work employment (including public health social workers) is estimated to grow by 12% and employment of health educators is projected to grow by 13% from 2014-2024, faster than the average for all occupations
- Healthcare social worker employment is expected to grow by 19% as the baby boomers age
- An increase in demand is estimated in the next 10 years, ranging from 4-19%
- The median annual wage was $46,890 for social workers and $53,070 for health educators in May 2016
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:
- Prevention-oriented clinical practice
- Health education and health promotion
- Health program planning, development, and evaluation
- Health policy analysis
- Management at local, state, national, and international levels
- Public health advocacy
Learn more about what UGA MSW/MPH students and alumni are doing by visiting our blog.
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.
MSW/MPH Program Coordinator
Phone: (706) 542-5171