Dual Degree Programs

The School of Social Work currently offers dual degree programs with a number of other USC professional schools. In addition, the school maintains a dual degree program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion located adjacent to the USC campus.

The goal of these programs is to encourage graduate students to gain a recognized competence in another discipline which has direct relevance to the roles filled by social workers in society. Dual degree programs are based on the premise that some topics covered in the school are also addressed in the curricula of other departments, so that some credit toward an MSW degree may be given for specific courses in the cooperating department. Similarly, these departments have recognized that some credit toward their corresponding degree may be awarded for work completed in the School of Social Work. For this reason, students enrolled in dual degree programs can obtain both degrees with a reduced number of total units. Students wishing to enroll in dual degree programs must apply for and be admitted to both schools.

Master of Social Work/Doctor of Philosophy, Social Work (MSW/Ph.D.)

The MSW/Ph.D. dual degree program is a course of study leading to both a graduate degree (Master of Social Work) and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in social work. This course of study is offered to exemplary students seeking advanced research based study in social work to become professional leaders who will make significant contributions to the knowledge base of the profession in the social work academic world.

Prospective students must meet both the MSW and Ph.D. standing admission requirements.

Requirements

A total of at least 90 units is required for the dual degree with at least 42 units in the MSW program and at least 48 units in the Ph.D. program (exclusive of SOWK 794 Doctoral Dissertation). Students who select the mental health concentration will be required to complete at least 93 units (at least 45 MSW units and at least 48 Ph.D. units). The program can be completed within four years.

REQUIRED MSW COURSES Units
SOWK 505 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II, or a graduate-level course in developmental psychology in Department of Psychology or another department 3
SOWK 543 Social Work Practice with Individuals 3
SOWK 545 Social Work Practice with Families, Groups and Complex Cases 3
SOWK 562 Social Work Research 3
SOWK 586ab Field Practicum 3-3
SOWK 587ab Integrative Learning for Social Work Practice 2-2
SOWK 611 Leadership in the Social Work Profession and Organizations 3
SOWK 686ab Field Practicum II 4-4

Students in the COPA, Families and Children, Health, and Work and Life concentrations will be required to complete an additional 9 units of MSW core concentration specific courses, while students in the Mental Health concentration will be required to complete an additional 12 units of MSW core concentration specific courses.

REQUIRED Ph.D. COURSES Units
SOWK 702 Theories of Human Behavior in the Contexts of Social Environments 3
SOWK 703 Explanatory Theories for Larger Social Systems, or
SOWK 743 Theories for Practice with Small Systems 3
SOWK 733 Policy Analysis and Advocacy in a Comparative Social Policy Context 3
SOWK 744 Theories for Practice with Large Systems 3
SOWK 760L Introduction to Social Work Statistics 3
SOWK 761L Multiple Regression for Social Work Research 3
SOWK 762 Social Work Research Methods I 3
SOWK 763 Social Work Research Methods II: Issues in Research for Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 764 Advanced Multivariate Statistics 3

Dual degree students will develop an Individualized Study Plan (ISP) at two points in their educational process. They will develop a plan with their mentor before the fall semester begins in year 1 to identify courses they plan to take in years 1 and 2.

It will be approved by the doctoral committee. Students will develop a plan with their mentor in the spring semester of their second year to identify courses and tutorials they will take in their third and fourth years.

Program Adaptation

The USC School of Social Work waives the following 9 units of the MSW foundation curriculum for students in the MSW/Ph.D. Dual Degree Program: SOWK 503, SOWK 534 and SOWK 535. Content and theory from these courses will be more rigorously covered during the first year in the following Ph.D. courses: SOWK 702, SOWK 733 and SOWK 744.

The MSW and the Ph.D. degrees are awarded separately upon completion of all program requirements.

Master of Social Work/Master of Science, Gerontology

The M.S./MSW dual degree offers the student interested in direct service or community organization the credentials most valued in clinical and therapeutic practice. Students enrolled in this dual degree receive an MSW as well as an M.S. in Gerontology. This dual degree requires completion of 72 units: 32 units of work in the Davis School of Gerontology and 40 units in the School of Social Work. The course work is usually completed over a 24-month period for full-time students. Dual degree students in this program complete the standard foundation year courses in the School of Social Work, with the exception of SOWK 535 Social Welfare. Students may select any concentration, with the exception of Families and Children. In the concentration year, students must complete the three required core concentration courses as well as SOWK 611 Leadership in the Social Work Profession and Organizations: Theory and Practice. See the Davis School of Gerontology for course requirements.

Master of Social Work/Master of Planning, Public Policy

The dual degree program between social work and planning offers unique opportunities for students who want to devote their professional careers to social policy, social planning or social services delivery. Dual degree students in this program receive an MSW as well as a Master of Planning (MPl). The MPl/MSW degree requires completion of a total of 83 units: 51 units in social work and 32 units in planning. The course work is normally completed over a period of 28 months for full-time students.

Dual degree students in this program complete the standard foundation year courses in the School of Social Work, with the exception of SOWK 535 Social Welfare. Students must select the Community Organization, Planning and Administration (COPA) concentration. In the concentration year, students must complete the following SOWK courses: SOWK 599, SOWK 611, SOWK 629, SOWK 648, SOWK 686ab, as well as one of the following courses: SOWK 603, SOWK 636 or SOWK 672. Students must apply to both programs prior to matriculation. See the USC Price School of Public Policy for course requirements.

Master of Social Work/Master of Public Administration, Public Policy

The Master of Public Administration/Master of Social Work (MPA/MSW) dual degree program provides those students interested in careers as administrators of social service agencies the opportunity to combine preparation in the substantive field of social work with the acquisition of the administrative capabilities necessary in the public sector. Students must complete 82 units: 54 units in social work and 28 units in public administration. Dual degree students in this program complete the standard foundation year courses in the School of Social Work. Students must select the Community Organization, Planning and Administration (COPA) concentration. In the concentration year, students must complete the following SOWK courses: SOWK 599, SOWK 611, SOWK 629, SOWK 639, SOWK 648 and SOWK 686ab. Most students complete both program requirements over a 24-month period for full-time students. See the USC Price School of Public Policy for course requirements.

Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health, Medicine

The Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH) dual degree offers the student interdisciplinary preparation in the fields of public health and social work leading to the Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees. The dual degree program is a collaborative effort between the School of Social Work and the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Keck School of Medicine. The objectives of the program are to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote health, prevent disease and enhance the delivery of health and social services in the community. Students will build interdisciplinary skills and an interdisciplinary professional identity by developing an understanding of the breadth of each field and their interface, while permitting concentration in particular specialization areas. The program prepares graduates for work in a variety of interdisciplinary settings; and for some, it will provide the basis for doctoral study.

Students must complete a minimum of 81 units: 45 units in social work and 36 units in preventive medicine; 16 of these units fulfill requirements for both degrees. Depending on specific social work concentration and public health track requirements, there may be additional courses and an increase in the total number of units. Most students complete both program requirements over three years for full-time students; however, the program can be completed in two years if the student takes a full course load during the two summer sessions.

Dual degree students in this program complete the standard foundation year courses during the first year in the School of Social Work with the exception of SOWK 562 Social Work Research. Students may select any one of the social work concentrations: community organization, planning and administration (COPA); families and children; health; mental health; and work and life; and any one of the public health tracks: health education and health promotion; biostatistics/epidemiology; health communication; child and family health; global health leadership; and public health policy.

Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor, Law

The Juris Doctor and Master of Social Work (J.D./MSW) dual degree program with the USC Gould School of Law is a four-year program in which students complete a total of 123 units. This includes 47 units in social work and 76 units in law.

To earn the J.D., all students (including dual degree students) must complete 35 numerically graded law units at USC after the first year. The associate dean may make exceptions to this rule for students enrolled in law school honors programs. Students must apply to both programs prior to matriculation. The program of study is as follows:

First and Second Years: Complete both the first year J.D. program of study and the first year MSW course of study.

Third Year: Complete the second year J.D. program.

Fourth Year: Complete the core required concentration courses and one semester of field instruction and the final semester of the J.D. program in the spring.

The law school gives credit for the third semester in the School of Social Work, while the latter recognizes law courses as substitutions for a one-semester practice course, special topics courses, a third semester of social policy and one semester of field instruction (for which a clinical law semester is substituted).

Master of Social Work/Master of Arts, Jewish Nonprofit Management

The dual degree program combines in-class learning and fieldwork under the auspices of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (formerly the School of Jewish Communal Service) and the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work. Students in this dual degree program simultaneously pursue graduate studies leading to the MSW and an M.A. in Jewish Nonprofit Management over a 24-month period for full-time students. A total of 90 units must be completed to meet the requirements of both degrees (44 units in social work and 46 units at the HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management). Dual degree students in this program complete the standard foundation year course in the School of Social Work, including the foundation field instruction. Students may select any concentration of interest. During their concentration year, students must enroll in the following: core required concentration courses: two SOWK 599 Special Topics courses (to be approved for the concentration). Students must apply to both programs prior to matriculation.

Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration, Business

The MSW/MBA dual degree develops knowledge and skills in working with individuals, families and groups, as well as organizational dynamics, marketing, decision sciences, accounting and human relations. Students interested in working in the management of human services and not-for-profit organizations will develop knowledge of human resources, philanthropic and corporate social responsibility, organizational development and information management.

Prospective students must apply to both the School of Social Work and the Marshall School of Business.

The MSW/MBA requires completion of a total of 96 units: 48 in the Marshall School of Business and 48 in the School of Social Work. This dual degree program is typically completed in a three-year period, including summer, for full-time students.

Dual degree students in this program complete the standard foundation year courses in the School of Social Work. Students must select the work and life concentration. During their concentration year, students must enroll in the following: three core required concentration courses and SOWK 686ab Field Practicum. Course requirements in the Marshall School of Business include all required courses in an MBA program and graduate business electives sufficient to bring the total units completed in the Marshall School of Business to at least 48. Dual degree students may not count courses taken outside the Marshall School of Business toward the 48 units.

The MBA and the MSW degrees are awarded simultaneously upon completion of all program requirements.