Caster Building
Caster Building

The dual degree program, Masters of Social Work/ Masters in Public Health, is a "natural." Both disciplines are vitally concerned about human and social well-being, whether at micro (clinical practice) or macro (societal and policy) levels. The urban dilemmas of substance use and abuse, mental and behavioral health policy and practice, violence incidence and interventions, and access to health care are particularly vital areas of mutual focus. Research-based strategies in both disciplines address differential access and treatment in these and other health domains stemming from such categories as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic position, and gender. The Penn School of Social Policy and Practice has been actively involved in the development of the Master’s in Public Health degree at Penn since its inception in 2002 and remains a partner through advisory committee participation, shared faculty, and shared students.

The MSW/MPH is a three-year program. The following template may be used as a guide for the construction of individual student schedules. All plans of study must be approved by the MPH Program Office prior to starting coursework. Course descriptions for social work can be found at www.sp2.upenn. Course descriptions for public health can be found here.

MSW/MPH Curriculum: General Template

Year 1

Fall Spring Summer
SW601: History/Philos. Soc. Work & Soc. Welfare SW 611: Contemporary Social Policy 715 Intro to Research
SW 602: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I SW 612: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II MPH Required Fieldwork= 125 hours (may also be integrated into Capstone and SW Internship in 3rd year)
SW 603: American Racism SW 614+Field: Social Work Practice  
SW 604+Field: Foundation of S.W. Practice SW elective  

Year 2

Fall Spring
PUBH501: Intro to Biostats (= SW Research Option) PUBH502: Intro to Princ/ Methods of Epidemiology 1.0 cu (could be SW practice elective: clinical or macro)
PUBH503: Environ/Occup Health (1.0 cu) PUBH 508-1: Capstone (1.0)
PUBH507 Ethics, Policy & Law (1.0) cu PUBH506: Methods for PH Practice (1.0 cu) (= SW Practice Elective: Clinical or Macro)
  PUBH 504: Behavioral and Social Sciences in Public Health

Year 3

Fall Spring
SW704+Field: Advanced Clinical SW Practice I
SW714+Field: Advanced Clinical SW Practice II
SW 708+Field: Advanced Macro SW Practice I SW 718+Field: Advanced Macro SW Practice II
PUBH505: PH Administration and Policy (1.0 cu) PUBH508-2: Capstone (1.0 cu)
PUBH XXX elective SW 613: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race & Gender

Although the MPH is not a clinical degree, the MSW/MPH is open to social work students in bothadvanced clinical and advanced macro social work practice tracks, as both tracks also address how research and policy are implicated in practice needs and implementation/intervention strategies.

*The MPH curriculum consists of 9 required courses including 2.0 cu for the culminating experience or capstone, 5 electives, and a required fieldwork experience. Four social work courses will be applied as electives toward the MPH degree. Social Work courses eligible for the dual degree include SW611, SW 603, SW 602, SW 757, SW 742, SW 704/708, SW 714/718, SW 706, SW 774, SW 781, SW722, as well as other health-related and population-based courses in the social work curriculum. A 5th elective will be taken under the PUBH prefix.

*Four MPH courses will be applied toward the MSW degree: for example, PubH 506 (could count as a SW practice elective—clinical or macro); PubH 502 (could count as a SW practice elective—clinical or macro); PubH 501 (could count as a SW Research Option); and virtually any other public health course could count as a SW elective. The Bridging the Gaps Clinical Internship may qualify as a MPH elective or the required fieldwork experience. Social work students should discuss this option with their MPH program advisor in advance.

** The MPH Capstone is a population-focused research or practice-based project. Students in the dual degree program will consult with the Social Work Field Director and MPH Capstone coordinator when planning the advanced social work field internship such that the hours required by the Capstone Project and the MPH fieldwork experience (if desired) can be included in the social work internship. This planning process will generally take place in year 2 of the three-year dual degree program.

For more information contact:

Joretha N. Bourjolly, Ph.D.
Associate Professor/Clinician Educator
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Advisor of record in the School of Social Policy and Practice for dual degree students 

Moriah Hall, MPH Program Coordinator: