The University of Maryland and the University of Southern California give their students the chance to partner an MSW with Jewish studies.And the University of Minnesota offers a program that combines an MSW with a master of urban and regional planning degree.But the initial data show growth in the number of schools that offer MSW degrees paired with a law degree, a master of public administration (MPA) degree, or a doctoral degree.Degrees in law, public health, divinity, public administration, and business administration are the most likely ones to be offered as part of social work schools’ dual degree programs.Paul Maiden, Ph D, LCSW, vice dean and a professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work in Los Angeles, which offers several dual degree programs.“The people who do this are landing in major leadership positions.
These programs allow students to pursue an MSW and a degree in another discipline in parallel, making it possible for students to earn the degrees in less time than it would take to earn them separately.For instance, a student who is working toward MSW and JD degrees might study social work for a year, then law for two years, and then return to social work.The number of students enrolled in dual degree programs varies greatly across the country. But, sometimes, having only a social work degree is not enough to obtain a fulfilling job. Social workers are employed in organizations ranging from hospitals and schools to grassroots advocacy groups and military bases.
Dual degrees aren’t new in social work, but they are attracting more attention from universities and students adapting to the profession’s increasingly interdisciplinary nature.