Social Work and Education

Working with at-risk families is an intrinsic area of responsibility for both educators and social workers. For more than 25 years, our dual degree program in Social Work and Special Education has addressed this disciplinary cross-over. The primary aim is to help graduate students develop professional skills in both fields and take the lead in the design and administration of creative direct service and programmatic responses to the changing needs of schools, families, and communities. Our program offers a multifaceted course of study leading to two graduate degrees—Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Education (EdM)—or to an MSW and a doctorate in Education (EdD). Students can also concentrate on special education and earn teacher certification through additional coursework beyond the dual-degree requirements.

Interested students concentrate in either Clinical or Macro Social Work at the School of Social Work. At the School of Education, they concentrate in Special Education and may obtain teacher certification with additional coursework.

  • Students are expected to meet the core requirements of both Schools. Course savings come from the capacity to use electives in one program to take courses in the other School, and from a limited number of pre-approved courses that count for credit in both Schools.
  • Students may graduate with both master’s degrees with a total of 83 credits as opposed to 101 credits if the degrees were taken separately. Many students opt to take the maximum number of courses covered by their tuition.
  • Students starting at the School of Social Work will find their first-year coursework similar to that of other social work students. In the second year, coursework is commonly done at both Schools. Students who start in the School of Education may count some of their education courses toward fulfilling the social work elective requirements.
  • With approval of the student’s advisor almost all education courses are open to dual degree students in fulfillment of their education degree.

  • The School of Education requires a field placement only for students who are seeking licensure. However, it is recommended for all students. The School of Social Work requires two social work field education internships for all students.

    Whichever professional track you ultimately decide to pursue, we welcome your interest, as well as your questions. For more information about our program, please visit our Dual Degree Bulletin page.

    Please feel free to contact us:

    School of Social Work

    Trudy Zimmerman
    Assistant Dean, Field Education
    (617) 353-3754

    School of Education

    Special Education
    Donna Lehr, PhD
    Associate Professor
    (617) 353-3240