Dual Degrees in Theology and Social Work

The three dual degree programs combine School of Theology Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, and Doctor of Ministry degrees with a Master of Social Work from BU’s School of Social Work.


Optimally, the duration for each dual degree program is:

  • Three years (full time) to complete the requirements for the Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
  • Four years (full time) to complete the Master of Social Work (MSW) and the Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  • Three or more years of study to complete the Doctor of Ministry/Master of Social Work (DMin/MSW), with a maximum of six years allowed

Students should begin their program with one full year at the School of Theology (STH), taking one course each semester in the School of Social Work (see plans of study). During the second year, students complete the School of Social Work “Foundation Year,” in which the School of Social Work becomes their “home school.” In subsequent years, the student is again an STH student taking less than 50% of his or her coursework in the School of Social Work.

The following SSW classes have been approved for STH Cluster lists, impacting the MDiv and MTS dual degree students:

  • CP 771 Clinical Practice with Individuals
  • CP 772 Clinical Practice with Groups
  • CP 773 Clinical Practice with Families
  • CP 803 Clinical Practice and Trauma
  • FE 803 Field Education III
  • FE 804 Field Education IV
  • HB 735 Implications of Racism for the Practice of Social Work
  • HB 744 Spirituality and Social Work Practice
  • MP 759 Communities and Organizations: Analysis and Intervention
  • MP 773 Human Services Management
  • MP 775 Strategic Management, Community Organizing
  • MP 781 Community Organizing
  • MP 783 Planning and Program Development
  • SP 741 Social Work Practice Ethics

Please see the individual school websites for advanced standing and transfer credit policies.

Read more STH requirements for the theology-social work dual degrees.


To be admitted to one of the dual degree programs, a student must meet the entrance requirements of each school. MDiv/MSW and MTS/MSW require a 3.0 GPA. The DMin/MSW requires a Master of Divinity with a minimum 3.3 GPA.

Students are encouraged to apply initially to the School of Theology, but an application expressing the clear intent to engage in the dual degree program may be submitted to both schools at the same time. If the student is already enrolled in one of the schools, he or she must still apply to the other school for admission.

The programs are not open to students who have already completed one of the joint degrees (either the MSW or a DMin, MTS, or MDiv) at another graduate school.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Students pay the tuition of their home school. Given the substantial difference in the cost of tuition at the two schools, a student from the School of Theology should anticipate significantly higher costs for those semesters when the majority of credits are from the School of Social Work.

School of Theology financial assistance is possible for qualified STH students depending on their degree program—only for the years in which the School of Theology is their home school.