Public health social work is an integrated approach to preventing, addressing, and solving health problems. The discipline draws on both social work and public health theories, frameworks, research, and practice. Public health social work is:
- Evidence-based: Focuses on today’s contemporary social health issues using current research on “what works”.
- Prevention-focused: Aims to improve health and wellbeing by preventing the occurrence of problems, not just intervening after they have occurred.
- Multi-method: Applied all of social work and public health’s tools and skills, such as research, policy analysis, clinical intervention, and macro and community-based approaches.
- Trans-disciplinary: Works across systems and professions to reach individuals, groups, communities, and populations.
- Strengths-oriented: Utilizes combined social work and public health approaches to reduce risk and promote resilience
The flexible dual degree program makes it possible for students to merge two fields of study into one academic endeavor. Students may choose from a variety of combinations of tracks and certificates at both schools. Graduates emerge with a rich and relevant educational experience, extensive field experience, and the ability to work in many areas of the social service and health care systems.
How the MSW/MPH Dual Degree Works
- Number of credits: Approximately 93, minimum of 40 in residence at BUSPH
- Program Length: Variable (min of 3 years)
- Full or Part Time: Both
MSW/MPH Program Requirements
Tuition and financial aid are handled individually by each School’s Office of Financial Aid. Students pay tuition and may receive financial assistance at the School in which they are “in residence.” Generally, students spend four semesters in residence at SSW and two in residence at SPH. Regardless of residency, students may cross-register for courses at the other school. Part time students pay the rates at the respective schools.
MSW/MPH alumni work in a broad range of practice areas: prevention-oriented clinical practice; health education and health promotion; health program planning, development, and evaluation; health policy analysis; management at local, state, national, and international levels; and public health advocacy.
MSW/MPH students have access to career advice through SPH Career Services to help identify, interview for, and secure positions as they move forward along their career path.
Students are not required to apply to the School of Social Work and School of Public Health simultaneously. Students are admitted to one of the two schools first (generally School of Social Work) and complete that school’s basic coursework. Before the end of the first year, an application is made to the other school. MSW/MPH students are held to the same admission standards and processes as students applying only to the MSW or MPH.
For further information regarding admission to the School of Public Health contact:
For more information
Christopher J. Louis, PhD
Director of BUSPH Dual Degree Programs
Boston University School of Public Health