JD/MSW (Dual Degree) Program

Program Overview

The School of Social Work and the School of Law cooperate in offering a dual degree program that allows a student to pursue the MSW and the JD degrees concurrently in order to achieve the following program objectives:

  1. To educate practitioners in social work and law to be able to effectively utilize the problem-solving strategies and techniques of both disciplines to the benefit of their clients, colleagues, and community.

  2. To provide the core curriculum necessary for the education of students in each discipline while enabling them to focus on areas of knowledge and practice that correspond to their professional goals.

  3. To facilitate integration of the two disciplines through experiential learning opportunities.

  4. To promote a philosophy of interdisciplinary collaboration between law and  social work professionals and create a collaborative learning environment.

  5. To prepare practitioners who have a commitment to a human condition that is free  from violence, oppression, and discrimination, and that protects and  promotes the  development of all people.

The JD/MSW dual degree is awarded after completion of a four-year integrated course of study. This eliminates approximately one year of study, while meeting all accreditation requirements of the American Bar Association and Council on Social Work Education.

Upon completion of the dual degree, students have earned a total of 135 credit hours (as compared to 153 credit hours if the degrees are earned separately). A total of 12 credit hours earned in the MSW program count toward completion of the JD degree. A total of 6 credit hours earned in the JD program count toward completion of the MSW degree. In order to receive dual credit, minimum grade standards for each program must be met.

Students who do not maintain the academic or ethical standards of either degree program may be terminated from the dual degree program.  Students in good standing in one degree program but not the other may be allowed to continue in the program in which they have good standing, and must meet the degree requirements of that program.  If for any reason a student admitted to the dual degree program does not complete the MSW. degree, the student cannot count the 12 hours of MSW courses toward the JD degree.  If for any reason a student admitted to the dual degree program does not complete the JD degree, the elective policy for the School of Social Work applies.

To be eligible for admission to the JD/MSW dual degree program, students must apply separately and be admitted to the Master of Social Work program at the School of Social Work, to the Juris Doctor program at the School of Law, and to the joint program.  As such, applicants must meet all of the requirements for admission to each program. Upon application to the JD/MSW dual degree, the applicant shall provide a statement of intent for admission that includes a brief explanation of the reasons for pursuing this dual degree program as well as goals upon completion of the program.  Each degree will be conferred when the student has met all the requirements of that degree.

Should a student enter one program and later become aware of the availability of the joint program, the student must be admitted to both programs and to the joint program during his or her first year of class work in the program of original enrollment.

JD-MSW Curriculum Plan