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MPH/MSW

Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences with a Master of Social Work

What is the MSW/MPH joint degree program?

The joint degree program is a collaboration between the School of Social Work and the Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. Students graduate with both a Master of Social Work and a Master of Public Health degree and are prepared to pursue a wide range of social work and public health careers to improve the health of a target population and/or community. Students participate in class work, field placements, and leadership seminars to acquire the knowledge and skills to address health problems.

What principles guide this program?

The program has a strong commitment to social justice, the elimination of health disparities, and a holistic definition of community and population health, including individuals’ physical health conditions and the behavioral and social ecological determinants of health. Moreover, both social work and public health share a commitment to involving consumers/community members in the development of policies and in the planning, delivery and evaluation of health promotion interventions, health behavior change, and health education.

What are the advantages of the program?

  • Students develop knowledge, values and skills for both professional social work practice and (e.g. direct practice or community organization/social administration) and community public health practice (e.g. primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention).
  • Advising and mentoring focuses on supporting students to achieve their professional goals (e.g., selection of field placements, papers written as part of course-work, leadership training activities, focus of final thesis/essay in the MPH program).
  • Students increase their career marketability as a result of being able to work from a cross disciplinary perspective. Students have gone on to jobs, for example, in various social service organizations, health departments, other government agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Leadership in Public Health Social Work Education Program - Evans Fellowship of $10,000: All second year or Advanced Standing MSW/MPH students pursuing a Direct Practice with Individuals, Families, and Small Groups (Direct Practice) or a Community, Organization, and Social Action (COSA) concentration in the Graduate School of Social Work are eligible to participate in the Juanita C. Evans Fellowship Program. This HRSA funded program is intended to produce leaders in public health social work. Students are expected to develop skills in administration and management, policy development and analysis, research and evaluation, and/or program planning. Students engage in a leadership training program. Field placements focus on developing leadership skills while working at sites that serve disadvantaged communities. Students enrolled in the program receive the Evans Fellowship of $10,000 associated with either their concentration or summer field placement.
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What competencies will individuals gain as a result of the program?

Typically a three-year curriculum plan for Direct Practice or COSA (2.5 years for advanced standing students)
  • 39 Social Work credits (plus 12 field placement credits)
  • 36 Public Health credits
Some highlights of the program are:
  • 12 field placement credits representing two separate field placement experiences, foundation and concentration, coordinated by the School of Social Work, Office of Field Education.
  • Leadership Seminars for students participating in the Juanita C. Evans Fellowship Program
  • Public Health final essay or thesis 

All graduates also achieve the core and cross-cutting competencies for Pitt Public Health MPH students.

What are the requirements of the program?

Full program information:

MPH/MSW Three Year COSA (Community Organizing) Curriculum Plan
MPH/MSW Three Year Direct Practice Curriculum Plan
MPH Student Handbook

What types of careers do graduates of the MSW/MPH joint degree program engage in?

  • Patient Services Managers
  • Research Scientist
  • Policy Advocates
  • Program Directors
  • Communication Directors
  • Adjunct and Part-time faculty in MSW and BSW degree programs
  • Bridging the gap between the public’s health and social work practice
  • Program Planners

Application Process

 
Students must apply separately to the School of Social Work and the Graduate School of Public Health’s Office of Admissions (GSPH). The easiest way to apply to the Master's Degree in Social Work Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work is to use our online application, and to apply to the Master's Degree of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) use online application.

As a joint degree student, pursuing your MSW in COSA or DP and your MPH in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, you are eligible to apply for the Juanita C. Evans Fellowship Program of $10,000. After completing the above applications to the joint degree program, students can apply here.

 

Admissions

Contact

Mark S. Friedman, PhD
Director, Leadership in Public Health Social Work Education
Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Public Health
4060B Lab Pavilion
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-624-3506
msf11@pitt.edu

or

Valire Carr Copeland, Ph.D., MPH
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Associate Professor
Associate Director, Leadership in Public Health Social Work Education
School of Social Work
412-624-6324
sswvcc@pitt.edu


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