MSW MPH Dual Degree

The MSW-MPH dual-degree program will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote health, prevent disease, and enhance the delivery of evidence-based health and social services in the community. Upon completion of the MSW-MPH dual-degree program, graduates will demonstrate knowledge of the breadth of each field and their interface, as well as have ability to incorporate interdisciplinary skills in public health and health-related settings. The MSW-MPH dual-degree program is designed to prepare graduates for work in a variety of interdisciplinary health and health-related settings and, for some, may provide a basis for future doctoral study. 

MSW-MPH dual-degree students will satisfy the requirements for 60 MSW credit hours and a minimum of 45 MPH credit hours. The table below lays out the suggested curriculum and course sequencing for the MSW-MPH dual-degree program, in which students will complete a minimum of 92 credit hours.

Program Structure

Applicants would be required to meet the admission requirements for both the LSU Graduate School and the LSUHSC. Separate applications must be made to both the LSU Graduate School and LSUHSC SPH and the appropriate test scores provided. Application to the LSUHSC SPH is made through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS), a centralized admissions system used by the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health. A minimum of 10-15 applicants are projected each year for the dual degree. 

Students would begin this dual degree program within the LSU SSW, and the first year would be devoted exclusively to the first-year SSW requirements. Students already enrolled in the social work program may apply to enter the dual degree program provided the application is received by the SPH by the Spring semester of the first academic year. The other years would be devoted to a combination of MSW and MPH courses, with the MPH Culminating Course and MSW Capstone experience occurring in the 3rd year. The respective faculties of the SPH-BCHS program and the SSW have approved an award of 13 hours of MSW credit toward the MPH degree for courses taken in the SSW, and of 12 hours of MPH credit toward the MSW for courses taken in the SPH. 

To complete the program on schedule, a standard graduate course load of 9 to 15 hours per semester will be maintained, with 15 hours being the minimum course load for full time social work students while working on their MSW requirements of the dual degree. 

For those pursuing the dual degree program, the social work requirements would not vary. The current MSW curriculum (Section F) and the dual degree curriculum (Section H) are attached. Social work students currently have the option of a thesis or non-thesis Capstone experience, an option that will be extended to dual-degree students. The total number of hours for the MSW curriculum (60) would not change under the dual degree program. No web-based social work courses can be taken through the LSU Online program; however, web-based social work courses that are offered during regular LSU Baton Rouge campus semesters can be taken. 

A student successfully completing the required courses of study shall receive two degrees, the Master of Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral and Community Health Studies awarded by the LSUHSC SPH, and a Master of Social Work awarded by the CHSE SSW. Each of the two degrees is awarded separately by the two schools upon completion of the requirements for the particular degree. The only change in either degree program is the awarding of concurrent credit. A student will have the option of pursuing parallel degree program requirements with common areas of study. 

The recognition of concurrent credit as described above allows a student to complete the requirement for both degrees in three years, including summer semesters, instead of the four years that otherwise would be required.


First Year - 39 credit hours

SW 7001 HBSE I (3)
SW 7003 HX/Policy (3)
   Degree credit for PUBH 622 (1)
SW 7005 Social Work Practice I (3)
SW 7007 Foundation Field Internship I (3)
SW 7009 Social Work Research I (3)

SW 7002 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (3)
   Degree credit for BCHS 6212 (3)
SW 7004 Human Diversity and Oppression (3)
SW 7006 Social Work Practice II (3)
SW 7010 Differential Diagnosis (3)
SW7008 Foundation Field Internship II (3)
   Degree credit for PUBH 6800 (3)

SW elective (3)
SW elective (3)
EPID 62010 Epidemiology (3)

Second Year - 36 credit hours

SW 7501 Program & Practice Evaluation (3)
SW 7505 Advanced Direct Practice (3)
Elective/Thesis (3)
   or SW7905 or SW
BCHS 6216 Health Program Planning Development (3)
BCHS 6700 BCHS Seminar (.25)

SW 7504 Advanced Social Policy (3)
   Degree credit for BCHS 6213 (3)
SW 7502 Adv. Field I (3)
SW 7506 Community & Agency Contexts for Direct Practice (3)
BCHS Elective (two needed) (2-3)
EPI 6216 Bio Basis of Health (3)
BCHS 6700 BCHS Seminar (.25)

SW 7503 Adv. Field II (3)
Elective/Thesis (3)
   or SW 7905 or SW 7906
BIOS 6100 Bio Stats (4) if not taken in fall

Third Year - 17 credit hours

ENHS 6238 Environ Health (3)
HPSM 6268 H Admin & Mgmt (3)
BCHS 6700 BCHS Seminar (.25)
BCHS Health Commun (3)

BCHS 6600 Culminating Exp. (3)
BCHS 6700 BCHS Seminar (.25)
BCHS Elective (two needed) (2-3)
BCHS TBD Project Management (2)

Students must attend BCHS Seminar year 2 & 3, Fall & Spring, in order to get 1 hour credit. Seminar is held at noon twice a month and can be attended via video conference with instructor’s permission. 

NOTE: All dual degree students MUST produce proof of both HIPAA and Human Subjects Research Training in order to register for MPH coursework (e.g. CITI Training).