You are here

Master of Social Work and Master of Science in Disaster Resilience Leadership Dual Degree Program

Mission Statement

The Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Science in Disaster Resilience Leadership (MS DRL) dual degree is a partnership of two programs within the Tulane School of Social Work. Through this five semester academic program, a graduate student can prepare for a career in social work as well as receive interdisciplinary training in disaster resilience and global humanitarian leadership. The competencies achieved upon completion of the dual degree allow the student to fill a professional role in the planning, management, and delivery of human services within communities vulnerable to natural and manmade disasters.

MSW/MS DRL Program Description

The MSW/MS in Disaster Resilience Leaderhip dual degree program is designed for motivated students wishing to pursue a career that supports the capacity of vulnerable populations to address the root causes of humanitarian crises. The joint degree's focus is on the development of robust leadership capacity to facilitate effective resilient programs, and creative empowerment-centered social work education promoting the integration of person and community approaches. It is the first academic program of its kind with such a dynamic and innovative purpose.The five semester curriculum requires completion of 77 credit hours: 53 credit hours in social work and 24 hours in disaster resilience leadership studies. Students take courses primarily in social work during the first academic year, with enrollment in disaster resilience leadership courses increasing over the course of the remaining four semesters. Individuals pursuing the dual degree will also be engaged in a field internship program that joins real-world social work practice with disaster risk management.

Students may choose to add a social work certificate in Disaster Mental Health or Global Social Work, which focuses your coursework in these related areas. The curriculum would vary slightly to complete the certificates, but still can be completed within five semesters.

Admission Requirements

The prospective student must apply to and be accepted separately by both the Tulane School of Social Work and the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy. Note: the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission in the MS DRL program. For more information regarding the GRE, visit the GRE web site at

Non-US citizens applying for admission must present satisfactory evidence of sufficient competence in English to read, write, speak and understand. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report is required for each applicant whose native language is not English or if English was not the language of instruction at the institution where the applicant received his or her degree(s). We also accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in lieu of the TOEFL examination. For information about these exams, see

Program Course Requirements

Fall - 16 + 3 credits (SSW Classes MWF)
SOWK 7110 Professional Foundations 1  
SOWK 7120 Social Work History and Policy 3  
SOWK 7210 Theory I 2  
SOWK 7310 Intro to Direct Social Work Practice 3  
SOWK 7140 Intro to Org and Communities Practice 2  
SOWK 7410 Tools I 3  
SOWK 7130 Diversity and Social Justice 2  
DRLS 6020 Disaster Risk Management and Leadership   3
Spring - 14 + 3 credits (SSW Classes T/TH; Field MWF)
SOWK 7220 Theory II 2  
SOWK 7320 SW Practice with Ind Fam Grps 3  
SOWK 7230 Community Organization and Policy Advocacy 3  
SOWK 7420 Tools II 2  
SOWK 7520 Field Practicum - 22 hours 5  
SOWK 7580 Field Seminar 0  
DRLA 6040 Environmental Hazards Science (T5:30-8:30)   3
Summer -13 + 3 credits (SSW Classes T/TH; Field MWF)
SOWK 7330 Advanced Methods 5  
SOWK 7430 Tools III Data Management, Analysis & Interpretation 3  
SOWK 7530 Field Practicum I - 22 hours 5  
SOWK 7580 Field Seminar 0  
  DRLS Elective   3
Fall - 10 + 6 credits (SSW Classes T/TH; Field MWF)
SOWK 7440 Capstone Seminar 2  
SOWK 7480 Professional Project 3  
SOWK 7540 Field Practicum III-ì 22 hours 5  
SOWK 7580 Field Seminar 0  
  DRLS Elective   3
  DRLS Elective   3
Spring - 0 + 9 credits (DRLA only)
DRLS 6030 Leadership Analytics   3
DRLS 6110 Research and Evaluation in Crisis and Disaster Settings   3
  DRLS Elective   3

Click here for a printable version of the above curriculum

Field Practicum

Students spend three days weekly (MWF) in field instruction for three consecutive semesters beginning with the first Spring term. MSW/MS DRL field placements are in community agencies where professional social work supervision is provided to guide the development of a full range of social work practice skills.

Professional Project

TSSW students are required to produce a body of work that extends what they have learned in coursework into a practical application for social work practice, referred to as the Professional Project. Dual degree candidates may choose to have a disaster risk management focus, incorporating knowledge and methodologies found in both social work and disaster resilience leadership curricula. The format of the project is shaped by studentsÄô interests and abilities, and is presented during a poster session held during the last weeks of the fourth semester.