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Dual Degrees: MSW/MPH -- GCHB

Mission Statement

A combined Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees is offered through the collaboration of the Tulane School of Social Work (SSW) and the Department of Global Community Health Sciences and Behavioral Sciences (GCHB) in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM). Through this program, a student can prepare for a career in social work as well as receive training in the methods and practice of public health. The flexibility resulting from both degrees allows the student to fill a professional role in the planning, management and delivery of human services within communities and public health organizations.

MSW/MPH - GCHB Program Description

This joint-degree program is designed for those wishing to pursue a career that emphasizes family and child health. This program requires completion of 89-90 credits: 75 credits in coursework (detailed below) and 15 credit hours in field instruction. The program begins in the fall semester and takes at least five continuous semesters , including the summer. In the beginning of the program students take courses primarily in social work, and as the semesters progress students take an increasing proportion of their courses in the school of public health. In the last semester students take all of their courses in public health.

Students should meet with their respective advisors in both the School of Social Work and Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences to review course requirements and map out the best plan to suit their specific career interests.

Admission Requirements

The prospective student must apply to and be accepted separately by each of the two schools, the Tulane School of Social Work and the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Note: the GRE is required for the SPHTM. We strongly urge students to apply to SPHTM before beginning the MSW in the Fall, but application to the SPHTM can be made no later than October 15th for the spring semester. Students who begin the MPH in their second term may require an additional semester to finish all required coursework.

Information on admission to the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, including requirements and submission dates, may be found here.

Information on admission to the Tulane School of Social Work may be found here.

Program Competencies

It is expected that students will acquire both social work practice skills and core public health competencies through successful completion of core coursework in both schools. Upon completion of the program, the graduate should be able to:

Assess individual and community needs for public health programs

Courses -- GCBH Courses: 6340, 6130, 6610, 6750, 6270; SOWK 7410; SPHL 6080

Demonstrate competence in planning community-based public health programs and research projects

Courses -- GCBH Courses: 6130, 6340, 6750; SPHL 6080

Implement and manage preventive strategies, interventions and programs at the community level

Courses -- GCBH 6030; SOWK Courses: 7310, 7320, 7330; SPHL 6080

Acquire the ability to identify and use various methods of evaluating community-based public health programs

Courses -- GCBH Courses: 6340, 6130, 6750; SOWK Courses: 7410, 7430

Communicate and advocate for community health programs and policies

Courses -- GCBH Courses: 6130, 6140, 6340, 6270, 6770; SOWK Courses: 7310, 7320,7330

Serve as a resource person for community-based programs in public health

Courses -- GCBH 6030, 6140, 6340

Promote cultural competence within diverse community settings

Courses -- GCBH 6030, 6460, 6140, 6510; SOWK 7120

Utilize clinical social work skills to affect individual and community health behavior change

Courses -- SOWK Courses: 7310, 7320, 7330

Incorporate knowledge of the Public Health core areas of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health systems management, and the biological, social, and cultural aspects of health and disease in addressing and solving problems

Courses--SPHL 6020, 6050, 6060, 6070, 6080; TRMD 6010

Program Requirements

Completion of the dual degree requires the following credit hours:

School Core Required 15 36 54
Department Core Required 8   9
Elective 12   11-12
Field (300 hrs. in PH field)   15 15
  35 51 89-90 Credit Hrs.
Req'd if Degrees Separate 45 Hours 60 Hours 105 Credit Hrs.

A sample course schedule for the 2-year MSW/MPH program, for students beginning both programs concurrently in the fall term, may be downloaded here.

Additional Requirements

Students must fulfill several additional degree requirements:

  • Practicum: The SSW requires a 990 hour Field Practicum (330 hours x 3 semesters). 300 of these hours may be used to meet the SPHTM Practicum requirement, provided those work hours are invested in public health oriented activities (for example, population-based and prevention-oriented program planning, intervention, and/or evaluation). Both the SSW and SPH GCHB have specific learning goals and requirements that students must fulfill and document regarding their practicum. Information about the GCHB requirements may be found in the student practicum handbook, information about the SSW requirements may be obtained through the School of Social Work Field Handbook.
  • Culminating Experience: The SPH GCHB department requires students to choose one of two options for their culminating experience, either complete a Public Health Analysis or take a Comprehensive Examination. Information about these requirements may be found at the GCHB web site.
  • Capstone Professional Project: SSW 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, or Capstone Project. 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. Information about these requirements may be found at the School of Social Work web site.

For more information

  • Students should research both the School of Social Work and the Global Community Health & Behavioral Sciences within the School of Public Health to understand the requirements of both degrees.
  • The School of Social Work web site
  • Sample course schedule for dual MSW/MPH GCHB students
  • Information about the dual MSW/MPH in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences
  • Additional information for all GCHB -- MPH students
  • For information related to the dual MSW/MPH within the School of Social Work, please contact: Cindy Sykes at or at 504.862.3481
  • For advising related to the dual MSW/MPH within the School of Public Health, please contact: Cathy Taylor at or at 504.988.5391