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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Jun 20, 2024
 
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog

Cooperative Degrees Program


Return to School of Social Work Return to: School of Social Work

http://www.socialwork.pitt.edu/academics/master-social-work-msw

In addition to the MSW and PhD degrees, graduate students in the School of Social Work have the opportunity to select from several unique dual degree programs. MSW students can avail themselves of one of the eight joint or cooperative degree programs; two joint degree programs are available to PhD students.

Detailed below are joint degree programs offered by the School of Social Work in tandem with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Public Health, the School of Law, the School of Education, the School of Business, and the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

MSW/Master of Public Administration, MSW/Master of Public and International Affairs, and MSW/Master of International Development

Three unique joint degree programs are offered by the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, through its COSA concentration, and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. These joint programs provide students with a broad professional education to prepare them for eventual service in urban non-profit and government organizations, community development policy, and social and urban planning. They provide experienced students with opportunities to expand their knowledge base and enable other students to develop more marketable professional skills than are usually acquired through single-degree programs. Students in these joint programs earn a Master of Social Work from the School of Social Work and a Master of Public Administration, Master of Public and International Affairs or a Master of International Development from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

Students must be admitted to both programs in order to qualify for admission to the joint degree program. Degree candidates must meet the minimum foundation, concentration, and specialized requirements of both schools, except where substitutions are appropriate and approved by the faculty advisors. Depending upon which joint degree program the student elects, the total number of credits required for graduation ranges from 72 to 88 credits. For most students, this means that individual programs can be completed within six to seven terms of full-time residency. Students electing to terminate the joint degree program before its completion must complete all the work required by the respective schools for either degree in order to receive that degree separately.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Complex and emerging issues influence us, our towns, our countries, and our world: Fair housing. Economic and community development. Environmental sustainability. Emergency preparedness. Disaster response. Human rights. International security.

We live in a world both illuminated by great hope and darkened by great conflict. Make a difference and take the lead. Prepare yourself with a comprehensive education from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh.

Your academic options begin with GSPIA’s integrated academic structure of three distinct master’s degree programs offering eight different majors. Click on the links below to learn more about GSPIA’s academic programs and related learning and research opportunities at GSPIA and the University of Pittsburgh. And-as always-we’re ready to answer any questions you may have! Contact the Office of Student Services at 412-648-7640 or by email, gspia@pitt.edu.

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.

Students who prefer to apply through the mail may contact:

Mary Ohmer
COSA Chair and Associate Professor
University of Pittsburgh
School of Social Work
2204 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-8214
E-mail: mlo51@pitt.edu

University of Pittsburgh
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
Office of Admissions 
3601 Posvar
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 
412-648-7640 
www.gspia.pitt.edu

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MSW/Master of Public Health program

What is the MSW/MPH joint degree program?       

The joint degree program is collaboration between the School of Social Work and the School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. Students graduate with both a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degrees 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.

White Paper Stemming from the National Public Health Social Work Summit

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.

What competencies will individuals gain as a result of the program?

  • Application of theoretical principles to primary, secondary, and tertiary health interventions targeting the promotion of health behavior change, enhancement of the environment, and the elimination of risk factors in neighborhoods and communities that contribute to disease and poor health status outcomes

  • Application of principles of community-based participatory research and practice to community health assessment

  • Application of quantitative and qualitative skills to program planning and evaluation research

  • Processes involved in community health planning, program implementation, and  program evaluation

  • Written communication to inform the public, policymakers, and other key-stakeholders

  • Develop skills in micro practice with individuals, families, and groups or macro practice

What are the requirements of the program? 

 Typically a three-year curriculum plan for Direct Practice or COSA (2.5 years for advanced standing students)

  • MSW/ MPH DP Course Requirements
  • MSW/MPH COSA Course Requirements
  • 33 Social Work credits (plus 18 field placement credits) NOTE: Beginning 2019-20 academic year, the required BCHS 2525 Applied Research Methods course(3crs.) fulfills the SWRES 2021 Foundation of Social Work Research course (3crs.) In addition, MSW/MPH students who are pursuing the IHC certification are not permitted to take SWBEH 2066HB as a second-level HBSE course. The content of SWBEH 2066HB significantly overlaps with the course content of BCHS2520. Students are required to choose another second-level HBSE course.
  • 36 Public Health credits

Some highlights of the program are:

  • 18 field placement credits representing two separate field placement experiences, foundation and concentration, coordinated by the School of Social Work, Office of Field Education. 
  • Several certification programs are offered at each School
  • Public Health final essay or thesis

Note: Students register for two years (two fall and spring semesters) through the School of Social Work and one year (one fall and spring semester) through the School of Public Health. You are eligible for funding through the School of Social Work for a maximum of 2 years (these are the two years you register through that school).  You must be registered for at least 9 credits in the School of Social Work during the two years you register in that school to be eligible for funding from the School of Social Work. You must have both school advisors approve your course schedule each term. Your advisor in the School of Social Work will lift your “hold” to register each term.

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 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, School of Public Health (SPH) use online application.

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MSW/Juris Doctorate

The School of Social Work (SSW) and the School of Law offer a cooperative educational program through which students may earn both the Master of Social Work (MSW), the primary professional degree in social work, and the Juris Doctor (JD) degree, the first professional degree in law. The MSW-JD program will enable students with interests in a wide range of areas where law and social work converge - such as child welfare, aging, health, mental health, juvenile and criminal justice, family issues, and housing - to engage in a highly integrative educational experience that will include academic courses, field placements, and research opportunities at the intersection of both professions. The joint degree program allows one to earn both degrees in four years rather than five.

Increasingly, social work professionals and attorneys are working together to promote the well-being of their clients. These areas of convergence exist in practice with individuals, families, and groups as well as with communities and organizations. The intersection of legal and social work concerns is also evident at the policy level, and research from both professional disciplines has been used to inform these activities. It is not uncommon for practitioners from both fields to work in concert to draft, implement, and/or advocate for legislation at the local, state, and federal levels.

The MSW-JD program is one among several programs that the Schools of Social Work and Law have jointly established throughout their long and rich history of collaboration.

Neither degree may be granted prior to fulfillment of all requirements for the joint degree program.

FACULTY ADVISORS

University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Professor Kevin Deasy, MSW, JD
3900 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 648-5642
deasy@pitt.edu

University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work
Professor Jeffrey Shook, MSW, JD, PhD
2117 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 648-9365
jes98@pitt.edu

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Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration

The MBA/Master of Social Work joint degree program is designed to provide students with a unique combination of social work knowledge and skills, with exceptional strength in management decision-making and leadership. The degree is offered jointly through the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.

Faced with an increasingly competitive market, nonprofit organizations are beginning to emulate management methods and paradigms being practiced by for-profit companies, such as financial operations, human resource and data management, market and economic analysis, and evidence-based strategic planning. As philanthropic organizations become more concerned about their accountability and utility of financial supports provided to various human service organizations, they are beginning to evaluate nonprofits beyond program outcomes or average cost per client to more advanced assessments, such as cost-efficiency and effectiveness and cost-benefit ratio. Unfortunately, such analytic methodologies are rarely offered to social work students by the traditional social work curriculum.

Initially, the proposed MSW/MBA dual-degree program will be open to the SSW’s Community Organization and Social Action (COSA) students. Upon successful execution of this initiative, the school plans to open the program to all MSW full-time students (COSA and Direct Practice students).  

Students who want to earn a dual-degree must gain acceptance into both graduate degree programs by applying separately to each school. The joint-degree program applicants will also be required to submit their Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Records Exam (GRE) examination scores to both schools. Specific questions may be addressed to:

Daniel Rosen
Professor
School of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh
2117 Cathedral of Learning 
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Email address: dar15@pitt.edu


John Wallace
David E. Epperson Chair and Professor, Center on Race and Social Problems Senior Fellow for Research and Community Engagement
School of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh 
2117 Cathedral of Learning 
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Email address: johnw@pitt.edu

Requests for further information concerning the Katz Graduate School of Business, see http://www.business.pitt.edu/katz/. Specific questions may be addressed to:

Dr. Rabikar Chatterjee, Ph.D.
Associate Dean
Katz Graduate School of Business
University of Pittsburgh
301 Mervis Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Email address: rabikar@katz.pitt.edu

MSW/MBA Joint Degree Admissions Criteria  

A. SSW Requirement

   1. A Baccalaureate degree that must be completed prior to the program start date.  Applications must include transcripts of coursework completed at the time of submission of the application.  Admission will be contingent upon submission of an official, final transcript of the completed Bachelors program before the start of the MSW program.

a)   Undergraduate students with social work and human service backgrounds are preferred.

b)   In general, we would expect an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better for admission. 

c)   International students must submit originals or certified copies of transcripts/mark sheets and degree/diploma certificate in the original language plus a certified English translation (if the original is not in English).

d)   Paid work experience is preferred but not required.

   2. GMAT/GRE scores are not required for regular MSW students applicants but for the joint degree applicants in MSW and MBA must have their official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score reports forwarded directly to the University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business (KGSB), by the admission deadline. 

  3.  Applicants will submit a 3-5 page double spaced typed personal statement describing their post-graduate career goals, skills in which they excel, and key accomplishments.

  4.  Applicants will submit three recommendations from persons who have known the applicant in academic or professional capacities.  At least one from a faculty member is preferred.  (Recommendations from friends and family will not be accepted.)

  5.  Applicants will submit their current resume.

  6.  English Proficiency Exams (for international applicants who are citizens of countries where the official language is not English)— the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with minimum acceptable score:  Internet-based test: 100; paper-based test: 600.

  7.  Non-refundable application fee is $40.

  8.  Prospective candidates, domestic or international, may be interviewed before admission, in person or by telephone.

  9.  Submission of online MSW application form by the admissions deadline data of May 31

B. Katz GSB Requirement

1.   A Baccalaureate degree that must be completed prior to the program start date.  Applications must include transcripts of coursework completed at the time of submission of the application.  Admission will be contingent upon submission of an official, final transcript of the completed Bachelors program before the start of the MBA program.

a)      Undergraduate students with strong analytical backgrounds are preferred.

b)      In general, we would expect an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better for admission. 

c)      International students must submit originals or certified copies of transcripts/mark sheets and degree/diploma certificate in the original language plus a certified English translation (if the original is not in English).

d)      Work experience is not necessary, though highly desirable.

2.   GMAT/GRE scores:  Applicants must have their official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score reports forwarded directly to the University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business, by the admission deadline. In general, we would expect a GMAT score of 600 or higher for admission.  (Corresponding GRE scores will be equivalent to these levels, after conversion.).

3.   Applicants will submit a 250 word essay describing their post-graduate career goals, skills in which they excel, and key accomplishments.

4.   Applicants will submit two recommendations from persons who have known the applicant in academic or professional capacities.  At least one from a faculty member is preferred.  (Recommendations from friends and family will not be accepted.)

5.   Applicants will submit their current resume.

6. English Proficiency Exams (for international applicants who are citizens of countries where the official language is not English):  Either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) is required.

a)   TOEFL Minimum acceptable score:  Internet-based test: 100; paper-based test: 600.

b)   IELTS Minimum acceptable score: 7.0

7. $50 non-refundable application fee.

8.   Prospective candidates, domestic or international, may be interviewed before admission, in person or by Skype.

Learning outcome goals

The MSW/MBA dual-degree program is designed to provide students with a unique combination of social work knowledge and skills, with exceptional strength in management decision-making and leadership. In addition to the MSW learning outcomes that are already in place, supplementary MSW/MBA objectives include:

  1. Proficiency in the management functions of accounting, finance, computer information systems, marketing, operations management, organizational behavior, human resource management, and social enterprise.
  2. Special emphasis on development of skills and abilities to lead strategically and to position an organization effectively for continued growth and development in both for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
  3. Knowledge and understanding of complex organizations, their development and transformation, administrative principles, the decision-making process, and competence in managerial functions.
  4. To provide applied learning experiences, the required field practicum will include professional supervision through appropriate concentration settings that will focus on community and human service organization management.

Program requirements

  1. A graduate-level course grade of B or higher must be maintained throughout the joint-degree program.
  2. The MBA program requires 51 credits for the part-time or one-year program, of which at least 34 credits must be from KGSB courses, while the balance maximum of 17 credits may be from other graduate programs.
  3. The following MBA “core” courses (total of 22. 5 credits) are required:

a.  BACC 2401 Financial Accounting (3 credits)

b.  BECN 2401 Economic Analysis for Managerial Decisions (3 credits)

c.  BQOM 2401 Statistical Analysis (3 credits)

d.  BFIN 2409 Financial Management 1 (1.5 credits)

e.  BMKT 2409 Marketing Management (1.5 credits)

f.   BOAH 2409 Organizational Behavior (1.5 credits)

g.  BQOM 2421 Decision Technologies (1.5 credits)

h.  BSPP 2409 Strategic Management (1.5 credits)

i.   BMIS 2409 Information Systems (1.5 credits)

j.   BSEO 2401 Business Ethics & Social Performance (1.5 credits)

k.  BIND 2444 Management Simulation Capstone (3 credits)


4. All MSW/MBA joint degree students will be required to take at least 34.5 credits of KGSB credits, consisting of the above 22.5 credits of core courses plus an additional 12 credits of KGSB electives.  Thus, up to 16.5 credits will be accepted from courses successfully completed in the MSW program to achieve the total of 51 credits required for the completion of the Katz MBA degree.

5. All MSW/MBA joint degree students will be required to take a course entitled Social Entrepreneurship (1.5 credits) from the KGSB.

6. The following KGSB courses will count as credits towards the MSW degree:

a)    BACC-2401 Financial Accounting (3 credits) will qualify as equivalent to SWCOSA-2085 Financial Management (3 credits), and will count as 3 credits for both the MSW and MBA programs,

b)    BOAH-2409 Organizational Behavior (1.5 credits) and Strategic Management (1.5 credits) will qualify as equivalent to SWRES Organizational Research, and will count as 3 credits for both the MSW and MBA programs (SA track only),

c)    SW General Elective 1-One 3-credit or two 1.5-credit required MBA courses (e.g., BECN-2401 Economic Analysis for Managerial Decisions, 3 credits), which will count as 3 credits for both the MSW and MBA programs, and

d)    SW General Elective 2- One 3-credit or two 1.5-credit required MBA courses (e.g., BIND-2444 Competitive Management Simulation, 3 credits), which will count as 3 credits for both the MSW and MBA programs.

Thus, the double-counted credits make it possible for students to earn both degrees without having to take the total sum of credits required for completing the two degree programs separately.

a.  It should be noted that a long-standing educational policy of the SSW is that students who, within the past seven academic calendar years, have received a social work degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program are eligible for advanced standing. Those granted advanced standing during the admission process can receive up to 12 academic credits and six field education credits that will count towards completion of the MSW program. 


b.  Thus, full-time COSA students with advanced standing must earn grand total of 64.5 credits for CO students, and 61.5 credits for SA students (adding all MSW and MBA courses).  This means total of 30 social work credits (including total of 12 field credits) to be taken by CO students and 27 credits (including total of 12 field credits) to be taken by SA students. Additionally, they must take minimum of 34.5 credits of MBA courses, which includes 22.5 and 12 credits of required and electives, respectively.  


c. Full-time COSA students without advanced standing must earn grand total of 85.5 credits for CO students, and 82.5 credits for SA students (adding all MSW and MBA courses).  This means total of 51 social work credits to be taken by CO students and 48 credits to be taken by SA students. Additionally, they must take minimum of 34.5 credits of MBA courses, which includes 22.5 and 12 credits of required and electives, respectively.  

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Master of Social Work with a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate

Overview

The Master of Social Work with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Teaching in Secondary Education (MSW/CAST) combined program is designed to cultivate school-based practitioners that will have a wide range of skills for supporting vulnerable adolescents and families in urban school contexts. The MSW/CAST curriculum design incorporates the person-in-context approach of social work with culturally relevant secondary teaching methods. As such, graduates will be trained to identify, design, and facilitate programmatic responses to the unique needs of children in schools in urban communities, and also to enhance classroom teaching and student learning through their specialized evidence-based expertise. 

The program is efficiently designed to be completed in two calendar years (5 semesters), and has two distinct components. First, the teaching certification portion is a two-semester fall-spring full-time program preparing students to be secondary education teachers (grades 7-12) in one of 5 core disciplines: English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, or Foreign Language. Then starting in the summer of year two, the 3-semester MSW degree experience prepares students for leadership roles in urban education in high need communities. By combining courses of study in the School of Education and School of Social Work, graduates will:

1)   Understand the learning environment of students in the urban settings

3)   Understand schools as organizations in context

2)   Utilize culturally relevant classroom instruction to promote academic growth of adolescents

4)   Facilitate intervention programs and student support services that focus on the social and emotional needs of students

Upon successful completion of this combined program graduates will be awarded a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) from our direct practice concentration, and certifications in secondary school teacher (grades 7-12) and school social work (pending praxis and licensure exams for relevant certifications).

Admissions and Prerequisites

Candidates for this combined program will need to enter having completed sufficient credits at the baccalaureate or higher level in fields relevant to one of the five secondary teaching disciplines: English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies or Foreign Language.  If a candidate is from a related field and just shy of credits (e.g. political science), they may choose to take relevant courses prior to enrollment. Also, two education courses (6 total credits) are also required as prerequisites and are available the summer before the start of the program (Foundations of Special Education; Teaching English Language Learners).  All prerequisites must be met by the start of the first fall semester of year 1.

Interested candidates should apply to the School of Social Work MSW program and the School of Education Instruction 1 program separately, indicating their interest in the MSW/CAST program where asked in the respective application materials. Applicant qualifications for each school will be reflective of the general standards of each individual program. Candidates who are accepted to both programs will be accepted to the combined program, and will be notified and welcomed to the upcoming cohort.

Program Requirements

Coursework. In this uniquely rigorous and efficient program, students will meet an adapted set of the core requirements of both schools, whereby a number of pre-approved courses electives in one program count dually toward course requirements in the other. The total number of credits taken will be 51-54 in Social Work and 22-25 in Education. These credits include required field experiences for both programs.

Fieldwork. The Professional Year (year 1) School of Education field experiences will consist first of ten hours a week during the fall semester observing and teaching in a grade 7-12 classroom alongside an experienced mentor teacher.  In the spring semester, the students will complete a full-time student teaching experience in the same classroom.   Then in the summer semester following year 1, students will complete their foundation field placement for the School of Social Work. Finally, the concentration field practicum for social work will occur in the fall and spring semesters of year two.  This field practicum will be in a primary social work role within a school setting.

Tuition

Students will pay the tuition of whichever school they are enrolled in for the majority of their credits that term.  Specifically, fall and spring Year 1 students will pay School of Education tuition, and the remainder of the program will be paid to the School of Social Work.  Significant scholarship support is available to students in the program.

Employment

The secondary education focus, along with the 2 calendar year quickened pace, makes MSW/CAST program one-of-a-kind nationally. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to serve as either a School Social Worker or a Classroom Teacher. To the teaching profession, graduates bring therapeutic, person-in-context, and family-relations perspectives that will uniquely equip them to build positive relations and supports for students in particularly challenging contexts.   Conversely, a school social worker with teacher training will have enhanced skills to support teachers in identifying effective interventions to address psychosocial issues in the classroom.  More broadly, a social work with teacher training will be able to construct and deliver instruction more effectively to impact change and understanding amongst his/her clients, colleagues, and staff.

In sum, graduates of this program are uniquely qualified for, although not limited to, work in high need urban educational environments. Ultimately, this degree is a rare and powerful distinction for individuals looking for enhance their preparation and employability in secondary schools. 

Contact Us

James Huguley
Assistant Professor
412-624-2542
huguley@pitt.edu
2002 Cathedral of Learning

Deborah Robinson
Field Education Coordinator and Lecturer
412-624-3844
dcr16@pitt.edu
2129 Cathedral of Learning  

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PhD Joint Degree Programs

The School of Social Work offers two joint degree programs to PhD students: one leading to the MSW and the PhD and another with the School of Public Health. (Separate applications are required for either MSW or MPH admission.)

Programs

    Joint Degree

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