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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 22, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

International Political Economy, MPIA/MSW

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Joint Degree

Full-time GSPIA students in the MPA, MPIA, or MID programs may pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously, through GSPIA’s partnerships with other professional schools at the University of Pittsburgh (and two foreign universities). Joint programs reduce the number of credits needed for each degree, allowing students to earn two master’s degrees in just three years, or a master’s degree and a law degree in just four years.

To participate in a joint degree program, students apply separately to both schools, and must meet all of the usual admissions requirements. Those applying to the joint JD program with the University of Pittsburgh School of Law may submit an LSAT score as a substitute for GSPIA’s GRE requirement. Those applying to the joint MBA program may submit the GMAT as a substitute for the GRE. If admitted to both schools, students spend one full year in GSPIA followed by a second full year in the other program (or vice versa). During the third and/or fourth year, they spend a minimum of one additional term in GSPIA, earning a total of 36 GSPIA credits.

Although it is possible to apply to both schools at the same time, currently enrolled students may still apply for a joint degree as long as they have not yet completed one year (or, in the case of current law students, two years) of full-time study.

Master of Public & International Affairs and Master of Social Work

Today’s community building arena demands well-trained professionals across a wider array of skills and systems than one degree program may offer. That’s why the joint degree program between GSPIA and School of Social Work provides students with focused professional education in the community building arena to prepare them for careers in non-profit and government organizations, community development, social policy, and urban and regional affairs.


Joint-degree students take a minimum of 36 credits and must have 3 terms of GSPIA residency. Students must graduate from both schools at the same time. No course may be double-counted.  Any course taken to fulfill a requirement for the degree in one program cannot also count toward the degree in the other program. Joint degree students should contact their GSPIA Graduate Enrollment Counselor once a term for advising. Graduate Enrollment Counselors advise for GSPIA programs only. Joint degree students must meet with an advisor from both schools

Requirements for the joint degree MPIA/MSW

GSPIA Core Requirements: 12 credits

Major Courses: 12 credits

(see Major-Specific requirements)

Electives: 3 credits

Minimum Required GSPIA Credits: 36 credits

Master of Social Work requirements: 51 credits

(see Social Work website for requirements)

Total Number of Credits for Joint Degree: 87

Major Specific Requirements:

International Political Economy


  • PIA 2xxx - Approved IPE Major Course
  • PIA 2xxx - Approved IPE Major Course
  • PIA 2xxx - Approved IPE Major Course
  • PIA 2xxx - Approved IPE Major Course

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