Social Work and Public Health (M.S.W./M.P.H Joint Degree)

The Wayne State University (WSU) School of Social Work (SSW) and the School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences (DFMPHS) offer a Joint Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.

The MSW/MPH joint degree provides students with a deeper understanding of complex determinants of health and the scientific methods necessary to operate in an interprofessional environment. The scientific basis for interprofessional practice requires a firm foundation in human behavior and development, culturally competent communication, organizational and social systems, and the core public health sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health. The MSW/MPH degree will strengthen and deepen these skills and equip students to qualify for employment across both disciplines.  In order to meet the demand for public health social worker practitioners, the MSW/MPH joint degree program fulfills the need for these professional qualifications.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School.  Admission criteria for the MSW/MPH Joint Degree will meet the requirements of both MSW and MPH Degrees that can be found on the program website.

Students enrolled in the MSW/MPH Joint Degree Program will fulfill both the MSW program requirements and the MPH degree program requirements with a minimum of 83 credits. A total of 20 credits may be double-counted toward both degrees. The MSW credit hour requirements are dependent upon the concentration chosen and whether the student possesses a bachelor's degree in Social Work (i.e. is an Advanced Standing student). The School of Social Work offers two advanced year concentrations – Interpersonal Practice (IP) ­and Innovation in Community, Policy, and Leadership (I-CPL). The concentration chosen for the advanced year will determine the number of credits necessary to obtain the joint MSW/MPH degree.

Graduation requirements for the MSW/MPH Joint Degree are consistent with the MSW and MPH Degrees and will:

  1. Require completion of all required courses for both the MSW and MPH degree, for a minimum total of 83 credit hours within a 6 year period. A total of 20 credits may be double-counted.
  2. Require students to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the entire program. A minimum of a B grade in all required courses in both the MSW and MPH program will also be required. Students obtaining less than a B grade in any core or required course will be allowed to retake it only once.

MSW Program Courses

Foundation (Core) Curriculum

The foundation (core) curriculum provides a knowledge base for later study of advanced practice in the concentration. The core curriculum has content in the five major curricular areas: social work practice, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, research, and field education. The core curriculum stresses fundamentals and knowledge of social work practice as they relate to individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities. In field education, theory is translated into practice and includes micro, mezzo and macro practice experiences.

SW 7040Methods of Social Work Practice3
SW 7055Foundation Group Theory and Practice3
SW 7065Foundation Macro Theory and Practice3
SW 7560Human Behavior in the Social Environment I: Micro Theory3
SW 7660Human Behavior in the Social Environment II: Diversity in a Multicultural Society3
SW 7720Introduction to Social Welfare Policy in the United States3
SW 7820Research Methods in Social Work I3
FPH 7015Biostatistics I3
SW 7998Concentration Field Work for Social Workers I8
Total Credits32

Advanced MSW Curriculum

The advanced curriculum builds on the knowledge, values, and skills gained in the foundation (core) curriculum, with the objective of increasing the student’s competence for dealing with greater complexities of social work practice by focusing on areas of social concern. This advanced portion of the M.S.W. program is designed to provide specific advanced knowledge and practice skills. Students choose one of two concentrations in the advanced year.

Students must meet the requirements for a concentration:

  1. satisfactory completion of specific concentration courses in HBSE/Practice Methods;
  2. satisfactory completion of a field education placement in the concentration for each of the semesters of the advanced curriculum.

OPTION I: Interpersonal Practice (IP): 

This concentration offers students a particular theoretical orientation and clinical method from among three theory "tracks": Family Systems, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Psychodynamic. Each track has a corresponding integrative practice methods and human behavior course incorporating content on clinical method and technique, developmental issues, and psychosocial pathology, and each is offered over two consecutive terms. Students select field placements in areas of their special interest: among these choices: families at risk, child welfare, substance abuse services, schools, mental health, health care, and gerontology. Elective credits can be taken to meet the required MPH courses and are able to be double-counted.

Integrative HBSE/Practice Methods courses (see advisor)8
SW 8115DSM in Clinical Social Work Practice 3
SW 8770Advanced Policy Analysis3
SW 8998Concentration Field Work for Social Workers II8-12
Additional Electives6-8
Total Credits28-34

OPTION II: Innovation in Community, Policy and Leadership (I-CPL):

 This concentration contextualizes student learning into three streams of practice including developing and sustaining effective communities, developing and sustaining effective policies and developing and sustaining effective organizations through leadership. I-CPL students will deepen their understanding of settings where this practice can take place through field placements which relate to urban social planning, community development, policy analysis and advocacy, program development and system coordination.

A full range of elective credits are taken to meet the required MPH courses and are able to be double-counted.

Integrative HBSE/Practice Methods courses (see advisor)4
Research Courses3
SW 8998Concentration Field Work for Social Workers II8-12
Additional Electives13-15
Total Credits28-34

MPH Program Courses

Foundation Courses
FPH 7100Health Care Organization and Administration3
FPH 7240Epidemiology3
FPH 7320The Social Basis of Health and Health Care3
FPH 7420Principles of Environmental Health3
Applied Learning Course
FPH 7440Practicum in Public Health3
Integrated Learning Course
FPH 8990Master's Project3
or FPH 8991 Master's Project Seminar
MPH-PHP Concentration Courses
FPH 7210Research Methods for Public Health Professionals3
FPH 7230Health Program Evaluation3
FPH 7430Application of Public Health Principles2
FPH 7300Health Policy3
FPH 7510Public Health Leadership: Detroit Initiatives2
Total Credits31