Dual Master of Social Work / Master of Public Health Degrees: Perceptions of Graduates and Field Instructors

Keywords: Public health social work, MSW/MPH, Dual degree, Joint degree, Dual degree programs


Despite growing interest in Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH) programs, limited research literature is available on MSW/MPH graduates and none has examined field instructors’ perceptions of MSW/MPH students. This study describes the perceptions and experiences of MSW/MPH alumni and field instructors from a recently implemented MSW/MPH program at the University of Georgia. Electronic surveys were administered to 32 alumni and 34 field instructors; response rates were 71.9% (n=23) and 70.6% (n=24), respectively. Alumni reported satisfaction with the dual degree and utilization of both social work and public health skills in the workplace. Field instructors underscored the complementary skill sets of dually-trained students and noted the added value of MSW/MPH professionals in their agencies. Dually-trained MSW/MPH practitioners are uniquely prepared to address the need for transdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations to address long-standing social and health issues.

Author Biography

Trina C. Salm Ward, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Assistant Professor, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare


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