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Combined MSW/PhD

Combined MSW/PhD Program

Berkeley Social Welfare’s MSW-PhD Combined Program option is designed specifically for individuals who possess a strong interest in and exceptional capacity for research and scholarly work; and who wish to pursue a continuous program of graduate study leading to the MSW and the PhD degrees. 

Combined Program students pursue a challenging and ambitious course of study that leads to completion of the MSW degree in two years while simultaneously laying a foundation for advanced doctoral study. A minimum of three years of full-time course work and at least one additional year to complete the dissertation are required.

In addition to the requirements for the PhD, combined program students complete the course work and field placements required for the MSW degree in one of the MSW Program specialization areas (concentrations). Certain course substitutions are made in the MSW curriculum for Combined MSW/PhD students in order to reduce redundancy of material as they segue into the doctoral portion of the program. For example, students normally substitute PhD statistics and research courses for the MSW research sequence, and may count units from PhD courses and tutorials towards part of the overall units required for the MSW degree.

Admission to the MSW-PhD Combined Program option is highly competitive and restricted to new applicants to graduate study only. Current MSW students who are interested in pursuing doctoral studies are encouraged to discuss their interests with the chair of the Doctoral Program and other faculty members to possibly prepare for applying to the doctoral program upon completion of the MSW.