Concurrent Degree in Public Policy (MSW/MPP)

Interdisciplinary study in an integrated curriculum that blends the substantive focus of professional social work training with the rigorous methodological tools and the breadth of dimensions of policy-making and implementation.

Adequate solutions to the challenges posed by immigration, widening income inequality, rising rates of chronic illness and the aging of the population all require a combination of sophisticated social work, policy analysis and political leadership. Leaders who will guide societies - in the United States and elsewhere - to effective solutions for today’s serious social problems will require a range of skills, many of which can be found in a blending of the Social Welfare and Public Policy core competencies. The Social Welfare & Public Policy MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree program is designed to meet the pressing need for creative and skilled leaders in the human services field to tackle large and seemingly intractable social problems in the United States and globally.

Program of Study

The MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program is a full-time program, and students are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 units each academic semester. Concurrent Degree students complete the rigorous course of study in three years (six semesters), plus one intervening summer, instead of the four years (eight semesters) it would typically take to earn the two degrees separately.

Students work closely with faculty and practicum consultant advisers from both schools to jointly plan a social work practicum placement that also satisfies the public policy internship requirement; and to develop a capstone Advanced Policy Analysis project reflecting each student's professional and intellectual interests.

For current degree requirements, course offerings and descriptions, and additional program options, please see the Berkeley Academic Guide.

Admission to the MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program

Prospective and current Berkeley graduate students interested in pursuing the Social Welfare & Public Policy MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program must meet the admissions eligibility requirements for both schools. Applicants for admission submit a single concurrent degree program application through the online UC Berkeley Graduate and Professional Application for Admission.

Applications for admission may be submitted:

  • At the same time during the same application cycle for new applicants to graduate study at Berkeley.
  • During the first fall semester of graduate study for current Social Welfare MSW or Public Policy MPP students.

All concurrent degree applicants must submit separate a Statement of Purpose for both programs. For more information and specific instructions, please see:

Applications to the MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program are reviewed and evaluated by faculty admissions committees from both Berkeley Social Welfare and the Goldman School of Public Policy, applying the same admissions requirements for concurrent degree students as for all other applicants. To be accepted into the Concurrent Degree Program, applicants must be recommended for admission by both schools.