3.5c Concurrent Degree in Public Policy (MSW/MPP)

The Social Welfare & Public Policy MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program allows students to complete the two separate professional master’s degrees in three years, instead of the four years it would typically take to earn the two degrees separately. Students in the MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program must complete a minimum total of 88 units in Social Welfare and Public Health to earn both degrees. 

The MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program stresses analytic, methodological, theoretical, and practical approaches to problems in social service provision and administration, and in public policy more broadly. The course requirements provide for a substantive introduction to the disciplinary approaches that are employed. For current course descriptions and class schedules, please visit the Berkeley Academic Guide.

When planning a program of study for the concurrent degree, emphasis should be placed on meeting course requirements in each school, utilizing approved substitutions where appropriate and strategically using electives. Faculty and staff advisers are readily available for ongoing individual assistance with developing a combined curriculum that meets the academic requirements of both schools. Since degree requirements for both programs are subject to change, concurrent degree students should check in regularly with advisers in both Schools for guidance ahead of each enrollment period. For complete information on current MPP degree requirements, please also see the Goldman School of Public Policy MPP Core Curriculum.

Specialized Practice Curriculum

MSW students in the MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program pursue courses and field education in the MSW specialization area of Strengthening Organizations and Communities (SOC). A sample plan of study showing the typical program curriculum sequence for the MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree is available on the departmental webpage for the SOC specialization.

Master’s Capstone Requirement

Students in the MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree program must complete a combined Master’s Project that follows the format of the MPP’s Advanced Policy Analysis (APA) Project. Students enroll in the following required courses to complete the capstone project:

  • PUB POL 205: Advanced Policy Analysis - Thesis Seminar (6 units)

  • PUB POL 299: Advanced Policy Analysis - Thesis Independent Study (3 units)

A faculty advisor from each School must endorse the project topic and will evaluate the final project according to the academic standards established by the faculty for both programs. Students work closely with faculty advisers from both schools to jointly develop a capstone APA project reflecting each student's professional and intellectual interests.

Completing Field Education Requirements in the MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program

In addition to completing the generalist and specialized field education curriculum required for the MSW degree, Social Welfare MSW students in the MSW/MPP Concurrent Degree Program also complete a required MPP Policy Internship. Concurrent degree students typically complete the 10 week, full-time summer MPP internship after completing the first year MPP core curriculum. Students work closely with faculty and field consultant advisers from both schools to jointly plan a social work field placement that also satisfies the public policy internship requirement. Concurrent degree students should discuss MSW fieldwork placement with their assigned Social Welfare Field Consultant early on in the program.