Dual Degree MSW/MPH

Global Health Systems and Development (GHSD)

with concentrations in International Health Programs or Medical Organizations and Systems

Mission Statement

A combined Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees is offered through the collaboration of the Tulane School of Social Work (SSW) and the Department of Global Health Systems and Development (GHSD) in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM). Through this program, a student can prepare for a career in social work as well as receive training in the methods and practice of public health in two areas: International Health Programs or Medical Organizations and Systems. The flexibility resulting from both degrees allows the student to fill a professional role in the planning, management and delivery of human services within communities and public health organizations.

MSW/MPH - GHSD Program Description

The 83 credit requirement includes 36 Social Work credits, 32 Public Health credits and a combined 15 hours of field. During semesters 2, 3, and 4, students must complete a 990 hour practicum that includes 250 hours of a public health component. The 83 credits also include a social work Capstone Professional Project and a public health Culminating Experience (exam or public health analysis).

Students in the joint MSW/MPH through the Department of Global Health Systems and Development will complete requirements for either the International Health Programs or Medical Organizations and Systems concentration. These concentrations complement social work curricula for students who anticipate working as program managers and directors.

The program begins in the fall semester and takes at least five continuous semesters, including the summer. In the beginning of the program, students take courses primarily in social work, and as the semesters progress students take an increasing proportion of their courses in the school of public health. In the last semester students take all of their courses in public health. It is helpful, though not required, if you can take BIOS 6030 Introductory Bio Statistics the summer before you officially begin the program.

Program Requirements

Completion of the dual degree requires the following credit hours:






School Core Required




Department Core Required






Field (250 hrs. in PH field)





83 credit hrs.

Req'd if Degrees Separate

45 hours

60 hours

105 credit hrs.

Students should meet with their respective advisors in both the School of Social Work and Department of Global Health Systems and Development to review course requirements and map out the best plan to suit their specific career interests.

Admission Requirements

The prospective student must apply to and be accepted separately by each of the two schools, the Tulane School of Social Work and the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Note: the GRE is required for the SPHTM. We strongly urge students to apply to SPHTM before beginning the MSW in the Fall, but application to the SPHTM can be made no later than October 15th for the spring semester. Students who begin the MPH in their second term may require an additional semester to finish all required coursework. The following guidelines are for MSW students who intend to apply to the SPHTM:

  • All students interested in the MSW/MPH dual degree program must apply to the 2 programs separately.
  • Applications should be completed to the SPHTM via SOPHAS preferably before the Fall semester but no later than October 15.
  • On SOPHAS, applicants should be sure to indicate which SPHTM department you are applying to: GCHB or GHSD.
  • On the SOPHAS application, there is no place to flag oneself as a dual degree applicant. So, please be sure to tell Cindy Sykes (SSW) if you do apply to the dual degree program.
  • The GRE is required for admittance to SPHTM.

A sample course schedule for the 2-year MSW/MPH program, for students beginning both programs concurrently in the fall term, may be downloaded here. 

Additional Requirements

Students must fulfill several additional degree requirements:

  • Practicum: The SSW requires a 990 hour Field Practicum (330 hours x 3 semesters).  250 of these hours may be used to meet the SPHTM-GHSD Practicum requirement, provided those 250 work hours are invested in public health oriented activities (for example, population-based and prevention-oriented program planning, intervention, and/or evaluation).  Both the SSW and SPH GHSD have specific learning goals and requirements that students must fulfill and document regarding their practicum.  Information about the GHSD requirements may be found in the student practicum handbook, information about the SSW requirements may be obtained through the School of Social Work Field Handbook.

  • Culminating Experience: The SPH GHSD department requires students to choose one of two options for their culminating experience, either complete a Public Health Analysis or take a Comprehensive Examination.  Information about these requirements may be found at the GHSD web site.

  • Capstone Professional Project: SSW students are required to produce a body of work that extends what they have learned in coursework into a practical application for social work practice, referred to as the Professional Project, or Capstone Project.  The format of the project is shaped by students' interests and abilities, and is presented during a poster session held during the last weeks of the fourth semester.  Information about these requirements may be found at the School of Social Work web site

For more information

Tulane School of Social Work, 127 Elk Place, New Orleans, La. 70112  1-800-631-8234