MSW MBA Dual Degree


Most universities that offer a dual degree program require admissions to both graduate schools in order to enroll. That means you face two sets of undergraduate requirements and in some cases that can be a challenge. The MSW/MBA combination is one of them. The admissions "recommendations" for academic background are very different.

There is also going to be a mix of undergraduate prerequisites, as the two areas of study utilize very different academic tools. The MBA program is going to require some background in computer information systems, statistics, calculus, and in very short order knowledge of several finance-oriented software programs. The MSW program on the other hand will want to see an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, several units of social science classes, and possibly a course or two in psychology.

Program Purpose

The overall concept at some universities is to provide business skills to professionals in the social services sector. The concept is a good one; so many social work programs are publicly funded that money management falls into the public budget model which can be constricting and limit planning options. Applying business training to the management of a social services agency is a big step towards improving those services. Conversely, in-depth training in human characteristics and social models can be of great value to the business manager who has taken his MBA into the impersonal environment of corporate earnings.

Course Management

All dual degree programs have some sort of melding, even though they are joint efforts taught by faculty members from different departments and disciplines. Some schools credit a few classes to both degrees; some reduce academic requirements for one degree or another or both, and some take a parallel track approach. Both the MBA and the MSW are two year programs where year one provides the academic underpinnings, and year two is devoted to upper level courses and field work or internships. At Boston College the dual degree student takes the first year for each program in sequence. The third year of the program is devoted to a blend of classes from each school and a lot of field work/group project efforts, in the first instance for the MSW and in the second for the MBA.

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