UGA School of Social Work and College of Public Health partner in M.S.W./M.P.H. dual degree

October 6, 2011

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Athens, Ga. - The University of Georgia School of Social Work and College of Public Health have partnered to offer a new dual degree program, which combines the master of social work and master of public health degrees. Initiated this fall, the new degree is the first of its kind at a university or college in the state of Georgia.
"Social work and public health share a commitment to social justice, and this dual degree unites the focus of social work intervention at the individual level, with the public health focus of prevention at the population level," said Trisha Reeves, associate professor in the School of Social Work and chair of the dual degree program task committee. "At the present time, there are only four universities in the southeast with a dual degree program in social work and public health."
In a competitive job market, having this dual degree is expected to give recipients a better opportunity in gaining employment, according to Reeves. She pointed to a recent online edition of U.S. News & World Report, which identified medical and public health social work as one of the "50 Best Careers of 2011," with medical and public health social work expected to rise more than 22 percent, a rate faster than most careers in the coming decade. The dual degree program will prepare graduates to address the psychosocial needs of individuals, families and communities at local, state, national and international levels, as well as prepare them to create, implement and evaluate public health programs and interventions.
"Our dual degree program represents the culmination of a three-year effort to design what we believe will be an exemplary educational opportunity for social work and public health graduate students," said Reeves. "We are deeply grateful to colleagues at universities with existing dual degree programs, including those at UGA's five aspirational universities with these programs, whose experience and counsel shaped the design of our program."
"The School of Social Work is proud to partner with the College of Public Health to offer this valuable joint degree program," said Maurice C. Daniels, dean of the School of Social Work. "We are excited to be the first university in Georgia to offer this program and to produce graduates who can take on more versatile roles in social work and public health in our state and beyond."
"While public health carries out its mission through population-based studies and social work focuses more on assisting the needs of the individual, our two programs overlap in addressing social health problems," said Phillip L. Williams, dean of the College of Public Health. "The M.S.W./M.P.H. degree will allow us to leverage the teaching, research and outreach agendas of both schools to provide enhanced interdisciplinary training for students."
The School of Social Work and College of Public Health will work in partnership to implement the program, and applicants must meet the admissions requirements of both programs. Students who are admitted to both programs can complete the degrees in seven consecutive semesters. For more information, contact Reeves at reevesp@uga.edu or call 706/542-5451.
For more information on the School of Social Work, see http://www.ssw.uga.edu.
For more information on the College of Public Health, see http://www.publichealth.uga.edu/.
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