Campus News

New dual degree program is first of its kind in state

The School of Social Work and the College of Public Health have partnered to offer a 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 in the state.

“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 that identified medical and public health social work as one of the “50 best careers of 2011.”

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.”

Social work and 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.