The realms of social services and law overlap each other on a daily basis. The joint JD/MSW program prepares you to effectively navigate both, pairing legal expertise with crisis intervention skills to serve the combined legal and social needs of vulnerable individuals, families and communities.

Program Overview

The Juris Doctor/Masters of Social Work (JD/MSW) joint degree program builds the diverse tool set needed for you not only to represent the marginalized and disadvantaged, but to lead the charge for social justice. Completion of these degrees open doors to careers beyond traditional social work. You’ll possess the theory and practical expertise to take on leadership roles in many fields, including public interest law and public policy, government administration, nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship.

Through a rich collection of courses and field experiences, you’ll learn how to work within the legal system and various social service institutions to advocate for clients more effectively, or advance social policy reform. 

The joint JD/MSW program enables you to complete both degrees in as few as four years instead of the five years required to complete them separately. And the joint degree program is designed to be flexible: You can begin with either your JD or MSW studies, depending on your career goals and interests.

Courses of Study

You may begin your study in either the JD or the MSW. Both options are outlined below. 

Beginning with the JD

Year

Courses    

Credits

Year 1

JD required first-year curriculum

30 credits

Year 1 Summer

Students may earn law credits during the first summer

Year 2

MSW Foundation Curriculum
Up to nine of these credits will count towards the law degree

30 credits

Year 2 Summer

Students may earn law credits during the second summer

Year 3

JD upper-level curriculum, including all other graduation requirements
Six of these credits will count towards the MSW degree    

30 credits

Year 3 Summer

Students may earn law credits during the third summer, if needed

Year 4

MSW advanced curriculum
Some of these credits may count towards the law degree if the student has not already taken 9 such credits in year 2

30 credits

Year 4 Summer or Fall

Students may complete any remaining law credits and requirements

Beginning with the MSW

Year

Courses    

Credits

Year 1

MSW foundation curriculum
Up to nine of these credits will count towards the law degree if you have already applied and been accepted to the law school.

30 credits

Year 1 Summer

Students may not earn summer law credits before completing the first year law curriculum.

Year 2

JD required first-year curriculum

30 credits

Year 2 Summer

Students may earn law credits during the second summer.

Year 3

MSW Advanced Curriculum
Some of these credits may count towards the law degree if the student has not already taken nine such credits in year 1.

30 credits

Year 3 Summer

Students may earn law credits during the third summer.

Year 4

JD upper-level curriculum, including all other graduation requirements
Six of these credits will count towards the MSW degree.

30 credits

Year 4 Summer or Fall

Students may complete any remaining law credits and requirements

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