Dual Master of Social Work – Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH)

Lessons Learned from Program Development and Implementation in a Southeastern University


  • Patricia M. Reeves University of Georgia School of Social Work
  • Trina Colleen Salm Ward University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4470-0220




MSW/MPH, public health social work, dual degree, joint degree


While there has been a proliferation of MSW/MPH programs concurrent with dramatic changes in the U.S. health system, there is minimal research on these programs. The purpose of this article is to describe the conceptualization, development, and implementation of an innovative MSW/MPH program at a southeastern university—the only such program in the state. Our goal as the first two directors of the program, serving consecutively, is to share knowledge and offer “lessons learned” for universities seeking to develop or enhance an MSW/MPH program, as well as agencies interested in forming collaborative partnerships. “Lessons learned” include the importance of strong ongoing communication among all MSW/MPH stakeholders, thoughtful consideration of the time demands associated with the program director’s role, viewing a developmental evaluation plan as a critical component for success, and recognizing the benefits of purposeful linkages between the two disciplines.

Author Biography

Trina Colleen Salm Ward, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Helen Bader School of Social Welfare


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