This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2021-2022 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program accreditation
Council on Education for Public Health (M.P.H.)
Council on Social Work Education (M.S.W.)

To qualify as a dual degree student in any of the training paradigms which appear in the Bulletin, a student must have evidence of having been simultaneously enrolled in one or more courses of both of the programs constituting the “dual degree” for at least one semester.

Through a collaborative program between the VCU School of Social Work and the Division of Epidemiology in the School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, students complete a three-year full-time program of study, including summer course work, to obtain the Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degrees. The purpose of this dual degree program is to prepare graduates to work with individuals, families, groups, communities and/or organizations; advocate for social, health care and economic justice in a diverse and multicultural society; and promote physical and mental health across the life course.

Prospective students are required to apply separately to both programs through the appropriate application portal indicated in the admission requirements section of this Bulletin and must meet both sets of admission requirements. Once admitted to both programs, the student is assigned an adviser from each to develop a plan of study, typically starting with the M.S.W. course work. It is preferable that students apply to both programs at the same time so that the structured dual degree curriculum can be optimally planned. Students in one program may also apply to the second program during the first year of study.

Dual degree efficiencies

Students are required to complete a minimum of 45 M.S.W. credit hours and a minimum of 37 M.P.H. credit hours for the dual degree program. In the M.P.H. program, the curriculum includes 25 credit hours of core and required courses, a minimum of nine credit hours in the applied public health concentration and a minimum of three credit hours of a capstone project that examines a relevant public health topic. These courses within the M.S.W. curriculum count toward the M.P.H. degree:

SLWK 601Human Behavior in the Social Environment I3
SLWK 606Policy, Community and Organizational Practice II3
SLWK 793Concentration Field Instruction I3

These courses within the M.P.H. curriculum count toward the M.S.W. degree:

BIOS 544Graduate Research Methods II3
EPID 571Principles of Epidemiology3
EPID 600Introduction to Public Health3
EPID 622Maternal and Child Health3

If students were to complete both degrees independently, a minimum total of 105 graduate credit hours would be required.

Note that some elective courses may not be available in certain years or may require instructor permission for registration. During the third and last year of study, dual degree students are placed in internships through the School of Social Work that focus on public health; the internship placement is approved by both the M.P.H. program director and the director of the M.S.W. field instruction. With adviser approval, the student may develop a capstone project based on work in this public health/social work placement.