Master of Social Work / Master of Public Health


Mission Statement

The combined Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees are offered through the collaboration of the Tulane School of Social Work (SOWK) and the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM). Through this program, a student can prepare for a career in social work as well as receive training in the methods and practice of public health. The student enrolled in this program will receive an MPH in Community Health Sciences and an MSW. The flexibility resulting from both degrees allows the student to fill a professional role in the planning, management and delivery of human services within communities and public health organizations.  


Program Description

This joint-degree program is designed for those wishing to pursue a career that emphasizes family and child health. This program requires completion of 86 credits: 71 credits in coursework (minimum of 35 from SPHTM and 36 from SOWK) and 15 credit hours in field instruction. The program begins in the fall semester and takes at least five continuous semesters (including the summer). In the beginning of the program students take courses primarily in social work, and as the semesters progress students take an increasing proportion of their courses in the school of public health. In the last semester students take all of their courses in public health.  


Program Competencies

It is expected that students will acquire the core public health competencies through successful completion of the school core courses. The expected terminal knowledge and skills provided by the program and expected of the student in Community Health Sciences will vary by student because of the self-direction inherent in this program.  It is expected, however, with the guidance by an advisor, that students will be well-versed in planning and evaluating community programs (GCHB 6110 and GCHB 6120), have the knowledge and skills required for community-based work, and obtain hands-on experience in community-based work.

Upon completion of the program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Incorporate knowledge of the Public Health core areas of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health systems management, and the biological, social, and cultural aspects of health and disease in addressing and solving problems. (EPID 6030; BIOS 6030; GEHS 6030; GHSD 6030; TRMD 6010; GCHB 6030)
  2. Assess individual and community needs for public health programs. (GCHB Courses: 6110, 6120, 7130, 6610, 6750, 6270; SOWK 7410)
  3. Demonstrate competence in planning community-based public health programs and research projects. (GCHB Courses: 6110, 7130, 6210, 6270, 6750)
  4. Implement and manage preventive strategies, interventions and programs at the community level. (GCHB Courses: 6030, 6110, 6210; SOWK Courses: 7310, 7320, 7330)
  5. Acquire the ability to identify and use various methods of evaluating community-based public health programs. (GCHB Courses: 6120, 7130, 6750; SOWK Courses: 7410, 7430)
  6. Communicate and advocate for community health programs and policies. (GCHB Courses: 6100, 6120, 7130, 6140, 6210, 6220, 6260, 6270, 6770; SOWK Courses: 7310, 7320, 7330)
  7. Serve as a resource person for community-based programs in public health. (GCHB Courses: 6030, 6120, 6140 )
  8. Promote cultural competence within diverse community settings. (GCHB Courses: 6030, 6100, 6460, 6140, 6510; SOWK 7120)
  9. Utilize clinical social work skills to affect individual and community health behavior change. (SOWK Courses: 7310, 7320, 7330)

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements of the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine:

  1. Admission to the Tulane School of Social Work
  2. Acceptance into the SPHTM program no later than the beginning of the second semester of study.

The prospective student must apply to and be accepted separately by each of the two schools, the Tulane School of Social Work and the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The point of entry into this dual degree program is through enrollment in the School of Social Work in the fall semester. Statement of intent to study for both degrees and acceptance by the SPHTM should preferably occur prior to the fall semester but must occur no later than at time of registration for the spring semester of the following year. MSW and MPH courses are taken concurrently. Details regarding the SPHTM application process can be found at  


Program Requirements

A total of 45 credits will be required at the SPHTM, with 10 credits applied from approved coursework at the School of Social Work.

SPH School Core Courses (18 credits):

BIOS 6030

Introduction to Biostatistics


GEHS 6030

Survey of Environmental Health Sciences


EPID 6030

Epidemiologic Methods I


GHSD 6030

Introduction to Health Systems, Management and Policy


TRMD 6010

Biological Basis of Health and Disease


GCHB 6030

Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health


GCHB Core Requirements (6 or 9 credits):

GCHB 6110

Planning of Health Education Programs





GCHB 6330

Design and Implementation of Global Health Programs


GCHB 6120

Monitoring & Evaluation of Health Education and
Communication Programs





GCHB 6270

Monitoring of Program Interventions in Global Health





GCHB 6200

Evaluation of Program Interventions in Global Health


MPH in Community Health Sciences Requirements (minimum 11 credits):
At least four (4) courses in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences selected from courses in the Nutrition, Health Education and Communications, or Maternal and Child Health sections within the department.

MSW Applied Credits (9-10 Credits):


SOWK 7120

Social Welfare History and Policy


SOWK 7310

Methods I: Relationship-Centered Methods for Social Work Practice


SOWK 7320

Methods II: Clinical-Community Practice Methods


SOWK 7330

Advanced Methods for Clinical-Community Practice


SOWK 7410

Tools for Learning and Practice I: Evidence-Based Social Work Practice




Total Credits SPHTM =



Applied Credits SOWK =





Sample Course Schedule

View a sample course schedule



The SOWK requires a 990 hour Field Practicum (330 hours x 3 semesters), which also serves to meet the SPHTM Practicum requirement. This practicum must contain a public health component (for example, population-based and prevention-oriented program planning, intervention, and/or evaluation). The description and specific requirements of the practicum, as well as all important deadlines are detailed in the Practicum Handbook, which can be found on the Students' Policies, Guidelines, and Forms page.

Examples of previous student experiences include:

Prior to SPH graduation, MSW/MPH students must complete the following items, all of which are described in the SPHTM Practicum Handbook, which should reflect the student’s experience with the practicum:

  1. Form E
  2. Abstract
  3. Report (5 pages)
  4. APHA-grade poster for GCHB poster day

Culminating Experience

Students in the Department of Community Health Sciences can choose one of two options for their culminating experience:

  1. Culminating Examination
    The Comprehensive Examination consists of two parts: Part A – a school-wide examination based on core competencies, as well as cross-cutting competencies, established by the American Schools of Public Health; and Part B – a departmental-specific examination based on principles and concepts of Community Health Sciences, as covered in the required departmental core courses.

  2. Public Health Analysis
    The Public Health Analysis is an in-depth written report that considers a topic of relevance to public health practice. It involves a thorough review of the literature, discussion, and recommendations for public health policy and practice. The content and format of the report are described in school and departmental guideline documents.  

Please visit the links below for details:

PHA Sample 1

PHA Sample 2

School of Social Work Website

School of Public Health Policies, Guidelines, and Forms for Students

For more information: contact Cathy Taylor,, 504.988.5391




GCHB, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2210, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-5391