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 SPHTM. 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

The prospective student must apply to and be accepted separately by each of the two schools, SOWK and SPHTM. In addition to the general admission requirements of SPHTM, the student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Admission to the SOWK
  2. Acceptance into the SPHTM program no later than the beginning of the second semester of study with the SOWK. 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.


Program Requirements

MSW and MPH courses are taken concurrently.  A total of 45 credits will be required at the SPHTM, with 10 credits applied from approved coursework at the School of Social Work. Students completing the MSW/MPH in Community Health Sciences will complete the following requirements:      

            SPHTM core curriculum: 15 credits
            CHS Foundation courses (6-9 credits)
            CHS Foundational skills applications courses (11-12 credits)
            Elective courses: Applied from MSW program (10 credits)
            Additional elective courses: (0-3 credits)
            Total: 45 credits


           The practicum provides an opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom.

     Culminating Experience

           The culminating experience integrates core and program knowledge and skills.


Course Requirements

SPH School Core Courses (15 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


GCHB 6030

Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health


GCHB Core Requirements (6 or 9 credits):

Option A: GCHB 6110

Planning of Health Education Programs





 Option B: GCHB 6330

Design and Implementation of Global Health Programs


Option A: GCHB 6120

Monitoring & Evaluation of Health Education and
Communication Programs





Option B: GCHB 6270

Monitoring of Program Interventions in Global Health





                 GCHB 6200

Evaluation of Program Interventions in Global Health



CHS Foundational Skills Application Coursework (11-12 credits):

Students will work with their advisor to choose at least 11-12 hours of coursework (and at least 4 courses) from the approved courses offered by the Dept. of Global Community health and Behavioral Sciences to apply the skills they learned from the foundational courses, with the goal of including courses with at least 2 learning objectives related to the program planning skills and at least 2 learning objectives related to monitoring and evaluation skills. CHS program advisors can provide more details.

For the current list of approved Foundational Skills Applications courses, click here.

For the Foundational Skills Applications tracking form for Program Planning, click here.

For the Foundational Skills Applications tracking for Monitoring and Evaluation, click here.

Electives :  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


Other Requirements (0 credits)

SPHL 7950 Culminating Experience (0 credits)

SPHL 9980 Practicum (300 hours minimum)(0 credits)






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).  In order to meet the SPHTM Practicum requirement, 300 hours of this practicum must contain a public health component (for example, population-based and prevention-oriented program planning, intervention, and/or evaluation) and be approved by your MPH advisor. Learn more about the specific requirements of the SPHTM portion of the practicum in the SPHTM field Practicum Handbook.

Examples of previous student experiences include:

Culminating Experience

 All students at Tulane SPHTM must complete a Culminating Experience. For the MSW/MPH CHS program, the experience 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 the Culminating Experience Handbook.

For more information, contact: Rosie Chavez |  504.988.6596 | Tidewater, Suite 2210

For more information: contact Cathy Taylor,, 504.988.5391




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