This is everything you need to know about getting a master’s degree in both social work and business administration. Both an MSW and an MBA are very useful degrees that go well together.
An MSW focuses on high-level social work concepts and practices and is often used as a stepping stone to clinical licensure, while an MBA focuses on business administration and teaches the holder how to be a good leader and manager.
With this kind of dual degree, people will be able to lead and manage a wide range of organizations, from corporations to non-profits. In general, MSW/MBA dual degrees require between 80 and 90 credits, which are split between the two programs.
Depending on the university, they can be earned in one year, two years, or three years. The MBA part of the degree may also offer multiple internships, while the MSW will require some hours of clinical practice in addition to classroom work.
How to Get an MSW or MBA Degree
1. Before you sign up for a degree program, do a lot of research.
Coursework and specific requirements for MSW/MBA dual degree program can vary a lot, but the total number of credits usually won’t be less than 80. For example, Kennesaw State University wants you to have 84 credit hours.
Depending on how strong their home departments are, some programs may put more weight on the MSW or the MBA. Most MSW/MBA degrees, on the other hand, tend to focus more on business administration because it is the more flexible of the two.
2. Talk to colleges and universities that offer MSW/MBA programs.
Colleges and universities are well-prepared to answer specific questions about the requirements for their dual degree program. Ask specific questions about scholarships, how much tuition costs, and how flexible the schedule is.
Make sure that any MSW program you enroll in is CSWE-accredited. This means that it has been reviewed by the Council on Social Work Education and will be accepted if you want to get a license to practice clinical social work.
3. Check all degree requirements.
Again, the requirements for an MSW/MBA dual degree are usually around 90 credits, with most of the credits going to the MBA. But this isn’t always the case, and some schools might only have programs in person or online.
4. Get ready for the process of getting in.
Many MSW/MBA dual degree programs are very competitive and may require high GPAs or other things like business experience or hours of social work experience.
5. Once you’ve made up your mind, fill out an application for the program you want.
Keep in mind that application windows that are too small or too short are very common, especially for a dual degree program. Make sure to submit your application before any deadlines that may apply to your case. Most of the time, you also have to pay an application fee, which can be anywhere from $30 to $100.
6. Make sure you can afford the program in question.
Some MSW/MBA dual degree programs are cheaper than others. In general, programs from larger colleges tend to be more expensive, while programs from smaller colleges tend to be cheaper. Check for internships and scholarships, too, because these can help you pay for or get rid of your tuition.
7. While you are in the program, don’t forget to use the professional connections you make.
This is especially true for the MBA part of a program that leads to two degrees. Most of the time, these programs include social connections and networking opportunities. These can help you get a job after college or help your career grow in the future.
Prospects for MSW/MBA Degree Holders
A person with both an MSW and an MBA will have a huge range of career options. The MBA can open a lot of doors in a lot of business and business-related fields, while the MSW can help a person run or lead some nonprofits or social work teams.
After getting an MSW, a person can get a clinical license by putting in a certain number of hours in the field. Different states have different rules about how many hours and other things you need to do to get a clinical license.
But once a person has a license, they can open their social work practice and work as, for example, a therapist or counselor.
Here is a short list of some of the jobs you can get with an MSW and an MBA:
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average salary for a social worker is just over $50,000 per year. But social workers who want to specialize can become marriage and family therapists or social and community service managers, who can make an average of $67,000 per year.
- These people need nonprofits and social work groups to help them, and these groups often play important roles in their local communities. They can help come up with and put into place social work practices that can make changes on a large scale.
- The MBA part of this dual degree can lead to many different kinds of management jobs in many different fields. For example, people with a degree can become administrative service managers, who usually make close to $100,000 a year.
- Or, they could become human resources managers, who make an average of over $116,000 per year.
- Still others might decide to become top executives and run their businesses or move up in the ranks of companies they already work for. Usually, salaries are well over $100,000 per year, but with the right strategy and experience, they can soar into the millions.
Overall, an MSW/MBA dual degree is a valuable and useful credential that can help a person’s career in many ways.
MSW and MBA Dual Degree Admission Requirements.
Because these degrees are so valuable, the program that leads to them is also very difficult, and every university has strict rules about who can join. Even though the exact requirements can vary, you can expect to see things like the following as you move through the application process:
- Most likely, all of these programs will require a bachelor’s degree in business, social work, or a field that is at least somewhat related. That’s because applicants for both degrees need to have some background or foundational knowledge.
- There are two options at the University of Buffalo: a three-year program for people who already have a bachelor’s degree in something else or a two-year program for people who already have a bachelor’s degree in social work.
- Applicants may have to take foundational classes in either business or social work, depending on what their degree is in.
- Many programs won’t let you in if your GPA is below 3.0.
- Most programs need between one and three letters of recommendation from former teachers or business managers. Most MBA programs also require that you have work experience.
- But some MSW/MBA dual degree programs will let people in with just a little bit of real work experience if they had a good internship record in college.