The University of South Florida offers a concurrent degree program with a clinical social work concentration combined with a public health concentration in either Maternal & Child Health OR Behavioral Health. The MSW and the MPH programs were developed as mandated by the Florida legislature to respond to the public health and social welfare needs of the state. The concurrent degree program was initiated in 1986 and produced its first graduate in 1988.
Social Work is an essential component of both maternal and child health as well as behavioral health. The combination of degrees in public health and social work ideally equips graduate students to prepare for careers in both social work and public health settings with the ability to fill clinical, administrative, and evaluative roles, which positively affect the lives of women, children, and various populations-at-risk in a changing society.
For social work students seeking the concurrent degree, expanded study in public health encourages a well-balanced macro-micro orientation to clinical practice. Such expansion can equip the social work student with specific skills that result in comprehensive and effective client interventions in health care settings. The fundamental methodological tools of public health, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and health management and evaluation, further assist the social worker in targeting the needs of individuals and communities. The MPH/MSW concurrent degree program is a two-and-a-half to three year, full-time course of study.
The MPH with a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Concentration prepares health professionals and individuals in related fields for leadership roles in community based organizations that focus on major public health problems of women, children and families, especially among culturally diverse and underserved populations. Using multidisciplinary approaches, students develop analytical, advocacy, programmatic and evaluative skills to address health disparities, and to emphasize health promotion and disease prevention among populations in need. Areas of programmatic focus include child health, women's health, childhood injury, family and community violence, children with special needs, and others. (Contact is Martha Coulter, MSW, DrPH, email firstname.lastname@example.org). Find the MCH concentration at Maternal and Child Health MPH
The MPH with a Behavioral Health (BH) Concentration is concerned with the study of mental disorders and substance disorders in community populations. The focus areas include children's mental health services, community-based prevention, evaluation and accountability, evidence-based practice in behavioral health, homelessness, multicultural issues in mental health, and epidemiologic issues in mental disorders, including co-occurring disorders. (Contact is Bruce Levin, MPH, DrPH, email email@example.com). Find the Behavioral Health concentration at Behavioral Health MPH
It is recommended that students take some Public Health courses prior to admission to the concurrent degree program. This reduces stress related to logistical conflicts in course scheduling. These courses can be taken prior to full admission to the College of Public Health and before acceptance to the concurrent degree as the College of Public Health allows students to transfer in a maximum of 12 credits taken before admittance to a course of study. Students who have been admitted to the College of Public Health may elect to take core courses in public health in the summer prior to matriculation in full coursework.
There are no required prerequisites in the MCH or the BH concentration.
Social Work advanced standing students may also wish to take public health courses the fall before social work courses begin. It is recommended that students take two of the Public Health Core Courses immediately upon admission: Most public health core courses are available online every semester.
Two options: Students currently have two options for entering the concurrent masters program. In each case, students must gain admissions to both the School of Social Work and College of Public Health. A third option, simultaneous admission to both the schools, is currently not available, but discussions are underway and may become available in the future.
First option: A School of Social Work student applying to the College of Public Health
Second option: A College of Public Health student applying to the School of Social Work
Important Note about option 1 and 2: In choosing which program to apply to first, students should take into consideration the following: Requirements in Social Work for admission are different from those in Public Health; admission to one program does not guarantee admission to the other; and of course, the student should consider her or his individual interests and career plans.
Third option (currently not available but discussions are under way and may open up in the future): A student applying simultaneously to both the School of Social Work and College of Public Health.
Admission requirements for MSW
NOTE: Social work students who are interested in becoming concurrent master's students should apply to the Public Health portion of the concurrent degree program during their first semester and before starting their research project or field placement. It is possible to enter during the second semester but when beginning the research project in social work, the Public Health advisor should be consulted. Failure to do so may lead to additional course work. To maintain good academic standing, a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in each program is required.
Admission requirements for MPH
Students applying to the College of Public Health need to apply through SOPHAS (see the college of Public Health Admissions page at http://health.usf.edu/publichealth/degreereqs.html). Applications are currently accepted every semester.
To be considered for admission, a first-time graduate student or a student transferring from another graduate program should meet the following minimum College of Public Health criteria:
- Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited university.
- All applicants, except those with advanced degrees requesting a waiver as noted below, must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or an equivalent measure approved by the Board of Regents within five years preceding application.
- MPH requirements include an earned "B" average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better in all work attempted while registered as an upper division (baccalaureate degree) student OR a minimum GRE Verbal score of 58th percentile and minimum GRE Quantitative score of 25th percentile.
MSW Course Work
Please refer to the following link for details on course work for the Master of Social Work Program: http://socialwork.cbcs.usf.edu/masters/coursework.cfm
MPH Course Work
Course Substitutions and Waivers
Decisions about course substitutions and waivers will be made on a case by case basis.