Council on Education for Public Health (M.P.H.)
Council on Social Work Education (M.S.W.)
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.
Students are required to complete a minimum of 45 M.S.W. credit hours and a minimum of 36 M.P.H. credit hours, for a total of 81 semester credit hours. In the M.P.H. program, this includes 24 credit hours of core and required courses, a minimum nine credit hours of elective courses and a minimum of three credit hours of a capstone project that examines a relevant public health topic. 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.
VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs
The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.
It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.
Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.
Degree candidacy requirements
A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.
Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.
As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.
Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.
School of Medicine graduate program policies
The School of Medicine provides policies applicable to all programs administratively housed in the school. Information on master’s programs is available elsewhere in this chapter of the Graduate Bulletin.
Please review the admission requirements for each stand-alone degree (Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work) in the VCU Graduate Bulletin to learn the specific application requirements for each program.
|BIOS 543||Graduate Research Methods I||3|
|BIOS 544||Graduate Research Methods II||3|
|EPID 547||Applied Data Analysis Lab I||1.5|
|EPID 548||Applied Data Analysis Lab II||1.5|
|EPID 571||Principles of Epidemiology||3|
|EPID 580||Public Health Ethics||1|
|EPID 593||MPH Practicum I||2|
|EPID 604||Principles of Environmental Health||3|
|EPID 694||MPH Capstone Project||1-6|
|HCPR 601||Introduction to Health Policy||3|
|SBHD 605||Introduction to Social and Behavioral Health||3|
|SLWK 601||Human Behavior in the Social Environment I||3|
|SLWK 602||Policy, Community and Organizational Practice I||3|
|SLWK 603||Social Work and Social Justice||3|
|SLWK 604||Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups I||3|
|SLWK 605||Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups II||3|
|SLWK 606||Policy, Community and Organizational Practice II||3|
|SLWK 609||Foundations of Research in Social Work Practice||3|
|SLWK 610||Human Behavior in the Social Environment II||3|
|SLWK 693||Foundation Field Instruction I||3|
|SLWK 694||Foundation Field Instruction II||3|
|Select one of the following concentrations:||9|
|M.S.W. clinical concentration:|
|Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders|
|Clinical Social Work Practice I|
|Clinical Social Work Practice II|
|M.S.W. SWAPPP concentration:|
|Strategies for Social Work Planning and Administrative Practice|
|Social Work Planning and Administrative Practice I|
|Social Work Planning and Administrative Practice II|
|SLWK 793||Concentration Field Instruction I||3|
|SLWK 794||Concentration Field Instruction II||3|
|Select a minimum of nine graduate elective credits from the following:||9|
|Design Implications in Clinical Trials|
|Introduction to Public Health|
|Contemporary Issues and Controversies in Public Health|
|Public Health Policy and Politics|
|Maternal and Child Health|
|Chronic Disease Epidemiology|
|Epidemiology of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders|
|Introduction to Grant Writing|
|Problems, Issues and Trends in Gerontology|
|Contemporary Issues in Health|
|Exercise, Nutrition and Weight Management|
|Nutrition for Health and Physical Activity|
|Psychology of Physical Activity|
|Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity|
|Introduction to Human Genetics|
|Advanced Human Genetics|
|Principles of Human Behavioral Genetics|
|Emergency Management: Response Planning and Incident Command|
|Public Health Preparedness|
|Theoretical Foundations of Social and Behavioral Health|
|Health Disparities and Social Justice|
|Community-based Participatory Research|
|Domestic and Sexual Violence in Social Context|
|Aging and the Minority Community|
|Seminar in Population Studies|
|Seminar in Racial and Ethnic Relations in America|
|Studies in the Community|
|Seminar in Criminology|
|Community and Community Services for the Elderly|
|Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence: Medical Practice and Policy|
|Application of the Policy Process to Issues of Violence|
|Social Contexts of Childhood and Violence|
|Theorizing Gender Violence|
|The Sociology of Health and Illness|
|Introduction to Geographic Information Systems|
|Introduction to Geographic Information Systems|
|Community Socioeconomic Analysis Using GIS|
|Spatial Database Management and GIS Modeling|
Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) for combined M.P.H./M.S.W. 81
Typical plan of study
Many students often end up taking more than the minimum number of hours required for a degree program. The total number of hours may vary depending upon the program, nature of research being conducted by a study, or in the enrollment or funding status of the student. Students should refer to their program websites and talk with their graduate program directors or advisers for information about typical plans of study and registration requirements.
Graduate program directors
Saba Masho, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Associate professor, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
Sarah K. Price, Ph.D.
M.S.W./M.P.H. combined program coordinator
Lisa S. Anderson, M.P.H.
Director of educational programs, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
Program websites: familymedicine.vcu.edu/education/graduate/dual-degrees and socialwork.vcu.edu