Master of Science in Social Work

The Law School and the School of Social Work offer a dual degree program leading to two graduate degrees: the Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) and the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW). The dual degree program allows students to integrate the conceptual frameworks, knowledge bases, and practice skills of both professions into a unified program that will enhance their preparation for practice in today’s increasingly complex legal and social service environments.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn both degrees in four academic years, rather than the five years it would take to complete each degree separately. In general, students will progress through the dual degree curriculum by completing either school’s first-year course sequence during their first year, completing the other school’s first-year course sequence during their second year, and then taking additional requirements, electives, and specialized courses during the subsequent two years. Both degrees are awarded when all requirements of the dual degree program have been met.

School of Law

The Law School’s first-year curriculum includes six one-term four-unit substantive law courses: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts. One of these six courses will include a writing component, which adds a unit of credit to the course. The rest of the first-year curriculum includes Legal Analysis and Communication (3 units) in the fall, Persuasive Writing and Advocacy (2 units) in the spring, and an optional elective course of 2-3 units in the spring term. The first year program in the law school usually totals 30 units of credit.

The upper-class curriculum includes required advanced courses listed on the Degree Requirements.

The JD degree normally requires 86 total units. For dual degree students in the JD/MSSW program, the Law School will waive up to 12 units, bringing the required number of units for students in this program to 74.

School of Social Work

For more information, see the School of Social Work website.

How to Apply

Students must apply to both programs separately and be accepted independently by both. While applicants are encouraged to apply to both programs simultaneously, applicants may also apply for the other program during the student’s first year at whichever program they begin.


School of Law

Thea J. Posel, Clinical Assistant Professor

Capital Punishment Clinic

(512) 232-1598

School of Social Work

Ramón R. Gómez, MSSW

(512) 471-9819, Toll-free (877) 875-7352