Master of Social Work/Master of Public Administration Dual Degree Program

Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Social Work (MSW) Dual Degree Program

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Fully Online
  • 57 - 81
  • $375.00
  • $617.00

Program Overview

The online Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Social Work (MSW) Dual Degree Program is designed to provide students with advanced knowledge in both fields of study.

Students choose the MSW/MPA Dual Degree Program to:

  • Diversify their academic and professional skillset.
  • Plan and implement innovative, efficient and effective strategies affecting constituencies ranging from the most vulnerable to the most affluent populations.
  • Expand their knowledge of cultural and ethnic diversity.

There are two options for students entering the dual degree program, a 57 credit program and an 81 credit program. The 57 credit program is for students who have completed an accredited BSW degree. The 81 credit program is for all other students; it includes foundation course work in social work. 

Students who decide after admission to either the Master of Public Administration or Master of Social Work Program that they want to pursue the dual degree program will need to submit a new application, application fee, and additional application materials to the appropriate department/school for review.

Note: Students who have already graduated with an MPA or MSW degree are ineligible for a dual degree

Career Outlook: In today’s working world, an advanced degree is essential. An MPA/MSW Dual Degree prepares individuals to work in a variety of positions in the public sector. Furthermore, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for social workers is growing at a rate of 11%, much faster than the national average.

This program is ideal for professionals looking to work in areas such as:

  • Public service
  • Health care management
  • Clinical social worker
  • Social policy analyst
  • Federal, state and local government

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

    Completion of the following undergraduate prerequisite courses is required before entering the MSW/MPA: A human biology course or equivalent such as anatomy, a research methods course and a statistics course. Note: There is a waiver exam available for the research methods course.

  2. 3 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the GRE

  4. A written personal statement

    Two statements of purpose. One for the MSW and one for MPA.

  5. 3 letters of recommendation

    The letters must be professional in nature. Each recommender should describe how they know the student (how long and in what capacity) and why they believe the student is a good candidate for the program.

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  7. A current resume or work history.

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete and submit the online application for admissions.
  2. Pay the $50 non-refundable application fee.

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

If a student does not have a Bachelor's in Social Work, they must complete the following courses: SOWK 8070 Human Behavior & Social Environment I, SOWK 8080 Human Behavior & Social Environment, SOWK 8090 Social Policy I, SOWK 8110 Social Policy II, SOWK 8130 Generalist Practice I, SOWK 8150 Generalist Practice II, SOWK 8160 Generalist Practicum I, and SOWK 8170 Generalist Practicum II.

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
PA 8400Public & Nonprofit Budgeting3
The purpose of the course is to familiarize public administration students with the basic characteristics and features of public budgets and enable them to deal competently with them.
SOWK 8220Clinical Social Work with Individuals3
This advanced course provides an in-depth study of several theories of personality and behavior, and of therapeutic approaches derived from the theories. Major focus is on therapy with individuals across the life span, but application to family systems is also considered, as well as the fit of each theory within the broader social systems framework.
PA 8990Capstone Project for Public Administration3
The purpose of this course is to allow students to integrate their graduate public administration course experiences into a project that reflects the cumulative knowledge gained from their class instruction. This class is intended only for students who are completing the master of public administration degree. The course can be taken as an alternative to comprehensive exams. Prerequisites: Completion of at least 30 hours in the M.P.A. program and school permission.
PA 8320Policy Evaluation3
PA 8320 is designed to have the students understand the role of evaluation in the policy process, to demonstrate how to conduct and implement evaluations of public programs, to illustrate the procedures for presenting an evaluation report to public officials and citizens, to introduce operational issues and problems associated with management of an office of policy evaluation, and to insure the exploration of conflicts and limitations inherent to public policy evaluation. Prereq: PA 8010, PA 8050, PA 8090, PA 8120 and completion of at least 24 hours in the MPA program. Not open to nondegree students.
PA 8300Policy Design and Implementation3
This course examines the formulation, adoption, implementation and evaluation of public policy. Important topics include the basic features of American government, the causes and determinants of public policies, the dynamics of decision-making in the public sector, the obstacles to "successful" public programs, and the criteria for the assessment of a public program's impact. Special emphasis is given to the role public manager’s play within the policy process. Prereq: PA 8010, 8050, and 8090 Not open to nondegree students.
SOWK 8560Advanced Community Practice3
The course uses a community-based service-learning pedagogy designed to help students develop an analytical and empirical approach to empowering communities. The course builds on the social work "person-in-environment" perspective by focusing on the client system and their environmental contexts as a partner in practice. This course is particularly relevant to direct practice with and advocacy for diverse disempowered groups in society.
SOWK 8540Social Welfare Planning3
This course is a macro practice course in social planning in the context of strategic planning and its application to social policy and program change, administrative planning for social services, and planning at the program, agency and community level.
CPH 514Planning and Evaluation3
This course is designed to prepare graduate students, professional students or fellows to apply multi-level evidence-based policy and program approaches to improve public health. The course will guide students through planning and evaluating the impact of public health strategies based on the reach, effectiveness, scalability, implementation quality, and sustainability of these approaches in complicated and complex systems.
SOWK 8400Advanced Social Work Practicum I3
This course is designed to provide supervised, individual professional learning experiences offered within the setting of a selected social service agency in the student's chosen concentration. The student will be introduced to a variety of advanced direct and indirect social work practices. The Dual Degree Program is a part of Integrated Practice. Dual Degree students may take SOWK 8400 as their administrative practicum. If so, then PA 8010, 8050 and 8090 must be taken prior to and one course from concentration prior to or concurrently.
PA 8050Foundations of Public Service3
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the art and science of public administration and to enable the student to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities requisite to the pursuit of graduate education in public administration.
SOWK 8410Advanced Social Work Practicum II3
This course is designed to provide supervised, individual professional learning experiences offered within the setting of a social service agency in the student's chosen concentration, typically the same agency as in SOWK 8400. This course builds upon opportunities provided and competence achieved in Advanced Social Work Practicum I.
SOWK 8290Social Work Practice in Health and Mental Health3
This course emphasizes the development of advanced level clinical and social work practice skills for working with selected acute and chronic health and mental health conditions affecting individuals across the life cycle.
SOWK 8250Social Work Practice with Families3
This course considers the family context as a system for therapeutic intervention. The family unit and its diverse forms are defined; theories for assessment and understanding family's interactions across the lifespan are considered and the alternative modalities useful for treating family dysfunction are presented. As a practice-oriented course, it emphasizes the development of professional skills in working with the family across the lifespan.
PA 8100Public Management & Leadership3
This course is designed to advance students' understanding and techniques about the role of leadership and ethics in the public and nonprofit sectors. Special attention will be paid on the application of theories of leadership and ethics to manage various boundary spanning activities including managing external relationships, collaborations/networks, performance, and innovation and change.
PA 8090Organizational Theory & Behavior3
A study of the various approaches to understanding public organizations and people in them with special emphasis on the design, functioning and management of public agencies.
SOWK 8190Research Skills in Social Work Practice3
This course focuses on the use of research and computer programs in social work practice. Social and behavioral science research methods are reviewed. Students learn to analyze existing data using SPSS and to write an empirical research report. The use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in social work practice are explored.
SOWK 8570Administration of Social Welfare Agencies3
This course is an advanced macro practice course in administration of social welfare agencies and programs which focuses on resource acquisition, leadership, and financial management in public, non-profit, and for-profit social agencies.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

Tara Bryan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Tara Bryan’s goal in teaching is to equip students with both the analytical thinking skills and knowledge and tools of management processes that will enable them to manage and lead strategically in public and nonprofit organizations in the present and future. Her research examines internal organizational processes that enable public and nonprofit organizations to do their work, especially in times of organizational change.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterJan 15