MSW/MPH dual degree?

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Mar 9, 2023
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Hi all, I am currently a BSW student (just switched my major after deciding I want to pursue an MSW) in my last year. My school offers a dual degree MSW/MPH degree, and I was wondering if this is a beneficial route to take? I want to focus on the clinical side of social work surrounding mental health, and particularly I want to work with severe mental illness like schizophrenia and bipolar in adolescent populations (at least at this moment). My goal is to open private practice, but I am open to working at different locations like hospitals or jails during my training time. I'm interested in lots of different things.
I'm just wondering if the dual degree will help me in the long run, open up more opportunities, etc?
Also, if I plan to pursue the MSW/MPH degree, what would the best concentration in the MPH be? Behavioral health, biostatistics, epidemiology? What are the differences? I'm doing research currently but I'd like to get some expert knowledge from those in the field. Thanks all

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This is totally out of my wheelhouse but I don’t see the MPH degree helping much with clinical practice, especially private practice.

Whether you want to work for yourself as a clinician, the government, or a private institution, you’re relying on your clinical license, references and CV (such as advanced trainings).

A MPH can potentially help people become more competitive for non-clinical jobs such as hospital administration or government/public policy arenas.
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I agree that it's probably unlikely to help you much clinically, other than potentially having a better feel for some clinically-relevant research concepts and findings like epidemiological data. It would probably better prepare to be involved in epidemiological/public health research yourself, although I still imagine most or all PIs for grants are going to be PhDs and/or physicians. Lots of what you learn may be primarily for your own (cognitive) fulfilment.

I also agree with summerbabe that it'd probably be more helpful in terms of getting into administration. Although if that were the goal, I think an MBA might actually be more beneficial. Might also help with getting into somewhat related areas like healthcare policy, and/or with finding a job in related government agencies (e.g., department of public health).

But others, particularly those with MPH degrees, may have more/different thoughts.
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A MPH can potentially help people become more competitive for non-clinical jobs such as hospital administration or government/public policy arenas.

Yep. MPH is great if you wanted to maybe branch into research, admin, or policy (recall from another thread that social work is more than just psychotherapy training). I know a few people with MD/MPH who went this way for specifically these reasons. It won't add much to your psychotherapy training, but would be more broad than social work. FWIW, I worked with a social worker a number of years ago with an MSW, MPH in community mental health--we had the same job title and I presume made the same money.
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