Springfield College School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences and Western New England University School of Law offer a dual MSW/JD degree program that allows interested students to save time and tuition by obtaining both degrees at the same time. The MSW/JD dual degree program prepares students for practice in areas where law and social work converge.

The dual degree program is well-suited for students who contemplate careers in the social services or social policy. The knowledge and skills gained through the dual degree program may be especially useful in such practices areas as: representing the disabled, child welfare, family law, juvenile justice, mental health, social welfare policy, domestic violence, law enforcement, human rights, and legal aid services.

The curriculum is designed to permit full-time students to complete the requirements for both degrees in four years (including part-time course work during two summers). Ordinarily, the two programs taken separately would require five years of study.

Under the dual degree program, twelve credit hours of law school courses will be accepted by the School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences toward the Masters of Social Work degree, and twelve credit hours of graduate-level social work courses will be accepted by the School of Law toward the Juris Doctor degree.

Applications and acceptances are separate for each school. Admission to one program does not guarantee admission to the other program.

Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor Dual Degree Curriculum

Effective for the current year for Incoming Students. 

Year One or Two (Springfield College School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences)
MSSW 601 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 1 3
MSSW 602 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 2 3
MSSW 611 Social Policy 1 3
MSSW 612 Social Policy 2 3
MSSW 621 Research 1 (If needed) 3
MSSW 631 Social Work Practice 1 3
MSSW 632 Social Work Practice 2 3
MSSW 684 & 685 Field Practicum 1 (1st & 2nd half) 7
MSSW 674 Field Seminar 1 .5
Elective 3
Total 28.5 or 31.5
Year One or Two (Western New England University School of Law)
Introduction to Law 1
Constitutional Law I 4
Contracts 4
Criminal Law 4
Civil Procedure 4
Property 4
Torts 4
Legal Research and Writing 4
Introduction to the Legal Profession 1
Total 30
Year Three (Western New England University School of Law)
Business Organizations 3
Income Taxation 3
Evidence 3
Electives and other requirements towards JD 23
Total 32
Year Four (Both schools)
MSSW 603 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 3 3
MSSW 613 Social Policy 3 OR MSSW 623 Research 2 (Formerly Research 3) 3
MSSW 633 Social Work Practice 3 3
MSSW 634 Social Work Practice 4 3
MSSW 686 & 687 Field Practicum 2 (1st & 2nd half) 7
MSSW 676 Field Seminar 2 .5
Electives in Law* 12
Total 31.5
  • *There is an approved list of elective courses that can be transferred from the Law School. A total of 12 credits are required.
  • MSW/JD students must be full-time students and matriculated in both the Springfield College School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences and the Western New England University School of Law. If accepted at the School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences first, students have until mid-March of the first year at the School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences to apply to the program at Western New England University School of Law. If accepted to the School of Law, students have until mid-March of the first year at the School of Law to apply to the program at Springfield College School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences.
  • MSW/JD students take courses in the Weekday Program at the School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences.
  • MSSW 621 Research 1 is a prerequisite in the dual degree program and will be waived without credit.
  • Students will take either MSSW 623 Research 2 or MSSW 613 Social Policy 3. Students who take MSSW 623 Research 2 must take Law and Social services or Poverty Law as an elective course in the School of Law. Students who take MSSW 613 Social Policy 3 must take Advanced Research in Law or Law 951 or 952 as an elective course in the School of Law.
  • Year 1 or Year 2 may occur at either the Springfield College School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences or at Western New England University School of Law.