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JD/MSW Social Work: School of Social Policy & Practice (for Students with AND without a BSW)

The aim of the JD/MSW program is to prepare its graduates to assume positions of leadership in law and social policy, ready to actively pursue a more just society, and to initiate and implement viable systems change by applying their training in both professions.

Students can earn both degrees in four years; students with a BSW can enter the advanced standing track and earn the degree in three years. Penn Law gives credit for four relevant courses in Social Policy & Practice toward the JD degree. MSW students take eight foundation courses, a research course and a research option, two required advanced practice courses and field placement, two social work practice electives and two non-practice elective courses; students in the joint degree program may receive credit for up to four Law courses for their electives.

Students apply separately to each department. Applications to the MSW program are welcomed contemporaneously with the Law School application or during the 1L year.

The School of Social Policy and Practice and Penn Law will accept either the GRE, GMAT or LSAT.

Here are possible tracks for completing the program.

  First year Summer Courses Between Year One and Two Second year Third year Fourth year
Option 1 – with a BSW degree 1L Social Work 2L & Social Work courses 3L & Social Work courses N/A
Option 2 – contemporaneous applications 1L N/A Social Work 2L & Social Work courses 3L & Social Work courses
Option 3 – apply to MSW while in Law program 1L N/A 2L Social Work 3L & Social Work courses
Option 4 – apply to Law while in MSW program* Social Work N/A 1L 2L & Social Work courses 3L & Social Work courses


*Please note that courses taken in the MSW before matriculation as a Law candidate cannot be counted toward the Law degree.

Additional information:

  • Masters in Social Work
  • Contact: Emily M. Schulz, MSW, Associate Director, Academic Affairs at
  • To talk through scheduling/registration details and how this joint-degree program might complement your JD from Penn Law, please contact Amanda S. Aronoff, L’95, Director of Cross-Disciplinary Programs & Academic Options at