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Dual MBA & MSW Degree Programs

Individuals looking to run a company that helps the most vulnerable might want to consider a dual master's degree program in social work and business administration. Find out about the courses you'll take, program duration, and more by reading on.

Dual MBA/Master of Social Work Degree Information

These dual degree programs combine the managerial and business skills of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with the professional understanding of ethics and counseling found in a Master's of Social Work (MSW) program. Dual MBA/MSW programs typically take three years to complete, although individuals with a bachelor's degree in social work may sometimes be able to gain advanced standing and reduce the completion time to two years.

While a bachelor's degree is necessary to gain entrance to any master's degree program, dual MBA/MSW programs do not usually require a bachelor's in a particular field. Successful applicants to these programs often need a high GPA, very good academic performance, and relevant experience, such as work in a supervisory capacity or volunteering. Admissions may require applicants to provide letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and answers to essay questions. Standardized test scores, such as the GRE, may or may not be required, depending on the particular school.

Examples of Standard MBA/MSW Courses

The curriculum for these dual degree programs may include around 30 credits of business courses and up to 50 credits of social work courses and field experiences.

  • History of social work explores the history and theory behind the profession of social work and how the idea of social welfare developed over time.
  • Social work research teaches research techniques that are relevant to performing social work. It covers topics like forming hypotheses, developing experiments, and collecting data.
  • Clinical practice of social work takes an evidence-based approach to treating and working with individual clients as a social worker. This course typically covers problem-solving processes, crisis intervention, and listening techniques, and generally serves as the first of several clinical oriented courses.
  • Managerial accounting looks at both basic accounting principles and how accounting can be used by managers to make decisions.
  • Marketing gives students guidance on developing plans for marketing a business or organization and often includes simulations to allow for firsthand experience.
  • Finance examines how managing finances of a business can affect its performance. Courses in finance often dive into topics like investing strategies, risk assessment, and valuation of assets.

Careers for Graduates of MBA/MSW Programs

Workers with an MBA and MSW are particularly well equipped for leadership positions within organizations where social work is an end goal, such as non-profits, private care groups, and even corporate responsibility departments within major companies. These individuals' diversified expertise allows them to understand the needs of the people their organization is servicing and the impact of a group's actions on the wider world, while still maintaining balanced budgets, satisfied employees, and responsible behavior, enabling an organization to do the most good possible.

Corporate Social Responsibility Manager

Corporate social responsibility managers are tasked with ensuring that the behaviors of a corporation in its pursuit of profit are not irresponsible and damaging to society as a whole. This involves issues such as diversity, environmental sustainability, outsourcing, and the treatment of workers, among others. Individuals with knowledge of social work have a detailed understanding of many of these issues, and the leadership and business knowledge obtained from an MBA can help them meet expectations of corporate management. Corporate social responsibility managers work with other departments within a company to achieve goals, helping them to shape developing projects in socially and environmentally responsible ways. They also ensure those working above them, such as the CEO, are aware of social and environmental issues to aid them in their decision-making.

According to salary gathering website Payscale.com, the median salary for corporate social responsibility managers was $81,284 as of January 2020. While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track stats for this particular career in detail, employment for all chief executives, the category under which a corporate social responsibility manager might fall, was expected to decline 2% during the 10-year period from 2018-2028.

Social and Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers are the leaders of organizations providing services to disadvantaged populations. They are usually responsible for outreach, which ensures that affected populations are aware of the offered services, as well as marketing to appeal to stakeholders, the general public, and other groups that may donate money to the organization, meaning that business skills are vital to success. Social and community service managers don't always need master's degrees; however, some organizations may prefer them.

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for social and community service managers was $65,320 as of May 2018. Employment of social and community services managers is projected to see a 13% growth between 2018 and 2028, faster than the national average.