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Dual Degree Program in Law & Social Work

Program Purpose

The School of Law and the School of Social Work offer a Dual Degree program leading to two graduate degrees: the Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) and the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW). The dual degree program allows students to integrate the conceptual frameworks, knowledge bases, and practice skills of both professions into a unified program that will enhance their preparation for practice in today’s increasingly complex legal and social service environments.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn both degrees in four academic years, rather than the five years it would take to complete each degree separately. In general, students will progress through the dual degree curriculum by completing either school's first-year course sequence during their first year, completing the other school's first-year course sequence during their second year, and then taking additional requirements, electives, and specialized courses during the subsequent two years. Both degrees are awarded when all requirements of the dual degree program have been met.

School of Law

The Law School's first-year curriculum includes six one-semester four-unit substantive law courses: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts. One of these six courses will include a writing component, which adds a unit of credit to the course. The rest of the first-year curriculum includes two semesters of Legal Research and Writing - two units of credit per semester - and an optional elective course of 2-3 units in the spring semester. The first year program in the law school usually totals 29 units of credit.

The upper-class curriculum includes the following requirements: Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Law II, a writing seminar, and a Professional Skills course.

The JD degree normally requires 86 total units. For dual degree students in the JD/MSSW program, the Law School will waive up to 12 units, bringing the required number of units for students in this program to 74.

School of Social Work

For more information, see the School of Social Work website.

Applications

To participate in the JD/MSSW dual degree program, students must meet the separate admissions criteria of each school, must apply separately to each school, and must be accepted by each school independently.

Students may apply simultaneously to both programs, or they may enter one program first, and then, during their first year of study in that program, apply for admission to the second program. At the time of application to the second program, students should submit a statement of interest in the dual degree program to both schools.

Advisors

  • School of Law

    F. Scott McCown
    Clinical Professor and Director of the Children’s Rights Clinic
    University of Texas School of Law
    727 East Dean Keeton St.
    Austin, Texas 78705
    (512) 232-1129
    smccown@law.utexas.edu

  • School of Social Work

    Ramón R. Gómez, MSSW
    Office of Student and Community Affairs
    School of Social Work
    The University of Texas at Austin
    1925 San Jacinto Blvd.
    Austin, Texas 78712 
    (512) 471-9819
    Toll-free (877) 875-7352
    ramon-gomez@austin.utexas.edu