The goal is to offer comprehensive preparation to individuals interested in becoming leaders in their communities, their state, or the nation, as well as leaders in promoting and enhancing social justice and individual well-being, through interventions, advocacy, organizational management, and public policy. Students acquire knowledge of social work and law strategies that can improve the lives of individuals and groups, by understanding forensic social work, the justice system, domestic violence, child protection, human rights, and more.

Separate admission to each program is required.  Admission requirements for the coordinated degree program are exactly the same as those currently established for the MSW program separately and the JD program separately.  All normal prerequisites for both programs must be met.  

See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.

Completion Requirements

UA’s Advanced-Standing MSW program requires 42 hours of course work; the 2-year MSW program requires 60 hours. Students in the dual-enrollment MSW/JD complete in the Law School the 9 hours of electives currently required for the MSW degree (and currently specified as “MSW electives”).

The JD program requires at least 90 hours of course work, of which 6 hours may be fulfilled with approved courses offered outside the Law School.  The JD is a cohort-based program completed over 3–4 years. Dually enrolled MSW/JD students will be required to complete 9 hours of MSW courses as part of the 90 hours constituting study for the JD.

In all, the coordinated degree program requires 114 credit hours for students admitted with advanced standing by the MSW Admission Committee, or 132 credit hours for students admitted without advanced standing.

Transfer of Credit

Students observe all current rules governing transfer of academic credit, as outlined in both the Graduate Catalog and the Law Student Handbook. In the coordinated degree program, transfer of credit for the required social work courses will be allowed, subject to current policies of the Graduate School and School of Social Work.

Students in the coordinated MSW/JD program follow the first-year curriculum prescribed by the Law School. The coordinated degree program begins after the first year of J.D. curriculum is completed. MSW/JD students work with advisors from both programs prior to their third semester to assure an appropriate Plan of Study is developed and progress is made to satisfy the requirements of both degrees.

Time Limit

We expect each enrolled student to complete the program in 3.5 to 4.5 years. All requirements for the MSW degree and the JD degree must be completed during the six years (18 fall, spring, and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded. There is no provision for an extension of the time limit beyond 6 years.

Withdrawal from One of the Programs

A student electing to withdraw from the coordinated MSW/JD degree program in order to complete one degree but not the other will be required to complete the typical, full program requirements for the remaining degree in order to graduate.

Conferral of Degrees

Commencement ceremonies for the Law School and the Graduate School are separate.  Commencement information can be found on The University Registrar's Office website.  Neither degree will be granted until both degrees are earned, except in cases in which a student formally withdraws from the coordinated degree program and continues on to completion of all of the normal requirements for the remaining program.