Social Work Joint Degree

Enrolling in the joint degree program between the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Social Work will be prepare you for a career in non-profit and government organizations, community development, social policy, and urban and regional public, nonprofit, nongovernmental and international organizations.


The joint degree program will help you develop skills in:

  • Community organizing
  • Advocacy and political action
  • Social policy and practice


SSW: Program and Tracks

Community Organizing and Social Administration (COSA)
Degree: Master of Social Work

  • Community Organizing
  • Social Administration


Degree: Master of Public Administration (MPA)

  • Urban and Regional Analysis (URA)
  • Public and Nonprofit Management (PNM)
  • Policy Research and Analysis (PRA)

Degree: Master of International Development (MID)

  • Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society
  • Development Planning and Environmental Sustainability
  • Human Security


Prospective students apply to GSPIA and the SSW. If a student is already enrolled in GSPIA or Social Work, the student must apply for the joint degree program before completing 24 credits, including any advanced status. Students must be accepted into both schools before being admitted to the joint degree program. Joint degree students graduate from both degree programs at the same time.


Students complete 36 course credit hours in GSPIA and 33 course credit hours in Social Work, plus 18 credits of Social Work field placement. Advanced standing is available for students with accredited bachelor degrees in Social Work, with a maximum of 12 course and 6 field credits available. Joint degree programs allow students to complete two degrees with fewer credits and in less time then each degree independently. The joint degree program is typically completed in 3 years.

About our graduates

Recent joint degree students are working in the following positions: 

  • Presidential Management Internship, Veterans Administration
  • Director of Neighborhood Policy, Office of the Mayor, Pittsburgh
  • Associate Director, Westinghouse Valley Human Services Center Corp.
  • Executive Director, Operation Better Block