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JD/Master of Social Work (MSW)

Practice at the intersection of law and social work.

The JD/Master of Social Work dual degree combines the knowledge and skills from two professions for those wishing to use the law to advocate for vulnerable populations.

Lawyers and social workers both work to serve individuals and communities through different disciplines. The JD/MSW, offered through the WVU College of Law and the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, allows students to combine those disciplines, equipping them with the training to practice law with the in-depth knowledge of social conditions and the needs of individuals, groups and communities to promote well-being.

An MSW gives a lawyer specialized insight into mental health, aging, homelessness, poverty, child welfare and many more issues. This insight creates an advantage when practicing law, especially public interest law, family law and indigent criminal defense. A lawyer can use and provide legal tools and training on behalf of those most in need that a social worker alone cannot, such as representation in court and mediation in housing and unemployment disputes.

Vital Curriculum 

The MSW curriculum integrates the study of the law with the latest knowledge and practice of social work through courses such as:

  • Social Work Policy Analysis, Advocacy and Deliberation
  • Social Welfare Policy and Programs
  • Advanced Integrated Practice: Families and Groups
  • Advanced Integrated Practice: Organizational Administration and Leadership

Career Choices 

The JD/MSW gives graduates diverse career opportunities, including public interest law, family law, immigration law, health policy and law, employment law, disability law, elder law, indigent criminal defense, and environmental law and justice.   

Other career paths could include nonprofit management, public welfare administration, victim advocacy and more. 

How to Apply

Students seeking to enter the JD/MSW program must apply separately and be admitted independently to Eberly College's School of Social Work MSW program and the College of Law's JD program. Each applicant is responsible for completing all standardized tests required for admission and for completing all requirements for graduation for each degree.

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