Public Administration, MPA and Social Work, MSW (MPA/MSW)

School of Public Administration and Grace Abbott School of Social Work, College of Public Affairs & Community Service

Vision Statement

The MPA/MSW dual degree program is a collaborative effort between the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), Grace Abbott School of Social Work and the School of Public Administration. This program offers interdisciplinary preparation in the fields of social work and public administration leading to the master of social work and the master of public administration degrees, with fewer required credit hours than it would take to obtain these degrees independently.

The program prepares students to provide a variety of advanced direct and indirect social work services and assume leadership in the public service sector, specifically in administrative and policy work with governmental units and nonprofit organizations.

Students beginning the MPA/MSW program at the MSW Foundation level must complete 81 credit hours total. Students beginning the MPA/MSW program at the Advanced Standing level must complete 57 credit hours total.

Program Contact Information

Social Work

Kerry Beldin, PhD, MSW Coordinator
206 College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) 
402.554.2941
kbeldin@unomaha.edu

Peter Szto, PhD, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
206 College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) 
402.554.2330
pszto@unomaha.edu

Public Administration

Carol Ebdon, PhD, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
111 College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS)
402.554.2152
cebdon@unomaha.edu

Meagan Van Gelder, EdD, Coordinator
111 College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS)
402.554.3480
mvangelder@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Other Program-Related Information

  • The Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares students for advanced social work practice. Master’s level social workers are employed in public and private agencies, including medical settings, schools, residential treatment centers, court and correctional agencies, and community planning and development agencies. Their activities and interventions are designed to promote a more effectively-functioning society as it struggles to “provide for the general welfare,” as well as to help people, families, groups and institutions within that society achieve self-fulfillment.
  • The MSW degree at the Grace Abbott School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting body for all social work education.
  • Information on certification and licensure is available on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website.

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: January 15

Note: If admitted to the Master of Social Work program and you wish to become a dual degree MSW/MPA student you will need to adhere to the MPA deadline date which is June 1(fall) or October 1 (spring).

Program-Specific Requirements

  • Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English.  Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the U.S., OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a pre-determined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.

    • The minimum TOEFL requirement is 550 (written), 80 internet-based, 6.5 IELTS, or 53 PTE.

  • The general prerequisite for admission to the program is a four-year bachelors’ degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in the junior and senior years (last 50-60 hours).
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score
    • Applicants to the UNO School of Public Administration (MPA) program may be granted a waiver from the GRE requirement, under one or more of the following circumstances:
    • The applicant is enrolled in the UNO Grace Abbott School of Social Work (MSW) program and has completed at least four courses with a minimum GPA of 3.2 and no less than a "B" in any course.
    • The applicant is enrolled in the UNO College of Information Science and Technology MS in MIS program and has completed at least four courses with a minimum GPA of 3.2 and no less than a "B" in any course.
    • GRE Waiver Application
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
    • The letters must be professional in nature. Each recommender should describe how they know you (how long an din what capacity), and why they believe you would be a good candidate for the MPA/MSW program.
  • Two (2) Statements of Purpose, one for the School of Public Administration and one for the Grace Abbott School of Social Work
    • For Social Work, please answer the following statements/questions in a total of five double-spaced, typewritten pages (12-point font). Your application is considered incomplete if these instructions are not followed.
      • A brief autobiographical statement that discusses who you are and the experiences that led you to social work. Trace the development of your interest in social work. Why have you chosen social work as a profession? Describe the key motivating figure(s), role model(s), or experience(s) important to your decision to become involved in social work.
      • Discuss your career objectives as a professional social worker as you now conceive them. What do you see yourself doing immediately after receiving your MSW degree?
      • Discuss a contemporary social problem. Include possible causes and potential solutions in your response. What contribution do you want to make to the pursuit of social and economic justice?
      • The Grace Abbott School of Social Work is committed to enrolling students who represent diverse backgrounds and have an aptitude for working with clients of diverse backgrounds. Diversity can be defined by virtue of personal characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, class and religion as other characteristics. Diversity may also include personal life experiences such as class, career history, belonging to another culture, working among another culture, dealing with significant personal challenge(s), and knowledge of more than one language. Even if you have had minimal contact with people from diverse backgrounds, please address how you "think" about diversity in relation to the practice of social work and respond to the following questions: a) What are your views regarding diversity? b) How does diversity relate to experiences in your life?
  • For Public Administration, the essay should answer the following questions:
    • Please tell us about the factors in your background that will help us understand your interest in a profession in the public or nonprofit sectors.
    • What are your professional goals? Ten years from now, what do you hope to be doing professionally?
    • How can this dual degree from UNO help you achieve these goals?
  • Resume
    • Current resume detailing employment history, nature of duties and responsibilities, accomplishments, leadership  roles, and community involvement.

The MSW Foundation Program is a 63 credit hour program available to applicants who do not hold a BSSW degree from an accredited school of social work within the last 10 years.

The MPA/MSW Advanced Standing Program is a 39 credit hour program available to applicants who have earned a BSSW degree from an accredited school of social work within the last 10 years.

Completion of the following undergraduate prerequisite courses is required before entering the MPA/MSW Program.

  • A human biology course or equivalent such as anatomy
  • A research methods course (Note: There is a waiver exam available for this prerequisite)
  • A statistics course

Degree Requirements

Required Foundation Courses
SOWK 8070HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I3
SOWK 8080HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT II3
SOWK 8090SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY3
SOWK 8110INSTITUTIONAL OPPRESSION3
SOWK 8130GENERALIST PRACTICE I3
SOWK 8150GENERALIST PRACTICE II3
SOWK 8160GENERALIST SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM I 13
SOWK 8170GENERALIST SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM II 13
Total Credits24
Required Public Administration Courses
PA 8050FOUNDATIONS OF PUBLIC ADMINSTRATION3
PA 8090ORGANIZATION THEORY AND BEHAVIOR3
PA/AVN 8100ADVANCED MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP FOR PUBLIC AND NONPROFIT PROFESSIONALS3
PA 8300POLICY DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION3
PA 8400PUBLIC AND NONPROFIT BUDGETING3
PA 8530PLANNING AND EVALUATION3
Required Social Work Courses
SOWK 8190RESEARCH & COMPUTER APPLICATIONS3
SOWK 8220CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK WITH INDIVIDUALS3
SOWK 8250SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH FAMILIES3
SOWK 8510SUPERVISION AND PERSONNEL ADMININISTRATION3
SOWK 8540SOCIAL WELFARE PLANNING3
SOWK 8560ADVANCED COMMUNITY PRACTICE3
SOWK 8570ADMINISTRATION OF SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCIES3
SOWK 8400ADVANCED SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM I 13
SOWK 8410ADVANCED SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM II 13
SOWK 8940EVALUATION OF SOCIAL PROGRAMS3
or PA 8320 PUBLIC POLICY EVALUATION
Social Work Social Issues/Policies/Service Delivery Course
Select one of the following:3
PERMANENCE FOR CHILDREN
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY VIOLENCE
HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH POLICIES FOR SOCIAL WORK
MEDICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF ALCOHOL/DRUG USE AND ADDICTION
Social Work Elective
Select one of the following:3
CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK WITH GROUPS
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH OLDER ADULTS
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH SEXUAL CONCERNS
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH COUPLES AND CHANGING FAMILY STRUCTURES
SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IN HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH
ADVANCED SOCIAL WORK PRACTICUM III 1
TREATMENT ISSUES IN CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL ADVOCACY
PERMANENCE FOR CHILDREN
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY VIOLENCE
HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH POLICIES FOR SOCIAL WORK
MEDICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF ALCOHOL/DRUG USE AND ADDICTION
ASSESSMENT AND CASE MANAGEMENT IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE
SOCIAL WORK AND THE LAW
SPIRITUALITY AND SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
HOSPICE & OTHER SERVICES FOR THE DYING PATIENT/FAMILY
TOPICAL SEMINAR IN SOCIAL WORK
SPECIAL STUDIES IN SOCIAL WELFARE
PA 8990CAPSTONE PROJECT IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION3
Total Credits57

Exit Requirements

  • Capstone - 3 Credits PA 8990
  • Comprehensive Examination
    • Students will complete a social work comprehensive exam focused on advanced generalist social work practice, administered by the Grace Abbott School of Social Work. The comprehensive exam is offered twice each academic year, during the Fall and Spring semesters. It is recommended that students take the comprehensive exam during the semester of graduation, but they may take it earlier, provided no more than 9 semester hours are remaining to complete after the semester in which the comprehensive exam is taken.

Academic Policies and Standards

  • The Academic Policies and Standards can be found here.