A mature couple getting advice from their financial consultant at home.

Master of Social Work / Doctor of Law

Social Work / Juris Doctor

Program of Study

This dual degree requires a total of 125 credits (51 credits for the MSW and 74 credits for the JD). The curriculum breaks down as follows.

First Year: Albany Law School Courses
  • Legal Methods
  • Contracts I and II
  • Property I and II
  • Introduction to Lawyering I and II
  • Introduction to Civil Procedure
  • Torts
  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Law
Second Year: School of Social Welfare Courses
  • Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • Human Behavior and Social Environment I and II
  • Micro Practice in Social Work I and II
  • Macro Practice in Social Work I and II
  • Social Work Field Instruction I and II
  • Introductory Research Methodology

During the second year, macro concentration students also take Legal Profession and Professional Responsibility at Albany Law School, usually over the summer.

Third Year: Mixed Law School and School of Social Welfare Courses

Choose either the Macro or Clinical Practice Concentration at the School of Social Welfare 

Macro Social Work Concentration

  • Research Methods in Social Work Management
  • Human Service Organizations in a Changing Environment
  • Community Building
  • One course in advanced macro social work
  • Macro Social Work Field Instruction III and IV

Clinical Social Work Concentration

  • Evaluation of Clinical Practice
  • Three courses in advanced clinical practice
  • Clinical Social Work Field Instruction III and IV

Albany Law School Coursework (all students)

  • Electives (students in the MSW macro practice concentration must take at least one course in finance)


See the Graduate Bulletin for details about the dual MSW/JD with macro concentration or clinical concentration.

Fourth Year: Albany Law School Electives
  • Macro concentration students: 29 credits
  • Clinical concentration students: 30 credits and Professional Responsibility (3 credits)

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, call 518-442-5320 or email [email protected].


This program is approved for licensure or certification in New York State and the institution has not made a determination regarding the educational requirements for any other state.

Social Work Field Placement

Field instruction through two 500-hour internships is a vital part of the MSW degree. Hundreds of social and human service agencies and community organizations in and around the Capital Region partner with the School of Social Welfare to provide these field placement internships where learning, training and service occur simultaneously.  

During your first internship (Social Work Field Instruction I and II) you participate in a broad range of social work activities allowing you to develop a foundation understanding of the context of social work practice and relational skills. Your second internship provides you with professional experience related to your area of concentration (Macro or Clinical Social Work Field Instruction III and IV). Potential internship locations include: addiction treatment facilities, jails, child and adult protective service agencies, criminal and family courts, and advocacy organizations. 

In both placements, you are supervised by a trained field instructor who is an experienced and licensed social worker. Most students complete each internship by working two days a week over the course of two semesters.

Two women having a discussion

Career Paths

This rigorous dual degree program is designed for exceptional students who want to provide disadvantaged populations with legal assistance informed by social work practice or social services informed by legal practice.

As a graduate, you will be ready to take the bar exam and obtain master social work licensure in New York State.

As a registered attorney and licensed social worker, you will be in an excellent position for a broad range of careers in government, consulting, teaching, research and law.

Sample Job Titles:

  • Family Court Social Worker
  • Child Advocacy Program Supervisor
  • Lead Victim Assistance Civil Specialist
  • Social Security Disability Attorney
  • City Homeless Shelters Manager
  • Legal Team Mitigation Specialist
  • Juvenile Justice Administrator
  • Elder Abuse Prevention Director
  • Public Legal Aid Staff
  • Social Welfare Litigation Officer
  • Director of Immigrant Justice Services
  • LGBTQ Law and Policy Attorney
  • Counsel for Human Rights Organizations



The Master of Social Work program at the University at Albany is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which meets the education qualification for master and clinical social work licensure in New York State. Learn more about the master’s in social work at UAlbany.


Albany Law School’s JD program is accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association. Learn more about the law degree curriculum at Albany Law School.

MSW/JD Admissions and Tuition

To enter the dual degree program, you must be independently admitted to the JD program at Albany Law School and the MSW program at the University at Albany.

While you’re not required to submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores to be admitted to the master’s in social work program, you must submit valid Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores with your application for admission to the Juris Doctor program. Learn more about Albany Law School admission requirements.

Tuition costs are determined by each institution. Although you’ll save money by finishing both degrees in four years, be sure to plan ahead for differences in tuition rates between Albany Law School and UAlbany.

Two students studying in the Dewey Library


Admissions Requirements


Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: February 29 at 11:59pm
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: February 29 at 11:59pm
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Recommenders should have a professional relationship to you, such as a supervisor or a professor. They should NOT have a personal relationship to you, such as a friend or family member.
    • Recommenders should be able to speak to any one or more of the following areas regarding the applicant's: Potential for professional social work practice; Experience in human service (work or volunteer); or Academic ability.
  • Statement of Background and Goals
      Please write a 3-5 page, double spaced essay in 12-point font that incorporates your responses to the three areas listed below. Do not write three separate responses. Overall, we are looking for you to show that you understand the social work profession, are committed to its mission, and are ready for graduate-level field education and coursework.
    • Self-Awareness in the Service of Others
      In the field of social work, one’s values, attitudes, and beliefs can influence our practice with clients. The experience of graduate social work education includes constant self-awareness and personal growth.  Describe a situation in which your values, attitudes, and beliefs were challenged. How did you respond?  How can challenging yourself to examine your values, attitudes, and beliefs improve your ability to provide services for clients, families, communities, and organizations as a social worker in the future?
    • Social Justice Values
      Describe how you have incorporated the social work value of social justice into an experience within one of the following areas: academic setting (e.g. classroom discussions, peer interactions); professional setting (volunteer or paid work); community setting (e.g. social group, self-identity group, family, hobby).
    • Readiness for Coursework and Field Education
      Identify your areas of strength and areas for improvement relevant to managing multiple responsibilities, receiving constructive feedback, and maintaining personal and professional boundaries. Discuss your plans for simultaneously managing the rigorous demands of graduate education and fieldwork.
    • OPTIONAL: Additional Information
      Note: This section only applies if you have any additional information that you would like to discuss in your statement of background and goals.
      In one page or less, please include any additional information that you would believe would help us understand you as an applicant including, but not limited to: transcripts (e.g. undergraduate GPA lower than a 3.0, multiple graduate degrees, failed field internship); resume (e.g. gaps in employment, little or no paid work or volunteer experience, changes in career or major); recommendations (e.g. no academic or professional reference, use of a personal reference); goals statement (e.g. did not answer one of the questions); or any other circumstance you would like the review committee to take into consideration.
Special Notes

Must also apply to Albany Law.

Additionally, this program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions.  If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.