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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: January 30 at 11:59pm
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: January 30 at 11:59pm
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
    Please write a three to four page statement (double spaced, 12 point font) reflecting on the definition of social work and the School’s mission as noted below. In addition to reflecting on the definition of social work and the School’s mission, be sure to address the three questions below.  

    Definition of Social Work 
    Social Work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participating in legislative process. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; research and evaluation; of social and economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of all these factors (From National Association of Social Workers Website).  

    School of Social Welfare Mission Statement 
    The School of Social Welfare advances baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and post-graduate education that develops social work leaders, generates knowledge through research, and furthers social and economic justice.  Located in a public research university, our diverse faculty, staff, and students collaborate with local, national, and global partners to enhance human well-being. 
    • ​​​​​​​Describe your reasons for pursuing a career in social work. 
    • How does your work and your volunteer experience prepare you for starting a professional degree program in social work? 
    • Given the mission of the School of Social Welfare, explain why you think you are a good fit for this school. 
  • CV/Resume
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.