May 27, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, M.S.W./J.D.

(Major Code: 21041) (SIMS Code: 558280)

General Information

The School of Social Work and the California Western School of Law offer a four-year concurrent graduate program which allows students to earn simultaneously a Master of Social Work and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in law. The objective of the concurrent degrees program is to prepare students who are competent in advanced practice where social work and law converge.

Admission to the Degree Curriculum

To request application materials for the concurrent dual degrees program in social work and law, applicants should contact the Office of Admissions at the School of Social Work, San Diego State University, and the Office of Admissions at California Western School of Law. Two separate application processes must be followed. Please see the Admission to Graduate Study section in this bulletin under the Master of Social Work degree program. (The only difference is that students earning the two degrees simultaneously may substitute the results of the LSAT examination for the GRE examination.) Applicants should indicate on the appropriate section of each application that they are applying for the concurrent dual degrees MSW/JD program.

Advancement to Candidacy

All students must meet the general requirements for advancement to candidacy as described in Requirements for Master’s Degrees . In addition, students must also meet all criteria outlined under the Advancement to Candidacy section for the Master of Social Work program.

Specific Requirements

In addition to meeting the requirements for classified graduate standing and the basic Requirements for Master’s Degrees  and all the requirements listed in the California Western School of Law catalog for the JD degree, the student must complete an officially approved course of study as outlined below.

School of Social Work

(60 Units-Including six units transferred from California Western School of Law)

Advanced Study

Twenty-nine units of advanced study, to include:

Advanced Social Policy

Three units of advanced social policy

Advanced Human Behavior

Zero to three units of advanced human behavior

Advanced Research Methods

Three units of advanced research methods


Six units of electives transferred from California Western School of Law courses

Social Work Methods Focus Areas

Fourteen units from one of the following social work methods focus areas (Administration and Community Development or Direct Practice).

In Addition

In addition to the above courses, students must complete either a thesis (Plan A) or a comprehensive written examination (Plan B). Students completing Plan A may count SWORK 799A  as three units of electives.

California Western School of Law

(89 Units-Including 12 units transferred from the School of Social Work)

  • Civil Procedures I and II Units: 6
  • Contracts I and II Units: 6
  • Criminal Law I Units: 3
  • Legal Skills I and II Units: 4
  • Property I and II Units: 6
  • Torts I and II Units: 6
  • Constitutional Law II Units: 3
  • Criminal Procedure I Units: 3
  • Evidence Units: 4
  • Professional Responsibility Units: 2
  • Interdisciplinary Program for Child Abuse and Neglect Units: 6
  • Independent Study Units: 3
  • Internship Units: 5
  • Electives* Units: 32

*includes 12 units from SDSU

The specific sequence of courses over the four year period is listed in the admissions material. Students attend the schools in the following pattern:

Year 1 California Western School of Law only
Year 2 San Diego State University School of Social Work only
Year 3 (Fall) Both Schools
Year 3 (Spring) California Western School of Law only
Year 4 Both Schools