Master of Social Work /

Master of Business Administration

All graduate degrees

The MSW/MBA dual degree equips the BSW professional with interdisciplinary expertise in social work, business, and healthcare leadership. At Southern, this means building a wholistic, Christ-centered philosophy for leadership, management, and research. 

How the program works

To qualify for the dual degree program, students must be accepted into both the Schools of Social Work and Business. Typically, students focus on completing classes from one degree at a time, though overlap is acceptable if scheduling allows.

  • Social work classes meet twice each month on Sundays and incorporate an online component for completing the coursework.
  • MBA classes are available on-campus and online.
  • Full-time and part-time enrollment options can be customized to fit your life.
  • Online courses provide even more convenience and flexibility.

With a bachelor's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited institution within the past ten years, qualifying students can typically complete the dual master’s program in 24 months (six semesters) on a full-time basis.

Eligibility and prerequisites

This list includes requirements for both the School of Business and the School of Social Work:

  • Bachelor's degree: A bachelor’s degree from an accredited program, with coursework indicating a strong liberal arts background. (Advanced placement requires a Bachelor's of Social Work degree obtained in the last ten years from a CSWE-accredited program.)
  • GPA requirement: Possess a preferred GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in social work courses. (Advanced placement requires that undergraduate transcripts indicate no more than one grade of C, none below C, in a core social work class.)

Admission process

  1. Graduate application:  Submit a graduate application (with non-refundable fee of $40). Apply now
  2. Transcripts:  Submit official college and university transcripts. Many institutions subscribe to the convenient transcript-request service at National Student Clearinghouse, or you may also contact your institution directly. Have your transcripts sent to Melodie Lopez in the Graduate Studies office (malopez@southern.edu). If you earned your prerequisite degree at Southern, you do not need to complete this step.
  3. Recommendations:  Submit two recommendation forms from a college professor, work supervisor, or social-work field instructor. This should be done as part of the online application process, or Download form
  4. Personal statement:  Submit a personal statement describing your motivation for graduate school in social work. It should be submitted through your Application Status PageDownload guidelines
  5. Resumé:  Submit your current resumé through your Application Status Page.
  6. GMAT requirement:  Submit scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test taken within the past five years. 
    • Possible exceptions: With approval, applicants may be admitted without the GMAT if they have an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. institution with a minimum GPA of 3.25 or above, or a GPA of 3.00 and five years of full-time business-related management experience.
    These possible exceptions do not extend to international students, who must provide an official GMAT score and a TOEFL score of at least 100 (Internet-based) as a prerequisite for acceptance. 

Application deadlines

All application steps are to be fully completed by the dates listed.

Term U.S. Residents International
Fall July 1 May 1
Winter November 1 September1
Summer April 1 (MBA program only) February 1 (MBA program only)

International students

Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States are considered international students and must meet additional requirements for admission.

  • View international-student admission requirements »

    1. Applicants from non-English institutions must submit certified English translations and evaluations of official university records, including demonstration of the equivalency of a bachelor's degree.
      Transcript evaluations must be submitted directly to Southern from one of the following agencies:
    2. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate English proficiency.
      Unless an applicant is a native English speaker or received the college/university degree from an English-medium institution, s/he must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Learn more at ets.org/toefl »

    3. Submit Declaration of Finances.
      International students must have financial resources sufficient to support themselves for the calendar year, in addition to an international-student deposit of $3,000 (USD). Download Form
      • To be issued an I-20 Form, students must also provide a letter from financial sponsors (including their name and address), as well as copies of bank statements for the last three months showing the balance history for the student's account or the financial sponsor's account.


International students who will be coming to Southern's campus need additional information about travel documents and living on campus.

More Information

Course guide

MSW CORE Courses Credits
  SOCW 608 Advanced Social Policy 3
  SOCW 611 Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical Interventions 3
  SOCW 612 Advanced Administrative Practice: Program Development 3
  SOCW 617 Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical Assessment, Psychopathology and Psychotherapeutic Skills 3
  SOCW 618 Advanced Administrative Practice: Administrative and Leadership Skills 3
  SOCW 620 Advanced Portfolio Seminar I 1
  SOCW 621 Advanced Portfolio Seminar II 1
  SOCW 641 Integration of Faith and Advanced Practice: Seminar I 1
  SOCW 642 Integration of Faith and Advanced Practice: Seminar II 1
  SOCW 647 Advanced Practicum 1-5
MSW Core Subtotal 24
MBA Core Courses Credits
  BUAD 510 Accounting for Control and Decision Making 3
  BUAD 530 Organizational Behavior 3
  BUAD 535 Operations Management 3
  BUAD 555 Leadership and Change 3
  BUAD 562 Integrating Faith and Business 3
  BUAD 570 Strategic Decision Making 3
  HADM 532 Healthcare Economics and Finance 3
  HADM 552 Healthcare Marketing and Human Resources 3
MBA Core Subtotal 24
Management Emphasis Credits
  BEXM 505 Legal Framework of Decisions 3
  BHRM 510 Human Resource Management 3
  ECON 521 Managerial Economics 3
  BEXM Management Electives 6
Management Emphasis Subtotal 12
  Also required if lacking undergraduate equivalents:
ACCT 505    Financial Accounting, 3 hours
FNCE 505    Principles of Finance, 3 hours
6
  Total 60

Faculty

Stephanie Sheehan
Stephanie Sheehan

Dean
ssheehan@southern.edu
423.236.2373

Sunia Fukofuka
Sunia Fukofuka

Associate Professor
sfukofuka@southern.edu
423.236.2658

Stephanie Guster
Stephanie Guster

Assistant Professor
sguster@southern.edu
423.236.2637

Annette Heck
Annette Heck

Professor
aheck@southern.edu
423.236.2630

Julie Hyde
Julie Hyde

Professor
jhyde@southern.edu
423.236.2682

Lorri Merchant
Lorri Merchant

Associate Professor
lmerchant@southern.edu
423.236.2641

Nina Nelson
Nina Nelson

Assistant Professor
nnelson@southern.edu
423.236.2635

Evie Nogales Baker
Evie Nogales Baker

Associate Professor
evien@southern.edu
423.236.2640

Braam Oberholster
Braam Oberholster

Professor
braam@southern.edu
423.236.2771

Laura Racovita-Szilagyi
Laura Racovita-Szilagyi

Associate Professor
racovita@southern.edu
423.236.2638

Corneliu Rusu
Corneliu Rusu

Associate Professor
crusu@southern.edu
423.236.2628

Dennis Steele
Dennis Steele

Professor
steele@southern.edu
423.236.2699

Leon Weeks
Leon Weeks

Associate Professor
lweeks@southern.edu
423.236.2681

Get started

I am here to help if you have any questions about applying to the programs or enrolling. You are welcome to email or call for information about everything from admission to graduation. I look forward to working with you.

Tricia Foster

Graduate Enrollment Counselor 
tfoster@southern.edu
423.236.2629