For further information:

Office of Admission and Student Affairs
3600 Posvar Hall
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 USA
Phone: 412 648-7640
Fax: 412 648-7641

School of Social Work
Office of Admissions and Student Affairs
2104 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 USA
Phone: 412 624-6302
Fax: 412 624-6323

GSPIA - Social Work Joint Degree


Students enrolled in the joint degree program between the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Social Work receive the benefits of two professional educations in the community building arena that prepares them for careers in non-profit and government organizations, community development, social policy, and urban and regional affairs.

The joint degree program brings together the skills from the School of Social Work in community organizing, advocacy and political action, social policy and practice, and community service systems with GSPIA’s emphasis on policy analysis, urban and regional affairs, and nonprofit and public management.

Students gain technical skills in areas such as GIS, program evaluation, environmental policy, statistics and research methods. An emphasis on nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations and urban and regional development cuts across courses and learning in both schools. Graduates from these programs have excelled in their professional careers in organizations in public, nonprofit, nongovernmental and international organizations.

SSW: Program and Tracks

Community Organizing and Social Administration (COSA)
Degree: Master of Social Work

  • Community Organizing
  • Social Administration


Degree: Master of Public Administration (MPA)

  • Urban and Regional Analysis (URA)
  • Public and Nonprofit Management (PNM)
  • Policy Research and Analysis (PRA)

Degree: Master of International Development (MID)

  • Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society
  • Development Planning and Environmental Sustainability
  • Human Security


Prospective students apply to GSPIA and the SSW. If a student is already enrolled in GSPIA or Social Work, the student must apply for the joint degree program before completing 24 credits, including any advanced status. Students must be accepted into both schools before being admitted to the joint degree program. Joint degree students graduate from both degree programs at the same time.


Students complete 36 course credit hours in GSPIA and 33 course credit hours in Social Work, plus 18 credits of Social Work field placement. Advanced standing is available for students with accredited bachelor degrees in Social Work, with a maximum of 12 course and 6 field credits available. Joint degree programs allow students to complete two degrees with fewer credits and in less time then each degree independently. The joint degree program is typically completed in 3 years.

About our graduates

Recent joint degree students are working in the following positions: Marketing Director, Hosanna House, Wilkinsburg; Presidential Management Internship, Veterans Administration; COO YouthWorks; Director of Neighborhood Policy, Office of the Mayor, Pittsburgh; Administrator, Allegheny County Department of Human Services; I Care House, AmeriCorps Service Coordinator, Slippery Rock University; Instructor, Family and Human Services Program, Penn State-Fayette; Associate Director, Westinghouse Valley Human Services Center Corp.; Executive Director, Operation Better Block. Graduates from the 1970s-1990s have achieved distinction in a number of positions, including: Executive Director of International Downtown; Professor, San Diego State University School of Social Work and founder of the Consensus Organizing Institute; Director of Department of Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland; Associate Director, United Way, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260