J.D./M.S.W Dual Degree Program - California Western
J.D./M.S.W Dual Degree Program


The J.D./M.S.W. Dual Degree Program was initiated in 1996. It offers students the opportunity to earn the two degrees in four, rather than the usual five years. The program provides opportunities to focus on areas where law and social work regularly intersect such as child welfare, mental health, aging, and domestic violence.

The goal of the Program is to graduate students who are competent in the disciplines of social work and law for advanced practice in these fields of service. Complex issues requiring this expertise arise in the context of counseling, administration and policy-making, as well as in practice in juvenile, family and criminal courts, and in mediation.

The Program stresses an interdisciplinary approach that values collaboration and communication skills. The culminating experience for the student is completion of either a thesis or a scholarly paper that would be suitable for publication in a law review journal or some other appropriate scholarly publication.


Program Description

The schedule of coursework for the Dual Degree Program immerses the student in the programs at each school.

There are several interdisciplinary courses in the California Western curriculum. These courses are helpful in integrating the two disciplines. For example, the Child Welfare course provides students an opportunity to examine child welfare issues from several professional perspectives. Students receive guidance from their faculty advisors regarding appropriate coursework.

Credit Transfer


Students must apply separately to California Western School of Law and San Diego State University.

Once admitted to both schools, applicants will be selected for participation in the program by a special admissions committee consisting of representatives from both institutions.

Admissions to the Dual Degree Program will be based on the applicant's undergraduate GPA, LSAT score, relevant practice, and other criteria.


California Western Professor Janet Weinstein oversees the dual degree program.
225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101