MSW and MS, Conflict Analysis and Resolution Dual Degree Program

The Department of Social Work partners with George Mason's nationally recognized Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution on a three-year dual degree program. Students can earn both an MSW and a Master of Science in Conflict Analysis & Resolution while taking advantage of the diversity of the D.C. metropolitan area and the university's proximity to the nation's capital.

The degree programs in social work and conflict analysis and resolution complement each other. The Master's in Conflict Analysis & Resolution's strong emphasis on theory is an excellent supplement to the grounding in theory provided through the social work curriculum. Social work's strong practice orientation supplements the skill-building provided through the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

The MSW degree is comprehensive, versatile, and well-recognized in the labor market. It encompasses direct service with many different population groups in a wide range of settings, as well as policy analysis and advocacy, community practice, research, and organizational leadership. The degree in conflict analysis and resolution is more focused, demonstrating a highly specialized set of knowledge and skills. The combination provides students with the best of both worlds.

Applying to the Dual Degree Program

Students interested in the three-year dual degree program must complete the standard University Graduate Application (one application; designate social work as the primary program), which includes one general goals statement, two letters of recommendation, and one official copy of all transcripts. In answering the goal statement and in letters of recommendation, please address your interest in both programs.

In addition, the MSW program has a set of program application materials: including a résumé and an applicant data form.  On the MSW checklist and applicant data form, check "dual degree."

Application materials are to be submitted to the College of Public Health at the address found on the MSW program application materials.

If accepted to the dual degree program, one letter will be sent jointly from the Social Work Department Chair and Director of the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution.  Advising is done collaboratively between the two programs.

Please note that in order to complete the dual degree, students must be accepted to both programs at the same time (fall semester admission), complete the courses as outlined in the curriculum beginning in the fall, and graduate with both degrees at the same time. Students who are already enrolled in either program are not eligible to complete the dual degree.

View the requirements for the Social Work (MSW) and Conflict Analysis and Resolution (MS) Dual Degree.

View the curriculum for the Dual Degree (pdf).

Time Limit

Master's degree students have six years from the time of first enrollment as a degree-seeking student to complete their degrees. Individual master's programs may have stricter time limits, which are published in the George Mason University catalog. International students attending in F-1 or J-1 status also have more restrictive time limits; contact the Office of International Programs and Services for information. Students who are given permission to re-enroll following an absence from Mason may not count the six-year time limit as beginning on the date of re-enrollment. Students who will not meet published time limits because of circumstances beyond their control may petition for an extension. Failure to meet the time limits or to secure approval of an extension request may result in termination from the program.


Master’s level social workers work in mental health agencies, schools, businesses, and health care settings in both the public and private sectors. They often serve as chief administrators or departmental directors in hospitals, homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, group homes, substance abuse programs and adoption agencies. Social workers can also develop community programs and resources or work as analysts, lobbyists, and policymakers in public, for-profit, and nonprofit human service agencies, advocacy groups, think tanks, and professional membership organizations.

Graduates of the MS program work in a variety of settings where conflict resolution is useful, such as businesses, unions, government agencies, religious groups, court systems, educational institutions, community centers, international relief and development organizations, conflict resolution consulting firms, and in situations where interest groups are in conflict with current and emergent public policy.