Our Student Body

You’ll move through your master’s program with a cohort of fellow students, a passionate and driven group of scholars dedicated to creating positive social change and advancing public health solutions.

Among the full Brown School cohort that began in Fall 2023:

  • 189 new students began programs at the Brown School
  • Ages range from 20 – 64, with a median age of 24
  • 41% of students are international students, representing 21 countries 
  • 41% of domestic students identify as students of color
  • 47% are first-generation undergraduate and/or graduate-level students

Among all MSW students:

  • 35% of domestic students identify as students of color
  • 21 U.S. states and 6 international countries are represented
  • 49% are first-generation undergraduate and/or graduate-level students

Among all MPH students:

  • 57% of domestic students identify as students of color
  • 13 U.S. states and 18 international countries are represented
  • 41% are first-generation undergraduate and/or graduate-level students

*Statistics reflect the 2023-2024 academic year.

Retention, Completion, and Career Outcomes

After enrolling in the Master of Social Work (MSW) or Master of Public Health (MPH) program, 95% of Brown School students graduate within four years, with most students graduating in two years. The newer Master of Social Policy (MSP) program has an even higher graduation rate with 100% of students who enrolled in the first five years of the program completing and graduating with an MSP. In addition to high graduation rates, MPH students at the Brown School have high rates of success on the CPH public health certification exam with 90% of graduates passing the exam in 2022 and 2023. After graduation, there are high rates of employment for Brown School master’s program grads. Of 115 graduates participating in a survey just before the end of their program in 2022, 57% were already employed. As of summer 2023, MPH program graduates were employed in jobs or fellowships or pursuing further degrees for 86.2% of graduates in 2019, 88.7% of graduates in 2020, 83.1% of graduates in 2021, and 78.8% of graduates in 2022. Starting salaries for Brown School graduates tend to be in near $60,000. In an end-of-program survey, employed participants in a survey of 2022 all master’s level graduates reported a mean salary of $57,307 with MSP graduates earing $56,000 and MPH graduates earning $58,000. Employed participants in a survey of 2021 dual degree MSW/MPH graduates reported a mean salary of $61,359.

The high rates of retention, graduation, and employment are also seen in the Brown School PhD programs. The social work PhD program has a 97% retention rate since 2012 and the public health studies PhD program has a 100% retention rate since its inception in 2015. The mean time-to-graduation for social work doctoral students is 5.2 years. Between 2018 and 2022, 43 students graduated from the Brown School’s social work PhD program and 9 students graduated from the public health sciences PhD program since it began in 2015. Of the available data from 38 social work PhD graduates responding to an alumni survey, 100% were currently employed with 95% in research positions (i.e., tenure-track faculty, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists) in universities, such as Boston College, University of Washington, University of Denver, University of Texas, San Antonio, University of Toronto, University of Chicago, University of Kansas, Emory University, University of Georgia, Saint Louis University, among many others. Graduates in “other” positions (5%) were employed as data analysts, administrators, or program evaluators at non-for-profit organizations (e.g., Massachusetts General Hospital) or government agencies (e.g., Indian Health Services). All 9 of the PhD in public health sciences are currently employed. Two accepted tenure-track faculty positions, four are in academic research positions, two conduct national policy research, and one is in industry as a scientific editor.