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About University of Southern California

Established in 1880 with just 53 students, the University of Southern California is now home to more than 48,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It's School of Social Work was started in 1920 and became the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work after an endowment in 2016 - and it was ranked #25 in the country by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. The Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers an traditional Master of Social Work (MSW), an online Master of Social Work, and an Advanced Standing online Master of Social Work. The online MSW, referred to as the MSW@USC program, follows the same curriculum as the university's on-campus program, and is the first online program of its kind to be offered by an elite U.S. private research institution. The online MSW program at USC is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

A virtual education and online learning are coupled with in-person field work in the MSW@USC program; the field experience occurs in a clinical setting in or near a student's town. Part of the field experience includes a Virtual Field Practicum: a 210-hour supervised simulation where students in small group interact with an actor playing a client. With small online classes - typically no more than 12 students - there are opportunities for collaboration and communication with peers and instructors. Tools include chats, breakout rooms, group discussions, and document sharing. There are three departments of study within the MSW curriculum: Adults and Healthy Aging; Children, Youth and Families; Community, Organization and Business Innovation. Students can choose the department and a specialization that best fits their career goals. They may opt to focus on the following within the MSW program:

  • Military Social Work
  • Older Adults
  • Systems of Recovery from Mental Illness
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Social Work and Business
  • Global Social Work

The Advanced Standing track of the MSW@USC is offered to those who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited school. These students can complete the MSW program in just 12 months.

'For me, and I know certainly for a lot of my classmates, we thought we got the best education possible.'

- Brock McNabb, USC MSW@USC Graduate

'MSW@USC has prepared me to make a difference in my community, and the world in general.'

- Michael Mann-Stock, USC MSW@USC Graduate

Accreditation Statement

The MSW@USC and the USC School of Social Work are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Western Association of Colleges and Schools (WASC).

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or higher

Why University of Southern California?

Real-Time Learning

Expert faculty provides real-time education using top virtual technology.


The MSW@USC program is offered both full- and part-time, so working professionals can conveniently fit studies into their current schedules.

Field Experiences

Students have the opportunity to apply skills in an actual clinic setting to best prepare them for their career in the social work field.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

All applicants to a USC graduate program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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