Social Work Programs

March 27, 2011

University Of Southern California Social Work School

usc social work The University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work offers a Master of Social Work degree and a Doctoral degree in Social Work. The MSW program offers two, three, and four-year programs as options for students to complete the degree. All MSW students are expected to complete both Foundation and Concentration courses. In the Foundation year, students learn about generalist social work practice, policy, social welfare, and complete other relevant courses.

The second half of this curriculum requires that students take Concentration courses, which address students’ areas of specialty including health; mental health; work & life; families and children; and community, organization, planning, and administration (COPA). Students can also choose sub-concentrations, which include veterans’ services; older adults; public child welfare; school settings; and systems of mental illness recovery.


MSW students are also given the option of earning dual degrees. These combinations include an MSW and a Master of Business Administration; MSW and a Master of Science in Gerontology; MSW and a Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Service; MSW and Law; MSW and a Master of Public Adminstration; and MSW and a Master of Planning. MSW students must also complete a total of 1,050 hours of field education in all sorts of settings such as schools, hospitals, mental health settings, and businesses in Southern California.

Students’ year in a Foundation placement will teach them a wide range of social work skills and will expose them to all different types of adults, children, and families during 16 hours of placement each week. In students’ Concentration placement will be more targeted toward the students’ area of interest and students are expected to complete 20 hours each week in the placement.

University Of Southern California- Doctorate In Social Work

The USC School of Social Work doctoral program attracts students who are interested in training students to become teachers and researchers. PhD students must complete select courses that focus on various aspects of social work along with a collection of advanced research and statistics courses. PhD students must also take at least three additional courses from other departments within the university, and they must develop an area of interest outside the School of Social Work such as gerontology, sociology; psychology; preventive medicine; business; policy, planning and development; or political science. PhD students at USC School of Social Work also must complete three tutorial courses while being mentored by a faculty member.

In order to become a candidate for a PhD in Social Work, students must pass a qualifying exam after taking all core courses. Students must also complete a dissertation and are required to orally defend it before earning a doctoral degree. USC School of Social Work also offers PhD students additional training in research and teaching. Students are invited to collaborate with faculty members in research projects, develop grants, and publish research in scholarly journals. All USC School of Social Work doctoral students must also teach for two semesters before graduation. Some research takes place at the Hamovitch Center for Science in the Human Services, an initiative by the USC School of Social Work to conduct research in the urban setting of Los Angeles on a wide variety of human service issues and societal problems.

Also, the GRE is not required to apply for USC School of Social Work.

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