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Group photo of USC Social Work students

About the School

The value of a USC degree

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Points of Distinction

Reputation

  • Oldest MSW and PhD programs in the West
  • $100 million in research funding since 1997
  • Continuously ranked among top schools of social work (U.S. News & World Report)
  • Cutting edge research in aging, artificial intelligence, behavioral health, child welfare, crisis and bereavement, homelessness, human trafficking, management and organizations, serious mental illness, substance abuse, social determinants of health, social adaptation to climate change and man-made disasters, and veterans and military families.

Academic

  • Among the first schools of social work to be fully accredited
  • First to develop and fully articulate the concept of "policy practice"
  • More opportunities for specialization than any other social work program
  • First endowed chair in social work for the Chinese elderly
  • One of only three schools of social work with evolved models for translational science (National Institute of Mental Health)

Experiential

  • More than 1,600 field internship opportunities
  • More than 1.5 million student hours of community service each year valued at more than $40.1 million in Southern California and across the country
  • Community immersion experiences in local urban neighborhoods
  • Opportunities for leadership development and community service through 18 student groups
  • International study opportunities in China, Europe, Israel, Mexico, Philippines and United Kingdom

Research

  • First to endow a center for interdisciplinary social work research - Hamovitch Center for Science in the Human Services
  • Only school of social work in history to receive a directed Congressional appropriation for research (for military social work through the Department of Defense)
  • Largest interdisciplinary intervention research team in any school of social work
  • Only school of social work with a central role in the National Institute of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Initiative
  • North American liaison to the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations and hub for promotion of evidence-based decision-making and practice movement

Innovation

  • First school of social work to develop online Doctor of Social Work and Master of Science in Nursing programs
  • First military social work specialization at a civilian research university
  • First national web-based MSW program, begun in 2010
  • First social work program to use virtual reality for graduate education
  • First to receive university mentorship award as a school

Financial

  • Percentage of MSW students receiving federal loans: 90%
  • Percentage of PhD students receiving financial assistance: 100%
  • Amount awarded to PhD students over four years: $200,000
  • Ten endowed chairs and professorships
  • 47 endowed scholarships

University of Southern California

With one of the most abundant financial aid pools in the country, USC provides more than $330 million in scholarships and aid.

USC’s distinguished faculty of 4,000 innovative scholars, researchers, teachers and mentors includes five Nobel laureates, and dozens of recipients of prestigious national honors including the MacArthur “Genius” Award, Guggenheim Award, the National Medal of the Arts, the National Humanities Medal, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and Pulitzer Prize.

Trojan Family

After graduation, every Trojan joins an invaluable worldwide support network of nearly 230,000 living alumni. The Trojan Family is hailed as one of the strongest networks in the nation, consisting of devoted alumni who maintain a close association with the university, mentoring students and opening career doors for fellow graduates. With alumni groups on five continents, Trojans roam, but they are never alone! And don’t forget the USC Social Work Alumni Association to stay connected to the school, your profession and fellow classmates, too!