Apply Now for 2024

Fall 2024 MSW Application Priority Deadline: January 8, 2024
Summer 2024 Advanced Standing MSW Application Deadline: January 8, 2024
Fall 2024 PhD Application Deadline: December 1, 2023

PhD Student Learning Objectives

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work PhD program prepares doctoral scientists, scholars and educators who produce impactful research, make significant contributions to the alleviation of suffering, and increase the wellbeing of individuals, families, groups, organizations and society as a whole.

Our doctoral students develop mastery in research methodology, both quantitative and qualitative, and statistics, becoming experts in their chosen area of specialization, and contributing to the academic knowledge base through publications and conference presentations.

Our graduates are ready to take on leadership roles within academia and significant research institutes and to tackle that most significant social problems we face in areas such as homelessness, poverty, incarceration, substance abuse, child welfare, racial and ethnic inequalities, mental health, workplace diversity, global health and youth unemployment.


Students in Adult Mental Health and Wellness can customize their education experience by pursuing a military social work track. View Tracks.

PhD program learning objectives include:

  • Mastery of broad-based knowledge in social work and specific knowledge relevant to their own research interests, including theories and methods of intervention.
  • Mastery of research methodology and advanced statistics, including quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Demonstrated ability to make original and significant contributions to the scientific knowledge base in their area of research.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in a productive research career, including publications, grant writing and conference presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability to teach and provide valuable educational experience to students in academic settings.