The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work follows the minimum requirements for graduate admission to USC, as defined by the USC Office of Graduate & International Admission. Please refer to the International Applications and the Admission Requirements by Country pages for more information.
Applying to the MSW Program
International students are not eligible to apply to the Virtual Academic Center, our web-based Online MSW program. You must attend our campus-based program in order to access international student resources and American Language Institute classes (if applicable).
The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work has two application deadlines, but we require international students to apply by the earlier MSW deadline in order to allow enough time for processing additional paperwork.
To fully understand the international student application process, you must read all of the information provided on these two websites:
- Graduate Admissions Office: International Students
- Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work: Application Process
APPLICATION CHECKLIST FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS:
Submit these components ONLINE through the online application:
- Online Graduate Admission Application (including application fee)
- Supplemental Form: Social Work (MSW) (complete on the online application)
- Resume (refer to USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work: Application Process for instructions)
- Statement of Purpose (refer to USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work: Application Process for instructions)
- Recommendations* (two required, third optional)
*We strongly encourage you to use the online recommendation system found in the online application.
Submit this component BY MAIL to the USC Office of Graduate & International Admission:
- Academic Records (Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions)
Submit this component BY EMAIL to the USC Office of Graduate & International Admission:
- Evidence of financial support (refer to USC Office of Graduate & International Admission: Financial Support for instructions). You do not need to mail any documents directly to the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. All documents must be sent BY EMAIL to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
- For students whose native language is not English, the TOEFL or the IELTS exam is required. You will need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores in order to complete an application and be reviewed for admission to the MSW program. Scores must be submitted no later than March 1.
The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work will only accept the internet-based TOEFL test and requires all applicants to submit a minimum score of 100, with no less than 20 in each category. Applicants who choose to take the IELTS must achieve a minimum total score of 7 with no less than 6.5 points on each band score. TOEFL/IELTS tests must be taken within the last 2 years and scores must be submitted electronically directly from testing service. Failure to meet the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work’s English proficiency requirements will result in your application not being reviewed for admissions.
The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work also requests international applicants to take an online interview to receive additional information. The Interview link and instructions will be sent to the applicants after they submit their applications. In addition, ALL international students are required to take the International Student English (ISE) exam in person after they are admitted. This can happen in the two to three weeks before the school year begins. The ISE exam is free and assesses language proficiency. The results will either release students from taking additional mandatory English courses or require a certain number of English courses offered at the university. Typically, students who do well on the TOEFL or IELTS do not require additional courses, but the ISE results are necessary to ensure student success in the program. If the ISE Exam determines that the student requires additional courses, the student will need to move to a three year program length in order to succeed in the program. In this model, students will not start field placement until their second year in the program. This will allow students a year of social work and English courses to be better prepared for the academic and field portions of the degree.
Please note that the USC Office of Graduate and International Admissions will only issue I-20 or DS-2019 certificates after you have been admitted and certified your enrollment in the MSW program.
Scholarships for International Students
The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers departmental scholarships up to $10,000 to full-time international MSW students based on a combination of individual merit and financial need. The university, however, does not provide fee waivers to international students, nor are international students eligible for federal or university need-based financial aid from the USC Financial Aid Office. More information and resources are available on the USC Financial Aid Office: International Students page.
International Student Advisor
Studying abroad can be both an opportunity and a challenge. The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work recognizes the importance of making new friends and adjusting to the way of life in another country. We invite you to contact our international student advisor if you have questions about USC or living in Los Angeles, so you can be introduced to other international students and invited to special orientation events and social activities.