Why USC?

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


  • Oldest MSW program 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)
  • Research clusters and institutes in aging, behavioral health, child welfare, homelessness, management and organizations, serious mental illness, substance abuse, and veterans and military families.
  • Most rapidly expanding social work graduate school in the nation


  • Among the first schools 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)


  • More than 1,600 field internship opportunities
  • More than 1.5 million student hours of community service each year
  • Community immersion experiences in local urban neighborhoods
  • Opportunities for leadership development and community service through 18 student groups
  • International study opportunities in China, Europe, India, Israel, Philippines and United Kingdom


  • 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


  • 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 national leadership development program for emerging Korean-American leaders
  • First to receive university mentorship award as a school


  • 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

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is one of the top private research universities in the United States, attracting students from all 50 states, five territories and 115 countries. Since its establishment in 1880, USC has conferred degrees on more than a quarter million students — leaders who have helped Southern California emerge as an international trendsetter in public policy, economic and business affairs, urban planning and engineering, scientific research, health care, communications and the arts. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 172 undergraduate majors, and graduate students were enrolled in nearly 395 master’s, certificate, doctoral and professional degree programs. Alongside these many majors, USC has developed 174 different academic and professional minors — the broadest selection of any U.S. university — to encourage students to study subjects across widely separated fields. Students may select from a variety of degree combinations under the direction of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; the Graduate School and the university’s 18 professional schools. USC is one of a small number of premier research institutions producing a steady stream of new knowledge, art and technology. With more than $650 million in annual research expenditures, it ranks among the top 10 private universities in federally supported research. USC also prides itself on being a good neighbor. Since 1994, faculty, staff and friends have donated nearly $18 million to enhance educational opportunities, promote health and fitness, improve public safety and support economic development in surrounding communities.

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!