Important Dates & Upcoming Events

Online Information Session: February 28, 2024
Virtual Application Workshop: March 6, 2024
Final Application Deadline: March 19, 2024
The next start date: May 13, 2024

Completing your Application

1. Begin the Online Application

Create a username and password to log in to the online application portal. You may complete the application at your own pace and in any order.

2. Add Your Resume

Upload your current resume or curriculum vitae that highlights your social work experience.

3. Add Your Writing Sample

Your response to each of the two prompts must be three pages long, and double-spaced, for a total of six pages, and answer the following questions:

Prompt #1: Describe your professional goals, and explain how having a DSW from USC will help you achieve them. As part of this statement, we ask that you demonstrate:

  • Your understanding of the program focus and curriculum
  • The alignment of your career goals with curriculum of the DSW program

Prompt #2: What single social problem keeps you up at night? Select a social problem you would like to solve during your professional career and describe it in behavioral terms. In other words, elaborate upon which behavior(s), and by whom, must change in order for this problem to be solved, and not the solution itself. Contextualize your discussion around one or two of the Grand Challenges for Social Work.

Formatting and Tips

  • Remember to demonstrate a high level of academic writing that aligns with what you would expect to see in a doctoral program.
  • Submit both in a single, six-page document — clearly label the sections with a page break between your two responses.
  • A title page is not required, but please include citations in APA formatting. A works cited page is not included in your six-page limit.
  • Use 12-point, Times New Roman font and one-inch margins.
  • Your statements should both be double-spaced.
  • Our faculty will use this to evaluate your professional writing skills, so we recommend having a peer or supervisor review it before submitting.

4. Request Three Letters of Recommendation

Apply your recommender’s name and email address to the Evaluations tab of the application. Your recommenders will receive an email invitation to submit their recommendation online. You do not need to wait for your recommenders to complete their evaluations in order to submit your application. Your application will automatically update once letters are received.

Recommendations can come from academic instructors or professionals who have worked with you in a leadership capacity (paid, volunteer or internship). Personal recommendations are not accepted.

5. Request your Official Transcripts from All Previously Attended Postsecondary Institutions (Undergraduate and Graduate)

Electronic or hard copy transcripts are accepted.

Electronic: Please have electronic transcripts sent to both your email address and etrans@usc.edu. Once you have received the transcripts, upload them to the Academic History section of the application for admissions review purposes.

Hard copy: Please scan and upload your official transcripts directly to the Academic History section of the application portal. Opened, scanned and uploaded transcripts are acceptable for admissions review purposes. Once admitted, you will need to submit electronic transcripts or sealed, official transcripts from your degree-conferring institution to USC.

6. Submit your Online Application

Sign up for updates and reminders about the application process for the Doctor of Social Work program:

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Contact Us

For any admissions-related questions or application assistance, please reach out to your admissions advisor or call 1-855-769-9-DSW.

Important Dates & Upcoming Events

Online Information Session: February 28, 2024
Virtual Application Workshop: March 6, 2024
Final Application Deadline: March 19, 2024
The next start date: May 13, 2024