If you have completed all or part of the first half of graduate study at a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited school of social work, you may apply as a transfer student to the online MSW program. Learn more about the curriculum for the program here.

The admissions standards for the online MSW are the same as those for our on-campus program, and we seek applicants who are motivated to succeed in a challenging master’s degree program.

Application Requirements

The following transfer materials must be submitted in addition to those required for the standard application process:

  • Transfer Credit Request Form (you may request this from the Admissions department)
  • A letter of good standing from the dean or associate dean of the transfer institution
  • Syllabus for each course for which you are requesting transfer credit; if you are requesting credit for practicum experience, you must submit a full description of your practicum experience and copies of practicum evaluations
  • Copy of MSW program information in the transfer institution’s catalog for the period during which coursework was completed
  • Completed assignments for each course for which you are requesting transfer credit


Please submit all materials together via email, formatting the subject line as follows: Transfer Application – [Student Name]. The application can be addressed to the admissions office at admissions@online.usc.edu.

USC Credit Transfer Policies

Review transfer credit policies in the online USC Handbook.

  • Graduate transfer credit will only be allowed for courses (1) from an accredited graduate school, (2) of a quality of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale, (3) constituting a fair and reasonable equivalent to current USC course work at the graduate level and (4) logically fitting into the program for the degree.
  • Graduate transfer credit will not be granted for life experience.
  • Transfer work must have been completed within seven years of admission to a USC master’s degree program to be applied toward that degree.
  • Graduate transfer credit will not be allowed for non-matriculated students. Applicant must have been enrolled and matriculating through the MSW program at their original institution.

Master of Social Work Program Transfer Credit Policies

  • The maximum number of transferable credits is 10.5 semester units. There is no petition process for denied transfer credits.
  • Of the 10.5 units, courses eligible for transfer credit review are those determined to be equivalent to USC’s first-year courses or to meet the expectation of the second-year electives and in which a grade of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale was earned. Please note that transfer credit is not guaranteed, even if a course meets the eligibility requirements.
  • Coursework is evaluated on a course-by-course basis by designated faculty members, with the approval of the vice dean.
  • The USC MSW Transfer Review Committee will only review courses which are equivalent to the following: Human Behavior & Social Environment I, Human Behavior & Social Environment II, Social Policy courses, 1st year Research Courses, and Electives. The committee will review transfer credit for Social Practice courses and Field on a case-by-case basis.
  • Transfer applicants will be considered for all cohorts. However, please keep in mind that the transfer applicant’s actual program start date is contingent upon the number of units and the nature of the transfer courses accepted by the university and may not align with original cohort for which the student applied.


If you have questions about transfer credits, contact us to learn more.

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