No GRE required

Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Five optional, specialized tracks

Master of Social Work

The MSW curriculum explores emerging needs in the field to prepare social workers who can find comprehensive, integrative solutions to 21st-century challenges. Featuring a rigorous curriculum that mirrors the on-campus program, MSW provides each student with a specialization in integrative social work, offering foundational training that prepares them to practice across client populations and settings. The program can be further supplemented with one of five optional, specialized tracks.

Courses are delivered online and taught by our award-winning faculty, and a team of placement experts help you find appropriate practicum sites in your own community. MSW expands on the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work’s historic strengths while emphasizing early intervention, prevention and wellness, leadership and effective collaboration, core competencies (evidence-based practices and evidence-informed interventions), and implications of new findings in neuroscience.

Traditional Online MSW Program: 48 Units

If you hold a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) you may be eligible for our MSW program. The program can be taken full time or part time.

Advanced Standing: 24 Units

If you hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from an accredited institution, you may be eligible for the advanced standing program.

MSW Program at a Glance

The online MSW program allows you to tailor your education to your goals while thoroughly preparing you to make a positive impact on your community. To fulfill the program requirements, you must complete the following:

  1. Determine whether you will pursue an optional program track.
  2. Apply your clinical skills through practicum education.

Optional Program Tracks

As an MSW student, you will first build a foundation in social work principles and practice and then have the option to focus your studies on your area of interest. You can design your curriculum by choosing one of the school’s optional tracks of study before you begin your classes:

Adult Mental Health and Wellness

Focus on the mental health and physical well-being of adults, ranging in age from young adults to seniors.

Children, Youth and Families

Address the needs of vulnerable children, youth and families while building supportive social environments.

Social Change and Innovation

Lead and drive positive change in communities, organizations, businesses and government.

Military Populations and Settings

Learn how to meet the unique needs of active military members, veterans and their families.

School and Educational Settings (footnote)

Prepare to help pre-K–12 students overcome external factors that hinder their ability to succeed in school. Students in all states may pursue this track but only California-based students can pursue the Pupil Personnel Services Credential.

Learn more about the optional program tracks within the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and explore what you will study.

*Students interested in the School and Educational Settings track may require a modified schedule to ensure a positive placement experience. For additional information about placement requirements, reach out to an admissions counselor at 877-700-4679 or sswvac@msw.usc.edu.
The School and Educational Settings track allows students who wish to practice in California the opportunity to pursue the Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC). This allows them to work as a social worker in school settings. Students who reside or intend to practice in a state outside of California may complete this track, but are not guaranteed licensure as a school social worker. Requirements may vary from state to state. Therefore, a student enrolling in this program and selecting the School and Educational Settings track should research the requirements in the state in which they reside or intend to practice. (return)

Practicum Education

The MSW program prepares you with crucial hands-on experience to tackle today’s social work challenges.

You will spend a minimum of 1,100 practicum training hours* online through the Virtual Practicum as well as in person through community-based placement. You will work with a coordinator to choose a placement site that’s right for you.

*Students are required to complete a minimum of 100 practicum hours through attendance and participation with their practicum class, and orientation and evidence-based intervention training (if applicable).

Curriculum Overview

48-Units Integrative Social Work (ISW) Curriculum:

Full-time Sample Schedule

SemesterCourseTotal Units
1SOWK 506: Human Behavior and the Social Environment
SOWK 630: Diversity, Social Justice, and Culturally Humble Social Work Practice
SOWK 510: Professional Self-Care, Wellness, & Resilience in Integrative Social Work Practice
SOWK 523: Foundations of Integrative Social Work Practice I
SOWK 591: Applied Learning in Practicum Education I
15
2SOWK 536: Policy and Advocacy in Professional Social Work
SOWK 546: Science of Social Work
SOWK 511: Critical Decision-Making in Integrative Social Work Practice
SOWK 525: Foundations of Integrative Social Work Practice II
SOWK 593: Applied Learning in Practicum Education II
15
3INTEGRATIVE SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I
ASSESSMENT / EVALUATION / RESEARCH
SOWK 691: Applied Learning in Practicum Education III
9
4INTEGRATIVE SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE II
SOWK 6XX: Elective
SOWK 693: Applied Learning in Practicum Education IV
9

48 Total Units

Part-time Sample Schedule

SemesterCourseTotal Units
1SOWK 506: Human Behavior and the Social Environment
SOWK 630: Diversity, Social Justice, and Culturally Humble Social Work Practice
SOWK 510: Professional Self-Care, Wellness, & Resilience in Integrative Social Work Practice
9
2SOWK 536: Policy and Advocacy in Professional Social Work
SOWK 546: Science of Social Work
SOWK 511: Critical Decision-Making in Integrative Social Work Practice
9
3SOWK 523: Foundations of Integrative Social Work Practice I
SOWK 591: Applied Learning in Practicum Education I
6
4SOWK 525: Foundations of Integrative Social Work Practice II
SOWK 593: Applied Learning in Practicum Education II
6
5INTEGRATIVE SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I
ASSESSMENT / EVALUATION / RESEARCH
SOWK 691: Applied Learning in Practicum Education III
9
6INTEGRATIVE SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE II
SOWK 6XX: Elective: 3 units
SOWK 693: Applied Learning in Practicum Education IV
9

48 Total Units

Advanced Standing Integrative Social Work (ISW) Curriculum:

SemesterCourseTotal Units
1SOWK 511: Critical Decision-Making in Integrative Social Work Practice
SOWK 525: Foundations of Integrative Social Work Practice II
6
2INTEGRATIVE SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I
ASSESSMENT / EVALUATION / RESEARCH
SOWK 691: Applied Learning in Field Education III (new course)
9
3INTEGRATIVE SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE II
SOWK 6XX: Elective
SOWK 693: Applied Learning in Field Education IV (new course)
9

24 Total Units

Note: PPSC is not included

Curriculum is subject to change for the 2024 Academic Year.