Social Work and Business in a Global Society

In the last few decades, the world has changed rapidly and so has the role of social workers. Social workers are not just making a difference through nonprofit avenues but expanding their reach into the for-profit sector, including corporate settings.

Corporate social workers help companies work with their communities and customers to solve big social problems and define best practices that help employees and their families live healthy and productive lives. They target such areas as cultural diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility and work-life balance.

The Social Work and Business in a Global Society concentration will prepare you to:

  • Take on leadership roles in business environments.
  • Understand human behavior and social identity formation at the organizational level.
  • Resolve conflicts and bullying in work groups.
  • Help employees manage the demands between work and life, and mental health issues.
  • Know labor policies, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and the Affordable Care Act.
  • Work with companies to build positive relationships with communities.

Social workers trained in corporate relations work in a range of positions:

  • Corporate social responsibility manager
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) clinician
  • Behavioral health care manager
  • Organizational change management consultant
  • Global diversity and inclusion manager
  • Employee wellness specialist
  • Director of sustainability

The Social Work and Business in a Global Society concentration can offer you the chance to make a difference on a global scale, working with companies who support a mission of social change and employee well-being.


“In this rapidly changing world, social workers are becoming more valued than ever in innovative businesses, serving at the intersection of work and life, or even at the intersection of for-profits and non-profits. Social Work and Business in a Global Society draws innovative future leaders who think systemically, globally and BIG!”

Beverly Younger
Clinical Associate Professor

Concentration Requirements

Required Courses

  • Context and Policies of Social Work Practice with Work Environments
    This course prepares students for practice in work-related environments through analysis of practice roles, settings, historical to current practice trends, business and economic contexts and policy analysis.
  • Mezzo Theory and Practice in Work-Related Environments
    Emphasizing group and organizational dynamics, this course provides an understanding of human behavior in work-related environments, exploring how to work with teams and groups to decrease conflict, increase collaboration, address traumas that may affect employees and facilitate strategic planning and development.

Selectives (students must choose at least one):

  • Micro Practice and Evaluation in Work-Related Environments
    Drawing upon clinical evidence-based models, this course prepares students for micro-level practice and evaluation to improve individual/family well-being within diverse work-related practice environments. Micro practice skills include clinical assessment, treatment planning, brief therapy and evaluating services.
  • Macro Practice and Evaluation in Work-Related Environments
    This course prepares students for practice in work-related environments through analysis of practice roles, settings, historical to current practice trends, business and economic contexts and policy analysis. Macro practice skills include organizational assessment, designing programs and interventions across complex systems, funding and budgeting methods and program evaluation.

A Sample of Electives

  • Managing Diversity in a Global Society
  • Consultation, Coaching and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Substance Abuse with Consideration of Other Addictive Disorders

Field Placement

As a student in the Social Work and Business in a Global Society concentration, you will complete one of your field placement requirements at a site in or near your community that supports your concentration choice and your career goals. You can learn more about field placement here.

Sub-Concentrations

You may choose to supplement your Social Work and Business in a Global Society concentration with a sub-concentration in Military Social Work or Older Adults.

If you are ready to speak with us about your career in social work, contact an admissions counselor at 1.877.700.4MSW or sswvac@usc.edu to get started.

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