Statement of Purpose Instructions
As part of your application for admission to the USC MSW program, please submit a Statement of Purpose that
encapsulates your motivation in seeking an MSW. Your statement should demonstrate an ability to synthesize your
professional/personal experiences and desire to enter the field of social work. Use the following questions as a
guide for topics to address within the statement and not a format for your statement. Please limit your statement
to five double-spaced pages (1500 words). This statement will be used to assess your creativity, critical thinking,
self-awareness and writing skills.
Describe your understanding of the social work profession and its core values. How have you incorpo-
rated social work values in your human service experiences and interactions with others?
What significant relationships and life experiences have you had in giving or receiving help that have
motivated you to enter the field of social work?
- What personal qualities equip you for the social work profession? Discuss your experiences and feelings about working with populations different from your own.
The USC School of Social Work is dedicated to providing excellent graduate education for people des-
tined to create social change. What social welfare areas interest you and why? What social problem
most concerns you that might be addressed with an MSW?
Discuss your undergraduate/graduate academic experience and include a description of your academic
strengths and weaknesses. Please explain any grade deficiencies and what you have done to improve
- Graduate education can be a rigorous and costly endeavor. How do you plan to prepare for this experience?
- Virtual Academic Scholarship Applicants Only: Please describe your academic and professional goals in the field of social work. What specific population(s) interest(s) you? How do you desire to serve the population(s) professionally? Please discuss very candidly how this scholarship will assist you in achieving your academic goals. What, if any, special circumstances necessitate this scholarship during your academic endeavors (i.e. family situation, financial hardship, etc.)? Please answer this question with no more than 1-2 pages attached as a supporting document to your application. This essay is separate from your five-page statement.
This material is considered confidential and will be used for the purposes of rendering an admission decision and directing your educational experience.
Click here to learn more about the MSW@USC.