About the Online Environment

What is it like to earn an MSW degree online?

The MSW@USC offers both synchronous and asynchronous elements, meaning you will be expected to be online at specific times for some activities but able to engage in other activities, like your field placement, in your community. Learning in our virtual environment allows you to communicate with professors and peers – from all over the country – via live webcam discussions and custom-designed social-networking tools that function like Facebook.


How does the MSW@USC differ from other online programs?

The MSW@USC is the first top-ranked MSW program offered nationally. Many online programs are limited to certain geographic areas or the availability of courses, making it necessary to travel to campus. Our program can be completed from virtually anywhere without the need to relocate to Southern California. We also offer multiple start dates to accommodate your scheduling needs.


How interactive is the coursework?

Coursework is delivered online through a combination of streaming video, animation and various other new media and Web 2.0 technologies. Lectures are not simply ported from basic presentations, but are delivered live in an interactive classroom environment. Students have the opportunity to see their professors and peers through webcams, take part in online chats and even participate in break-out discussion groups.


What if I don’t know a lot about computers?

You don’t need to be an expert in computers, but it is helpful if you are comfortable using the Internet and social networking sites, like Facebook, and know basic word processing and streaming video.  Our technical support team is always available to answer your computer-related questions and provide assistance with technical issues. New students also receive special support during an extensive orientation prior to starting classes.


What are the technology requirements?

Hardware and software requirements include Windows XP or Vista; Mac OSX, 1 Gig of Ram; 100MB of hard drive space, high speed internet (DSL or Cable) is strongly recommended.


Do I need a web camera to engage in this interactive program?

Yes, a web camera is required. A webcam will enhance your interaction with faculty and fellow classmates.


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