The online Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program seeks to admit aspiring social innovators who meet our high standards for academic excellence and commitment to solving pervasive social problems.
Prospective DSW students must hold a master’s degree. Successful applicants may hold an MSW from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program, or a related degree including but not limited to Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Master of Public Policy (MPP), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) or any professional doctorate.
Five years of professional employment experience is strongly preferred. Experience should demonstrate the following qualities:
Strong oral and written communication skills
Demonstrated leadership and management experience
Potential for innovation and creativity
To start DSW classes in September, apply by June 29
The following components are required to complete your DSW application:
Resume: Upload your current resume to the "Employment Information" section of the online application. Your resume should specifically highlight your social work-related experience.
Statement of purpose: Upload your statement of purpose to the "Supporting Documents" section of the online application. Your statement of purpose must be five to seven double-spaced pages in length, with one-inch margins, and 12-point Times New Roman font and answer these questions:
Describe your professional goals, and explain how having a DSW from USC will help you achieve them.
Discuss how your past academic and professional experiences have helped shape your ability to:
Demonstrate innovation and creativity in your work.
Communicate with key stakeholders.
Lead and manage teams.
Collaborate with communities and professional networks.
Letters of recommendation: Submit three letters of recommendation through the online application. Recommendations can come from academic instructors or professionals who have worked with you in a leadership capacity (paid, volunteer or internship.) Personal recommendations are not acceptable.
Official transcripts: USC requires an official academic record from each post-secondary, regionally accredited school you have attended. Your school(s) can email official, password-protected electronic transcripts directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail them to: