The MSW@USC curriculum explores emerging needs in the field to prepare a new kind of social worker who can meet the demands of 21st-century society. The online MSW program at USC features a rigorous curriculum that is the same as that of the on-campus program. Courses are delivered online and taught by our award-winning faculty.

The MSW curriculum explores content relevant to today’s employers, expanding on the program’s historic strengths while emphasizing early intervention, prevention and wellness, leadership and effective collaboration, core competencies (evidence-based practices, evidence-informed interventions), and implications of new findings in neuroscience.

Traditional Program: 60 Units

If you hold an undergraduate degree that is not in social work, you will complete the traditional MSW program. The program can be taken full time or part time.

Advanced Standing: 37 Units

If you hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from an accredited institution, you may be eligible for the advanced standing program, which can also be completed full time or part time.

Learn More About the Online MSW

Request information today to see how the MSW@USC can bring you closer to tackling today’s social work challenges.

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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:

Academic Departments

As an MSW@USC student, you will first build a foundation in social work principles and practice and then focus your studies on your area of interest. You will design your curriculum by choosing one of the school’s departments 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.

Learn more about the academic departments within the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and explore what you will study within your chosen department.

Optional Program Tracks

To further specialize your study, you may pursue a program track that focuses on the needs of a specific population you want to help.

Military Social Work: Learn how to meet the unique needs of active military members, veterans and their families. This track is available within all three academic departments.

School Social Work: Prepare to help pre-K–12 students overcome external factors that hinder their ability to succeed in school. This track is currently only available to California-based students who choose the Department of Children, Youth and Families.

For students interested in the School Social Work track or pursuing PPSC, your schedule may be modified to ensure a positive field placement experience and that you meet all necessary requirements for the credential. This means that if your first term of field placement for traditional students or any field placement for advanced standing students falls over the summer term, you will need to take a modified schedule which will likely delay your graduation date. For specific questions, reach out to an admissions counselor at 877-700-4679 or

Field Education

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

You will spend more than 1,000 hours completing field educationonline through the Virtual Field Practicum as well as in person through community-based field placement. You will work with a coordinator to choose a placement site that’s right for you.

2022 Curriculum

For students entering in fall 2022 or later
Our new 42 credit hour MSW program** is created for people like you, who can’t wait to change the world. * We have streamlined courses and made our program more customizable so you can focus on your interests.

  • Options for accelerated and traditional students mean that you can earn your degree with a schedule that makes sense for you. 
  • Our partnerships with major organizations in LA mean that you can get invaluable real-world experience that often leads to job placements after graduation.

Be a part of the next generation of change-makers. It all starts here. 

**pending university approval

Message from Dean Sarah Gehlert on proposed curriculum change for fall 2022.

Take the Next Step

Get in touch with an admissions counselor to discuss your goals and how the MSW@USC can help you lead positive change.