Professionals seeking leadership or management roles that challenge them to solve large-scale social problems are encouraged to apply to USC’s online Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program, the DSW@USC. The online program prepares students from diverse academic backgrounds to make a lasting social impact as they seek to eradicate violence, homelessness, economic inequality and other pervasive issues.
The DSW@USC is delivered through online classes and coursework and in-person residencies focused on the development of innovative ideas.
Sponsored DSW Program
The DSW curriculum focuses on two primary areas: innovation and leadership, and advanced management practice in complex systems. Students explore topics such as organizational leadership, technological fluency, public discourse and data-driven decision making during core courses and seminars. The program culminates in a capstone project in which students present an original solution for one of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work.
- Evaluating Innovation and Change
- Informatics and Social Innovation
- Leading and Managing Complex Systems
- Financial Management for Social Change
- Data-Driven Decision Making in Social Services
Students attend two in-person residencies lasting from Sunday night through Friday. During the first residency, in Washington, D.C., students identify the Grand Challenge they want to research. During the second residency, in Los Angeles, students present their capstone project, which takes the place of a dissertation.
Applicants must have a master’s degree or a professional doctorate. Accepted degrees include Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Public Policy (MPP), Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and Juris Doctor (JD).
A completed DSW@USC application includes the following items:
- Official transcripts from all accredited schools attended
- Resume highlighting professional experience
- Statement of purpose addressing professional goals and interest in pursuing the degree
- Three letters of recommendation
- Application fee