Help Social Workers Follow their Passion

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Help Social Workers Follow their Passion

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work tudents and alumni are, and always will be, the heart of this school. Preparing highly skilled, enthusiastic and compassionate social workers to confront the most complex problems affecting individuals and communities is what we do. 

Did you know, social workers play a vital role in helping us and the people and communities we care about thrive and live resiliently? 

Whether we are coordinating health services for an aging parent, signing a petition to advocate for a cause we are passionate about, or meeting with our child’s school guidance counselor; at some point in our lives, we will have a direct or indirect interaction with a social worker. 

“Working in homelessness necessitates an approach of knowledge, creativity and compassion. When I think of my time at USC, I am reminded of the skills I learned from faculty, as well as the values of service.”

—Nick Holt, MSW ’12 Mental Health Clinical Supervisor

A social work education touches many lives beyond those of our MSW students. Whether they are applying their classroom education in their field internships or conducting research to develop society’s next big social innovation, our students give back to others every day.  

“I was constantly reminded by my professors of my ‘why’—how what I had been through in my youth, and what led me to the MSW  program, was every reason why I 'need a seat at the table,' and I use this to help empower the youth that I work with now.”

—Samuel Lazalde, MSW ’17, Program Manager, Champions of Service, San Fernando Valley and Greater Los Angeles

Society needs help and the greatest challenges of our time are not going away any time soon.

Impactful research continues to be one of our greatest strengths as an institution. The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work continues to address and advance professional knowledge across a range of areas. Our expert faculty utilize research-driven curriculum to help students develop skills in the classroom, and field internships allow them to actively apply their experience in their local communities. 

Did you know we are making strides in child development research?

Did you know 1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness?

Did you know our alumni are working to find real solutions for homelessness?

Did you know our research is focused on early diagnosis and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?

Developing a skilled workforce of social workers to address these challenges is critical and it all starts with education.

“My second year placement at an immigration legal service provider allowed me to explore ways in which I could apply our profession's holistic approach to problem solving to improve the access of legal services for immigrants.”

—Vanessa Caceña, MSW ’13, Human Rights and Justice Fellow, US Immigration and Policy Center, UC San Diego

The impact our MSW students make goes beyond the classroom.

Last year alone, our MSW students collectively spent 1.24 million hours in their field internships working with a variety of clients. Their service hours equate to more than $34 million in economic and community impact.

“Having two internships that focused on the same clientele but different aspects of intervention helped me understand the important dynamics of trauma and child abuse, as well as gaining the perfect resources to be successful.”

—Megan Healy, MSW ’14, Emergency Response, Clinical Social Work, DCFS  

What social workers do is crucial, and so is your support.

The majority of our students need financial assistance to make their educational dreams a reality. More than 90% of our MSW students need financial aid and/or scholarships to earn their degrees. USC has educated social workers for nearly 100 years, help us provide 100 impactful scholarships to support the next 100 years of social work at USC.

Thank you for helping us Fight On!

The University’s COVID-19 Response

USC has established four funds in response to the COVID-19 crisis to help support all areas of the Trojan community. These funds include the USC Student Basic Needs FundKeck Medicine of USC COVID-19 Emergency Response FundUSC Community Outreach Fund, and USC Employee Support Fund.