Dec 05, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Master of Social Work graduates in front of Tommy Trojan.



Courses of Instruction  









The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work is a leader in social work and nursing education and research. These MSW graduates celebrate in front of Tommy Trojan. Photos by Wallis Photo LLC.


The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers programs of study leading to the Master of Social Work (MSW), Doctorate of Social Work (DSW), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in social work as well as the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). These programs provide the student a broad background of knowledge about health and welfare problems, the meaning of programs past and present that have been established to meet them, and current issues and policy trends in the field.

At the same time, the student is helped to become a professional person through development of a philosophy in harmony with that of the profession: to prevent and mitigate severe social problems that challenge the viability of culturally diverse and complex urban settings; to build on the strengths of individuals, families, and communities; and to lead the scholarly search for innovative, efficacious and just solutions.

Montgomery Ross Fisher
Building 214
Main: (213) 740-2711
Admissions: (213) 740-2013
FAX: (213) 740-0789


Sarah Gehlert, PhD, Dean

Concepcion Barrio, PhD, Interim Executive Vice Dean

Michael Hurlburt, PhD, Director, Doctoral Programs

Charles Kaplan, PhD, Associate Dean, Research

Joshua Watson, EdD, Assistant Dean, Student Services

Leslie Wind, PhD, Chair, MSW Program

Janet Schneiderman, PhD, Chair, MSN Program


Chinese-American Golden Age Association/Dr. Frances Wu Endowed Chair: Iris Chi, DSW

Dean’s Professor of Social Work and Business: Michàlle E. Mor Barak, PhD*

Frances L. and Albert G. Feldman Endowed Professorship in Social Policy and Health: Lawrence Palinkas, PhD

Frances G. Larson Professor of Social Work Research: John Brekke, PhD*

John Milner Professor of Child Welfare: Jacquelyn McCroskey, DSW*

David Lawrence Stein/Violet Goldberg Sachs Professor of Mental Health: Marleen Wong, PhD

Richard M. and Ann L. Thor Professor in Urban Social Development: Suzanne Wenzel, PhD

Professors: John Brekke, PhD*; Iris Chi, DSW; John Clapp, PhD; Yuri Jang, PhD; Jacquelyn McCroskey, DSW*; Michàlle E. Mor Barak, PhD*; Lawrence Palinkas, PhD; Avelardo Valdez, PhD; Suzanne Wenzel, PhD

Associate Professors: Cleopatra Abdou, PhD; Maria Aranda, PhD*; Concepcion Barrio, PhD; Devon Brooks, PhD; Carl Castro, PhD; Julie Cederbaum, PhD; Alice Cepeda, PhD; Jeremy Goldbach, PhD; Benjamin Henwood, PhD; Michael Hurlburt, PhD; Helen Land, PhD*; Karen Lincoln, PhD; Ferol Mennen, DSW*; Eric Rice, PhD; Dorian Traube, PhD; Shinyi Wu, PhD; Ann Marie Yamada, PhD

Assistant Professors: John Blosnich, PhD; Robynn Cox, PhD; Jordan Davis, PhD; Daniel Hackman, PhD; Elizabeth Kim, PhD; Jungeun Olivia Lee, PhD; Hans Oh, PhD; Monica Perez Jolles, PhD; Rebecca Rebbe, PhD

Clinical Professors: Eileen Abel, PhD; Rafael Angulo, MSW; Margarita Artavia, MSW; Judith Axonovitz, MSW; Annalisa Enrile, PhD; Stephen Hydon, EdD; Anne Katz, PhD; Paul Maiden, PhD; Murali Nair, PhD; Tyan Parker Dominguez, PhD; Renee Smith-Maddox, PhD; Doni Whitsett, PhD; Marleen Wong, PhD

Clinical Associate Professors: Rosamaria Alamo, PhD; Jane Allgood, PhD; Estela Andujo, MSW; Juan Araque, PhD; Kathleen Becker, DNP; Karra Bikson, PhD; David Bringhurst, PhD; Nikki Cavalier, MSW; Ruth Cislowski, MSW; Tory Cox, EdD; Kimberly Finney, PhD; Terence Fitzgerald, PhD; Pamela Franzwa, MSW; Kim Goodman, MSW; Bianca Harper, DSW; Suh Chen Hsiao, DPDD; Maria Hu, DSW; Dawn Joosten-Hagye, PhD; Seth Kurzban, PhD; Terri Lee, MSW; Jennifer Lewis, PhD; Omar Lopez, MSW; Martha Lyon-Levine, PhD; Shannon Mayeda, PhD; Renee Michelsen, MSS; Sam Mistrano, JD; Sharon O’Neill, JD, DNP; Christina Paddock, MSW; Elizabeth Phillips, PhD; Michael Rank, PhD; Erik Schott, EdD; Michal Sela-Amit, PhD; Melissa Singh, EdD; Candace Smith, EdD; Fred Stone, PhD; Ruth Supranovich, EdD; Vivien Villaverde, MSW; Benita Walton-Moss, PhD; Deborah Waters-Roman, EdD; Eugenia Weiss, PsyD; Ruth White, PhD; June Wiley, PhD; Leslie Wind, PhD; Lisa Wobbe-Veit, MSW; Beverly Younger, PhD; Kristen Zaleski, PhD; Michelle Zappas, DNP

Clinical Assistant Professors: Danielle Brown, MSW; Steven Bush, EdD; Laura Cardinal, MSW; Gabriel Crenshaw, PsyD; Kerry Doyle, MSW; Josephine Fava-Hochuli, DNP; William Feuerborn, DSW; Umeka Franklin, EdD; Susan Hess, MSW; Janett Hildebrand, PhD; Harry Hunter Jr., PhD; Jane James, JD; Wanda Jewell, PhD; Tracie Kirkland, DNP; Stacy Kratz, PhD; Brittani Morris, MSW; Jan Nissly, PhD; Jennifer Parga, MSW; Holly Priebe Sotelo, MSW; Cynthia Sanchez, DNP; Sara Schwartz, PhD; Andrea Witkin, PhD; Kathleen Woodruff, DNP

Senior Lecturers: Marco Formigoni, MSW; Laura Gale, EdD; Iris Gonzalez-Thrash, MSW; Robert Hernandez, DSW; Cheryl Macon-Oliver, MSW; Sara McSweyn, MSW; Richard Newmyer, MSW; Aimee Odette, DSW; Cynthia Rollo-Carlson, MSW; Lily Ross, MSW; Shane’a Thomas, MSW

Lecturers: Cassandra Fatouros, MSW/MBA; Lisa Kabot, MSW; Jessica Klein, MSW; Debbie Murad, MSW; Dorothy Nieto Manzer, MSW; CarolAnn Peterson, PhD; Stephanie Wander, MBA; James Wind, MBA

Research Professor: Charles Kaplan, PhD

Research Associate Professors: Donald Lloyd, PhD; Janet Schneiderman, PhD

Research Assistant Professors: Hazel Atuel, PhD; Sara Kintzle, PhD; Sonya Negriff, PhD; John Prindle, PhD; Harmony Rhoades, PhD; Sherrie Wilcox, PhD, Hsin Yi Hsiao, PhD

Emeritus Professors: Howard J. Parad, DSW*; Rino Patti, DSW*; Barbara Solomon, DSW*

Emeritus Field Education Faculty: Rhoda G. Sarnat, MA

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degree Programs

The Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers the Master of Social Work (MSW), the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), the Doctorate of Social Work (DSW), the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the dual Master of Social Work/Doctor of Philosophy, Social Work (MSW/PhD) degrees. In addition, the school offers dual degrees with the schools of business, gerontology, law, medicine, public policy and the Hebrew Union College.

Dual Degree Programs

The Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work currently offers dual degree programs with several other USC professional schools. In addition, the school maintains a dual degree program at Hebrew Union College located adjacent to the USC campus.

The goal of these programs is to encourage graduate students to gain a recognized competence in another discipline that has direct relevance to the roles filled by social workers in society. Dual degree programs are based on the premise that some topics covered in the school are also addressed in the curricula of other departments, so that some credit toward an MSW degree may be given for specific courses in the cooperating department. Similarly, these departments have recognized that some credit toward their corresponding degree may be awarded for work completed in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. For this reason, students enrolled in dual degree programs can obtain both degrees with a reduced number of total units. Students wishing to enroll in dual degree programs must apply for and be admitted to both schools.

Master of Social Work/Master of Science, Gerontology

The MSW/MS Gerontology dual degree offers the student interested in direct service or community organization the credentials most valued in clinical and therapeutic practice. Students enrolled in this dual degree receive an MSW as well as an MS in Gerontology. This dual degree requires completion of 73 units: 32 units of work in the Davis School of Gerontology and 41 units in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. The course work is usually completed over a 24-month period for full-time students.

Students must complete MSW course work in foundation, foundation field instruction and core courses specific to the AMHW or SCI departments.

See the Master of Social Work/Master of Science, Gerontology (MSW/MS Gerontology)  in the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology for course requirements.

Master of Social Work/Master of Public Administration

The Master of Social Work/Master of Public Administration (MSW/MPA)  dual degree program provides those students interested in careers as administrators of social service agencies the opportunity to combine preparation in the substantive field of social work with the acquisition of the administrative capabilities necessary in the public sector. Students must complete 82 units: 54 units in social work and 28 units in public administration.

Dual degree students must complete MSW course work in foundation, field and core courses specific to the AMHW, SCI or CYF departments.

Most students complete both program requirements in 24 months for full-time students. See the USC Price School of Public Policy  for course requirements.

Master of Social Work/Master of Urban Planning

The Master of Social Work/ Master of Urban Planning (MSW/MUP)  dual degree program between the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and the USC Price School of Public Policy offers unique opportunities for students who want to devote their professional careers to social policy, social planning or social services delivery.

Students must complete 83 units, including 51 units in social work and 32 units in urban planning. They must also select a community organization, planning, and administration concentration in the second year of their social work program.

There are six concentrations available in the Master of Urban Planning program. Please see Urban Planning (MUP)  for the concentration descriptions and course lists.

Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor, Law

The Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor (MSW/JD)  dual degree program with the USC Gould School of Law  is a four-year program in which students complete a total of 121 units. This includes 45 units in social work and 76 units in law.

To earn the JD, all students (including dual degree students) must complete 35 numerically graded law units at USC after the first year. The associate dean may make exceptions to this rule for students enrolled in law school honors programs. Students must apply to both programs prior to matriculation. The program of study is as follows:

First and Second Years: Complete both the first-year JD program of study and MSW course work in foundation, field and core courses specific to the AMHW, SCI or CYF departments.

Third Year: Complete the second year JD program.

Fourth Year: Complete the remaining required core department and field courses and one semester of field instruction and the final semester of the JD program in the spring.

The law school gives credit for the third semester in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. At the same time, the latter recognizes law courses as substitutions for a one-semester practice course, special topics courses, the third semester of social policy and one semester of field instruction (for which a clinical law semester is substituted).

Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration, Business

The MSW/MBA dual degree develops knowledge and skills in working with individuals, families and groups, as well as organizational dynamics, marketing, decision sciences, accounting, and human relations. Students interested in working in the management of human services and not-for-profit organizations will develop knowledge of human resources, philanthropic and corporate social responsibility, organizational development, and information management.

Prospective students must apply to both the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and the USC Marshall School of Business .

The MSW/MBA requires completion of a total of 96 units: 48 in the Marshall School of Business and 48 in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.

Students must select the Department of Social Change and Innovation (SCI). Dual degree students must complete MSW course work in foundation, field and core courses specific to the SCI department.

Course requirements in the Marshall School of Business include all required courses in an MBA program and graduate business electives sufficient to bring the total units completed in the Marshall School of Business to at least 48. Dual degree students may not count courses taken outside the Marshall School of Business toward the 48 units. For MBA admission and degree requirements, visit USC Marshall School of Business .

The MBA and the MSW degrees are awarded simultaneously upon completion of all program requirements.

Hamovitch Center for Science in the Human Services

The Hamovitch Center for Science in the Human Services, located in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, serves as the administrative umbrella for the school’s centers of research excellence. These centers of interdisciplinary research include the areas of aging, behavioral health, child welfare, homelessness, severe mental illness, veterans and military families, and management and policy. The center hosts seminars and colloquia, which are open to the university and community.

Research projects are supported by federal, state, county and school resources. The center engages faculty in research, demonstration, and application in building and testing theory, developing research instruments, testing models of service and treatment modalities, and evaluating programs and service policy. The center also provides opportunities for doctoral students to acquire research training through ongoing and newly initiated faculty research projects. Doctoral students are encouraged to apply to participate in such projects, which often lead to dissertation possibilities. Predoctoral fellowships and/or research assistantships for projects conducted at the center are sometimes available to incoming and ongoing doctoral students. The center also enables doctoral students to conduct their own research through the auspices of the center, including their dissertation research. All doctoral students are encouraged to attend and participate in the center’s colloquia and programs to enhance their involvement with and skills in research and knowledge development.


    MinorMaster’s DegreeDual DegreeDoctoral Degree


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