Sep 27, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

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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, training 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 champions social justice for the well-being of individuals, families and communities through innovative teaching of evidence-informed and practice-based skills, pioneering transformative research, and cultivating leadership for social change.

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers a Social Work and Juvenile Justice Undergraduate Minor, a Progressive MSW Program and other 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 equip students with a broad background of knowledge about health and social welfare problems, programs, services and policies designed to prevent and address those problems and existing and emergent trends and issues.

Across all programs, students are professionalized and encouraged to develop professional philosophies and approaches that are in harmony with the basic tenets of their chosen professions. At the same time, students share the desire and calling to prevent and mitigate severe social and health 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

John Clapp, PhD, Executive Vice Dean

Devon Brooks, PhD, Associate Dean 

Michael Hurlburt, PhD, Director, Doctoral Programs

Suzanne Wenzel, PhD, Associate Dean for Research - Administration

John Clapp, PhD, Associate Dean for Research - Faculty Development

Joshua Watson, EdD, Assistant Dean, Student Services

June Wiley, PhD, Chair, MSW Program

Ruth Supranovich, EdD, Director, Field Education

Sharon O’Neill, JD, DNP, Director, MSN-FNP Program



Dean and Ernest P. Larson Professor of Health, Ethnicity, and Poverty: Sarah Gehlert, PhD

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

John Milner Professor of Child Welfare: Jacquelyn McCroskey, DSW

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



Carl Castro, 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; Julie Cederbaum, PhD; Alice Cepeda, PhD; Jeremy Goldbach, PhD; Benjamin Henwood, PhD; Michael Hurlburt, 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 and Field Education Professors

Rafael Angulo, MSW; Margarita Artavia, MSW; Judith Axonovitz, MSW; Annalisa Enrile, PhD; Stephen Hydon, EdD; Tyan Parker Dominguez, PhD; Renee Smith-Maddox, PhD

Clinical and Field Education Associate Professors

Rosamaria Alamo, PhD; Estela Andujo, MSW; Juan Araque, PhD; Karra Bikson, PhD; David Bringhurst, PhD; Ruth Cislowski, MSW; Terence Fitzgerald, PhD; Pamela Franzwa, MSW; Kim Goodman, MSW; Suh Chen Hsiao, DPPD; Maria Hu, DSW; Dawn Joosten-Hagye, PhD; Terri Lee, MSW; Jennifer Lewis, PhD; Omar Lopez, MSW; Renee Michelsen, MSS; Sam Mistrano, JD; Sharon O’Neill, JD, DNP; Christina Paddock, MSW; Elizabeth Phillips, PhD; Erik Schott, EdD; Michal Sela-Amit, PhD; Melissa Singh, EdD; Ruth Supranovich, EdD; Vivien Villaverde, MSW; Benita Walton-Moss, PhD; Deborah Waters-Roman, EdD; June Wiley, PhD; Leslie Wind, PhD; Lisa Wobbe-Veit, MSW; Kathleen Woodruff, DNP; Michelle Zappas, DNP

Clinical and Field Education Assistant Professors 

Danielle Brown, MSW; Laura Cardinal, MSW; Kerry Doyle, MSW; Umeka Franklin, EdD; Susan Hess, MSW; Janett Hildebrand, PhD; Harry Hunter Jr., PhD; Jane James, JD; Tracie Kirkland, DNP; Stacy Kratz, PhD; Brittani Morris, MSW; Jennifer Parga, MSW; Holly Priebe Sotelo, MSW; Cynthia Sanchez, DNP; Sara Schwartz, PhD

Senior Lecturers 

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


Cassandra Fatouros, MSW/MBA; Lisa Kabot, MSW; Dorothy Nieto Manzer, MSW

Research Assistant Professors

Hazel Atuel, PhD; Sara Kintzle, PhD; Sonya Negriff, PhD; John Prindle, PhD; Harmony Rhoades, PhD

Emeritus Professors

John Brekke, PhD; Anne Katz, PhD; Helen Land, PhD; Martha Lyon-Levine, PhD; Paul Maiden, PhD; Howard J. Parad, DSW; Rino Patti, DSW; Janet Schneiderman, PhD; Barbara Solomon, DSW; Doni Whitsett, PhD; Marleen Wong, PhD

Emeritus Field Education Faculty

Rhoda G. Sarnat, MA


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 world’s oldest and largest school of gerontology, the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology has a long tradition of forging new paths in the field of aging. The Master of Science in Gerontology prepares graduates to assume leadership positions in the delivery of services to older people and their families, planning and evaluation of services, and administration of programs.

Course work is usually completed over two years (four semesters). Students must choose either the Department of Social Change and Innovation or the Department of Adult Mental Health and Wellness. Students take courses in both schools concurrently.

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

Master of Social Work/Master of Public Administration

The USC Price School of Public Policy trains leaders who can create multidisciplinary approaches to the complex issues of governing, managing and building contemporary urban communities. Available to students in any department of study, the MSW/MPA is suited to those interested in careers as public-sector administrators.

Students take course work in both degree programs concurrently. Both program requirements are completed over 24 months.

See the Master of Social Work/Master of Public Administration (MSW/MPA)  and the USC Price School of Public Policy  for course requirements.

Master of Social Work/Master of Urban Planning

Available to students in any of the school’s departments of study, the MSW/Master of Urban Planning program caters to students who desire careers in societal and community welfare policy, social planning or social services delivery.

In the first year, the focus is on direct service, allowing planning coursework to be supplemented by knowledge of consumers and service delivery. Two years of field practice in social work provide in-depth exposure to social service issues from both planning and direct service perspectives. The dual degree is normally completed over 28 months. 

See the Master of Social Work/ Master of Urban Planning (MSW/MUP)  and the Urban Planning (MUP)  for the concentration descriptions and course lists.

Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor, Law

Students interested in advocating for social work causes may want to consider the four-year (eight semesters) dual MSW/JD option, offered in partnership with the USC Gould School of Law.

During the first year, candidates must complete the JD curriculum. In the second year they will primarily complete the first year of the MSW or a combination of JD and first year MSW courses. In the third year, they focus on the second-year JD program. By the fourth year, students complete the MSW and JD requirements. Students may choose any department of study at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. 

See the Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor (MSW/JD) 

Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration, Business

Available only to students in the Department of Social Change and Innovation, the MSW/MBA offers preparation for careers focusing on human resources, philanthropic and corporate social responsibility, organizational development, and information management. The program is typically completed in three years (six semesters). Students must enroll in three required courses and a field practicum. Course requirements in the USC Marshall School of Business include all courses required for the MBA core program and graduate-level electives.

See the Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration (MSW/MBA) .

Master of Social Work/Master of Arts, Jewish Nonprofit Management 

The Master of Arts degree offered at the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion adjacent to USC’s University Park campus provides a solid academic and experiential foundation in Jewish studies, Jewish communal dynamics and nonprofit management.

Students may enroll in any USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work department of study as part of this dual degree program. Students begin coursework at the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management during the summer and continue coursework at both institutions in the fall and spring semesters. Two summer sessions are completed at the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. The program is completed over 24 months.

See the Master of Social Work/Master of Arts, Jewish Nonprofit Management (MSW/MA) .

Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health

A collaborative effort with the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Keck School of Medicine of USC, this dual degree program offers interdisciplinary preparation in public health and social work for a career in promoting health, preventing disease, and enhancing the delivery of health and social services in the community.

Students must complete a minimum of 81 units; 20 of these units fulfill requirements for both degrees. Depending on specific social work concentration and public health track requirements, there may be additional courses and an increase in the total number of units. Most full-time students complete the dual degree in three years; however, it may be possible to accelerate the time to completion if the student elects to enroll in MPH course work during summer sessions. Students begin with social work courses before finishing with public health course work. Students may select any one of the social work departments and any one of the public health tracks.

See the Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH) .

Master of Social Work/PhD in Social Work

The dual MSW/PhD degree program is offered to exemplary students seeking advanced research-based study in social work. Typically, the program attracts applicants without a master’s degree in social work or with a master’s degree in another field and prepares them for academic research and teaching careers. 

Prospective students must meet both the MSW and PhD admission requirements to be considered for admission to the dual-degree program, must apply separately, and be admitted to both the MSW and PhD programs.

See the Master of Social Work/Doctor of Philosophy (MSW/PhD) 

Research Administration Center (RAC)

The Research Administration Center serves as the administrative umbrella for research conducted by the faculty of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and by the school’s centers of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. The RAC is instrumental and essential in providing support to the faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and PhD students submitting research proposals to federal, state, county, university, and private sponsors and in managing the grants and contracts for compliance in spending and reporting.


    MinorMaster’s DegreeDual DegreeDoctoral Degree


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