University of Southern California

USC School of Social Work

Now the nation’s largest and fastest growing school of social work, the USC School of Social Work is celebrated for its rigorous career preparation and scientific contributions. Led by Dean Marilyn L. Flynn, the school recently initiated the Grand Challenges effort among social work scholars to tackle the most serious societal issues. Here Diana Cruz speaks to a homeless woman in downtown Los Angeles.

USC School of Social Work

The USC School of Social Work offers programs of study leading to the Master of Social Work (MSW) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in social work. 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


Marilyn L. Flynn, Ph.D., Dean

R. Paul Maiden, Ph.D., Vice Dean, Academic and Student Affairs

Judy Axonovitz, M.S., Director, Skirball Academic Center

Janine Braun, EMBA, M.Ed., Assistant Dean, Admissions and Scholarship Programs

Paul Carlo, Ph.D., Director, USC Center on Child Welfare

Monica Ellis, M.A., Assistant Dean, Student Services

Carmen Frierson, Vice Dean, Administration

John Gaspari, MSW, Executive Director, USC Center for Work and Family Life

Michael Rank, Ph.D., Director, San Diego Academic Center

Anthony Hassan, Ed.D., Director, Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families

Dan Hester, Director, International Programs

Steve Hong, B.S., Director, Management Information Systems

Jehoon Lee, Ph.D., Director, Center for Asian-Pacific Leadership

Carrie Lew, Ed.D., Assistant Dean, Professional Development and Alumni Relations

Cindy Monticue, M.A., Director, Marketing Communications

Michàlle Mor Barak, Ph.D., Director, Ph.D. Program

Scarlett Powers Osterling, MSW, Senior Associate Dean, External Relations

Elizabeth Pringle-Hornsby, Ed.D., Director, Orange County Academic Center

Cherry Short, M.Sc., Associate Dean, Global and Community Initiatives

Wendy Smith, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Faculty Development

Haluk Soydan, Ph.D., Director, Hamovitch Center for Science in the Human Services

Donna Toulmin, J.D., Director, USC/DCFS Training Program, USC Center on Child Welfare

William Vega, Ph.D., Executive Director, USC Roybal Institute on Aging

Joshua Watson, Ed.D., Director, Student Services

June Wiley, Ph.D., Director, Virtual Academic Center

Leslie Wind, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Terris Wolff, MBA, MSBA, Chief Technology Officer, Information Technology

Marleen Wong, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Field Education


The Golden Age Association/Frances Wu Chair in Chinese Elderly: Iris Chi, DSW

Dean’s Professor of Social Work and Preventive Medicine: Hortensia Amaro, Ph.D.

Driscoll/Clevenger Professor of Social Policy and Administration: Bruce Jansson, Ph.D.*

Endowed Professor of Social Work and Business in a Global Society: Michàlle E. Mor Barak, Ph.D.*

Albert G. and Frances Lomas Feldman Professor of Social Policy and Health: Lawrence Palinkas, Ph.D.

Ernest P. Larson Professor of Health, Ethnicity and Poverty: Kathleen Ell, DSW

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

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

Provost’s Professor of Social Work, Preventive Medicine, Psychiatry, Family Medicine and Gerontology: William Vega, Ph.D.

David Lawrence Stein/Violet Goldberg Sachs Professor: Penelope K. Trickett, Ph.D.*

Richard M. and Ann L. Thor Endowed Professor of Urban Social Development: Ron Avi Astor, Ph.D.

Professors: Hortensia Amaro, Ph.D.; Ron Avi Astor, Ph.D.; John Brekke, Ph.D.*; Iris Chi, DSW; Kathleen Ell, DSW; Marilyn L. Flynn, Ph.D.; Bruce Jansson, Ph.D.*; R. Paul Maiden, Ph.D.; Jacquelyn McCroskey, DSW*; Michàlle E. Mor Barak, Ph.D.*; Lawrence Palinkas, Ph.D.; Penelope K. Trickett, Ph.D.*; Avelardo Valdez, Ph.D.; William Vega, Ph.D.; Wynne Waugaman, Ph.D.; Suzanne Wenzel, Ph.D.

Associate Professors: Maria Aranda, Ph.D.*; Concepcion Barrio, Ph.D.; Devon Brooks, Ph.D.; Maryalice Jordan-Marsh, Ph.D.; Helen Land, Ph.D.*; Karen Lincoln, Ph.D.; Ferol Mennen, DSW*; Dorian Traube, Ph.D.; Ann Marie Yamada, Ph.D.

Assistant Professors: Carl Castro, Ph.D.; Julie Cederbaum, Ph.D.; Alice Cepeda, Ph.D.; Tamika Gilreath, Ph.D.; Jeremy Goldbach, Ph.D.; Erick Guerrero, Ph.D.; Benjamin Henwood, Ph.D.; Michael Hurlburt, Ph.D.; Seth Kurzban, Ph.D.; Emily Putnam-Hornstein, Ph.D.; Eric Rice, Ph.D..; Shinyi Wu, Ph.D.

Senior Clinical Fellow: Mary Gress, Ph.D.

Clinical Professors: Eileen Abel, Ph.D.; Margarita Artavia, MSW; Judy Axonovitz, MSW; Ralph Fertig, J.D.; Stephen Hydon, MSW; Murali Nair, Ph.D.; Jolene Swain, MSW; Doni Whitsett, Ph.D.; Marleen Wong, Ph.D.; Gary J. Wood, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professors: Jane Allgood, Ph.D.; Estela Andujo, MSW; Rafael Angulo, MSW; Juan Araque, Ph.D.; Karra Bikson, Ph.D.; Ruth Cislowski, MSW; Tory Cox, MSW; Jill Davis, MSW; Laurel Davis, MSW; Annalisa Enrile, Ph.D.; Kimberly Finney, Ph.D.; Nancy Flax-Plaza, MSW; Pamela Franzwa, MSW; Kim Goodman, MSW; Heather Halperin, MSW; Mary Beth Harris, Ph.D.; Anthony Hassan, Ed.D.; Terri Lee, MSW; Shelley Levin, Ph.D.; Martha Lyon-Levine, Ph.D.; Gokul Mandayam, Ph.D.; Shannon Mayeda, Ph.D.; Renee Michelsen, MSS; Sam Mistrano, J.D.; Tyan Parker Dominguez, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Phillips, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Pringle-Hornsby, MSW; Michael Rank, Ph.D.; Russana Rowles; Michal Sela-Amit, Ph.D.; Renee Smith-Maddox, Ph.D.; Candace Smith, Ed.D.; Wendy Smith, Ph.D.; Fred Stone, Ph.D.; Eugenia Weiss, Psy.D.; Ruth White, Ph.D.; June Wiley, Ph.D.; Leslie Wind, Ph.D.; Deborah Winters, MSW; Darlene Woo, MSW; Beverly Younger, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professors: Rosemary Alamo, MSW; David Bringhurst, Ph.D.; Terence Fitzgerald, Ph.D.; Stephanie George; Bianca Harper , DSW; Suh Chen Hsiao, MSW; Hsin-Yi Hsiao, Ph.D.; Conrad Fuentes, MSW; Michael Johnson, Ed.D.; Dawn Joosten, Ph.D.; Jennifer Lewis, Ph.D.; Omar Lopez, MSW; Sara McSweyn, MSW; Erik Schott, Ed.D.; Ruth Supranovich, MSW; Vivien Villaverde, MSW; Kristen Zaleski, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professors: Lucia Aparicio, MSW; Vern Bengtson, Ph.D.; Margaret Fetting, Ph.D.; Michael Jackson, Ph.D.; Wanda Jewell, MSW; Sheri Kelfer, MSW; Diane Meadow, Ph.D.; Rose Monteiro, MSW; Carlos Sosa, MSW; Monika White, Ph.D.; Jeff Wilkins, M.D.; Marcia Wilson, Ph.D.

Adjunct Associate Professors: Rita Davis, MSW; Nancy Flax-Plaza, MSW; Herbert Hatanaka, DSW; Heather Halperin, MSW; Kristie Holmes, Ph.D.; CarolAnn Peterson, Ph.D.; Mara Ziegler, MSW

Adjunct Assistant Professors: Steven Bush, MSW; Stephanie Carter, MSW; Linda Cox, MSW; Susan Lindau, MSW; Leigh Miller, MSW

Research Professors: Charles Kaplan, Ph.D.; John Landsverk, Ph.D.; Haluk Soydan, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professors: Jehoon Lee, Ph.D.; Donald Lloyd, Ph.D.; Janet Schneiderman, Ph.D.; Andrew Subica, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professors: Hazel Atuel, Ph.D.; Sonya Negriff, Ph.D.; Jan Nissly, Ph.D.; Harmony Rhoades, Ph.D.

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

Emeritus Field Education Faculty: Rhoda G. Sarnat, M.A.

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degree Programs

The School of Social Work offers the Master of Social Work (MSW), the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the dual Master of Social Work/Doctor of Philosophy, Social Work (MSW/Ph.D.) degrees. In addition, the school offers dual degrees with the schools of business; gerontology; law; medicine; public policy; and Hebrew Union College.