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Social Work, M.S.W.

College of Social Work

Train in counseling, advocacy and policy analysis to help people overcome social and economic challenges and prepare for a career in health care, education, government, business and nonprofits.

As one of the largest at the university, our competitive master's program in a capital city features a robust field education network and close proximity to lawmakers and state leaders to explore your policy and advocacy interests. Multiple specialty centers provide student employment and research opportunities.

Program Highlights

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    Real Experiences

    Learn directly in practicum opportunities both in Columbia and in rural areas and small towns around South Carolina.

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    Focus Your Work

    Pursue a specialization track for children, youth and families; health and mental health; or community, social and economical development.

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    Career Options

    Find great success with opportunities for fulfilling employment upon completion of the degree program.

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    Prime Location

    Take advantage of access to state government and governmental agencies through our location in the capital city.

What You’ll Study

Become an advanced generalist practitioner able to serve diverse communities. Students train to respond to a variety of changing needs to alleviate oppression and advance cultural and human rights and social, economic, racial and environmental justice. Learn to engage, assess, intervene and evaluate while developing a strong professional identity.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Advocacy

    Promoting or defending a cause or issue often using awareness, education and policy change


    Understanding and sharing the feelings of others, and demonstrating compassion and support

    Problem Solving

    Identifying, analyzing and resolving problems or challenges using creative and effective strategies

  • Collaboration

    Working with others to achieve a common goal or objective

    Critical Thinking

    Analyzing and evaluating information to make informed decisions or judgments


    Exchanging information and ideas through speaking, writing or other means of expression

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Therapist
  • Mental Health Coordinator
  • Crisis Interventionist
  • Social Welfare Manager
  • School Social Worker
  • Social Justice Advocate

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Social Worker
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Therapist
  • School Social Worker
  • Behavioral Health Care Manager
  • Care/Case Manager

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $66,331

Workplace Settings

  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Government
  • Services
  • Nonprofits
  • Information Technology

Employers of Alumni

  • Greenville Health System
  • SC Department of Mental Health
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • University of South Carolina
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • SC Department of Social Services

Since being in this program, I have gained a broader perspective of social work and the impact we can have! I want to bring positive change to individuals and empower them to live their best lives.

Michael Alexander
Portrait of Michael Alexander

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.