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New Global MSW Degree in Taiwan

First year of the program will begin in Taipei this summer, followed by a second year in Los Angeles.

March 11, 2009
















Story originally published by USC News on 3/09/09.

By Cynthia Monticue

Beginning in August, the USC School of Social Work will offer a Global Master of Social Work degree in community, corporate and organizational development in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s first social work graduate degree program to be launched by a top-ranked United States-based research university, the program is aimed at preparing students for leadership roles in human services, especially in evolving areas such as corporate social responsibility, social enterprise and globalization of nonprofit organizations.

“There is an urgent need in Taiwan to develop graduate level training in social work. Very few schools provide master degree programs for their social workers,” said professor Iris Chi, who holds the Chinese-American Golden Age Association/Frances Wu Chair for the Chinese Elderly. “Many social workers in Taiwan who want to enhance their professional knowledge and skills need to go overseas for training.”

While the first year of the program will begin in Taipei to accommodate the personal and professional commitments of many of the students who work full time, the second year will be spent in Los Angeles to encourage a true cross-cultural learning experience.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for our colleagues in Taiwan to receive a culturally relevant education from a highly respected school like USC and the best international social work training available from any program,” said Marilyn Flynn, the school’s dean. “We are excited to initiate this venture, which is designed to rigorously prepare a more globally aware social worker who can affect real change.”

The core curriculum provides a common base of knowledge, skills and values by introducing theories, issues and practice methods that deal with individuals and their environment. The second half of the program offers advanced training in community organization, planning and administration and work and life concentration areas to help students develop in-depth knowledge and skills in a particular area of service.

Taipei courses will be taught on weekends by scholars from USC and leading Taiwanese universities, with some classes available through distance learning.

The degree requirements are the same as USC’s flagship MSW program, which include 63 units and 1,050 field internship hours to be completed in both Taiwan and Los Angeles. More than 500 field internships are available in Los Angeles for students to apply what they learn in the classroom in a real-world professional setting with hands-on guidance and mentoring.

Students will develop skills in policy practice, management and finance, program development and evaluation, community organization and corporate social responsibility. Graduates of the program are likely to find employment as policy analysts, foundation directors, legislative aides, community organizers, program developers, corporate social responsibility planners, professional consultants, NGO directors, nonprofit program managers, and university faculty and staff members.

Admission to the program is selective. Candidates should hold bachelor’s degrees from an accredited college or university, have experience in providing services and be committed to social work values. Potential students will be interviewed in Taiwan and are encouraged to apply online at before the June 1 deadline. Twenty-five students must be enrolled before the program can begin.

For more information, contact the school’s U.S. admissions office at (213) 740-2013 or

In Taiwan, prospective students should contact the USC Taipei Office at 02-8789-5679 or through e-mail at or