University of Southern California
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Courses of Instruction

Social Work (SOWK)

The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

SOWK 200xm Institutional Inequality in American Political and Social Policy (4) Historic and philosophical roots of inequality for minority groups in the United States and implications for public policy. Not available for major credit.

SOWK 303 Crises in Human Development (4) Issues, concepts, and methodology related to understanding human behavior, growth and development from infancy through old age; developmental crises at each stage of the life cycle.

SOWK 304 Children and Families in Urban America (4) Gateway to the minor in Children and Families in Urban America. Provides foundation for principles on the conditions of children, families and communities, partnerships between families and human service professionals, and interprofessional practice in urban American communities.

SOWK 305L Children and Families in Urban America Integrative Seminar (2) Introduction to human service professionals, agencies and institutions in the greater Los Angeles area which serve children and families who reside there.

SOWK 350 Adolescent Gang Intervention (4, FaSpSm) The incidence of gangs (particularly in the Los Angeles area), gang interventions, and policies developed to address the growing gang situation.

SOWK 390 Special Problems (1-4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

SOWK 400 Children and Families in Urban America Capstone Course (4) The capstone course for the “Children and Families in Urban America” minor will provide an opportunity to understand the relationship between federal, state, and local policies which provide services to children and families. It will apply the knowledge learned in previous minor-related courses.

SOWK 499 Special Topics (2-4, max 8) Selected topics in various specialty areas within social work.

SOWK 503 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (3) The ecological systems paradigm is the lens through which theories of personality, family, group, organization, community and culture and the interaction among these systems are explored.

SOWK 505 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (3) The course of human life, including the factors which impinge on the developmental continuum between normal and pathological conditions. Prerequisite: SOWK 503.

SOWK 534 Policy and Practice in Social Service Organizations (3) Study of social work organizations with emphasis on their policy contexts, organizational theory, and the development of delivery systems.

SOWK 535 Social Welfare (3) Structure and operation of current American social welfare programs (social policy analysis). Prerequisite: SOWK 534.

SOWK 543 Social Work Practice with Individuals (3) Theory and principles underlying generic social work practice with primary emphasis on working with individuals.

SOWK 545 Social Work Practice with Families, Groups and Complex Cases (3) Theories and principles with primary emphasis on families and groups with application to problems requiring multi-level interventions. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 534, SOWK 543.

SOWK 562 Social Work Research (3) Introduction to research methods, including conceptualization of research problems, literature review, research design, sampling, measurement, data collection and data analysis.

SOWK 586ab Field Practicum (3-3) Supervised field placement to develop generalist practice skills in working with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Graded IP/CR/NC.

SOWK 587ab Integrative Learning for Social Work Practice (2-2) Integrative content from Policy, Research, Human Behavior, Social Work Practice and Field Practicum. Graded CR/NC. Concurrent enrollment: a: SOWK 586a, SOWK 543; b: SOWK 586b, SOWK 545.

SOWK 590 Directed Research (1-12) Research leading to the master’s degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

SOWK 599 Special Topics (1-4, max 13)

SOWK 601 Advanced Theories and Interventions with Children and Adolescents (3) Advances students’ knowledge and clinical skills working with children and adolescents. Emphasis on problems affecting children, including developmental derailments and disruptions. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 545.

SOWK 602 Advanced Theories and Clinical Interventions with Families (3) Advances students’ knowledge and clinical skills working with diverse urban families experiencing various stressors. Exploration and application of a range of family therapy models. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 545.

SOWK 603 Merging Policy, Planning and Research for Change in Families and Children’s Settings (3) Development and evaluation of service programs for children and families incorporating social welfare policy, macro practice and research skills. Prerequisite: SOWK 534, SOWK 535, SOWK 562.

SOWK 605 Human Development and Mental Health (3) Understanding problem-producing behaviors and their ramifications on individuals, families, and groups that comprise the clientele in mental health settings. Required for students in Mental Health concentration. Prerequisite: SOWK 505.

SOWK 607 Feminist Theory, Social Action, and Social Work: Philippines (4, Sm) Understanding and awareness of the political, economic, social, and cultural contexts through a feminist perspective, using the Philippines as a case study. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 611 Leadership in the Social Work Profession and Organizations: Theory and Practice (3) Through didactic and experiential methods, students learn to interpret and apply leadership theory and research. Covers skills of effective leadership at all organizational levels. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535, SOWK 545, SOWK 562.

SOWK 612 Psychopathology and Diagnosis of Mental Disorder (3) Assessment of psychopathology, and the rationale and organization of the system for diagnosis of mental disorders. Emphasis is on developing differential diagnostic skills.

SOWK 614 Social Work Practice in School Settings (3) Based on ecosystems perspectives, this course examines policies, theories and principles of social work practice in school settings.

SOWK 615 Brief Therapy and Crisis Intervention (3) Theory and multimodal approaches for brief therapy and crisis intervention with diverse clientele in a range of mental health and health settings.

SOWK 616 Clinical Practice with Older Adults (3) Developmental tasks of adulthood and later life, as well as assessment and intervention for problems and disorders associated with aging.

SOWK 617 Substance Abuse with Consideration of Other Addictive Disorders (3) Exploration of nature and treatment of substance abuse and other addictive disorders as well as relevant treatment models for individuals, groups and families.

SOWK 618 Social Work with Individuals with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (3) This advanced mental health practice course focuses on innovative clinical interventions to be used when treating individuals who have severe and persistent mental illnesses.

SOWK 619 Social Work in Public Child Welfare Settings (3) This advanced seminar will provide tools to enhance the practitioner’s response to the special challenges (substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence) in public child welfare.

SOWK 625 Evaluation of Research: Mental Health (3) Range of research conducted in mental health; evaluation of selected research reports and their application to social work practice. Required for students in Mental Health concentration. Prerequisite: SOWK 562.

SOWK 629 Evaluation of Research: Community Organization, Planning and Administration (3) Research for macro-practice, emphasizing qualitative methods, participatory action research, program evaluation, needs assessment; mapping and GIS to understand urban environments. Prerequisite: SOWK 562.

SOWK 631 Advanced Theories and Clinical Interventions in Health Care (3) Evaluation of theory, best practices, emerging issues, and skill development in health settings; interaction among cultural, socioeconomic, and organizational factors. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 545.

SOWK 632 Program Planning and Evaluation in Health Care (3) Program and intervention development and evaluation research in health settings. Issues and skill development in program design and methods for evaluation. Prerequisite: SOWK 562.

SOWK 636 Policy in the Health Care Sector (3) Analysis of behavioral, practice and research considerations in addressing a range of health problems and the policy-making process. Required for students in Mental Health in Health Settings concentration. Prerequisite: SOWK 535.

SOWK 639 Social Policy for Managers, Planners and Community Organizers (3) Analysis of efforts to improve local human services organizations and agencies with consideration of political, social, demographic and organization contexts. Prerequisite: SOWK 535.

SOWK 640 Clinical Practice with the Military Family (3, FaSpSm) Theoretical and practical approaches to clinical practice with military families. Overview of common social issues in the military system and demands on the family dynamic. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 641 Treating Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress (3, FaSpSm) Theoretical and practical approaches to trauma for use in treatment of PTSD. Advances students’ knowledge of best practices and current evidence-based models on PTSD. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 642 Military Culture as a Workplace Environment (1, FaSpSm) Examination of complex issues of the military as a workplace environment including gender, the role of rank structure, psychological development of basic training, and ethics of counseling.

SOWK 645 Clinical Practice in Mental Health Settings (3) Social work processes from intake to termination; emphasis on clinical skills required for social work practice in a broad spectrum of mental health settings. Required for students in Mental Health concentration.

SOWK 648 Management for Community and Social Services (3) Methods and principles of management in urban settings with primary emphasis on strategic management, finance analysis, and innovative project development.

SOWK 653 Social Work Practice With and In Behalf of Older Adults (1) Integrates foundation and advanced knowledge and skill for practice with and in behalf of older adults. Graded CR/NC.

SOWK 654 Social Work Practice with Severely and Persistently Mentally Ill (1) Integrates foundation and advanced knowledge and skill for practice with severely and persistently mentally ill. Graded CR/NC.

SOWK 660 Health Care Delivery Systems: Planning for Health and Social Services (3) Evaluating health care delivery systems in the U.S. and internationally including community social capital, health disparities, access to care, and policy implications for diverse populations.

SOWK 661 Case Management as a Service Model (3) Case management as a service model for increasing cost effectiveness and quality of care for diverse populations including transitional planning, utilization management and resource utilization.

SOWK 662 Information Technology for Human Services (3) Information technology as a resource for quality health and human services. Implications for interagency collaboration, empowerment of clients and professionals, evidence-based practice, education and ethics.

SOWK 663 Clinical Practice with Couples (3) Examination of major models and diverse intervention strategies to ameliorate common presenting problems of couples. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 664 Consultation, Coaching and Social Entrepreneurship (3) Expanding roles that social workers play within both non-profit and for profit corporations. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 665 Program Development and Grant Writing for Social Workers (3) Planning and program development that are generalized to any setting and relevant to direct and macro social work practice expertise. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 666 Domestic Violence (3) Recognition of domestic violence and examination of effective intervention measures and preventive methods. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 667 Information Systems for Program Development (3) Theoretical framework and practical skills in the use of some of the most common and up-to-date applications today of computers and electronic communication. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 668 Social Work and Law (3) Examination of roles, opportunities, and concerns for the practice of social work in the structures and procedures of the law. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 669 Managing Change and Organization Development (3) Conceptual framework and practical skills needed to design, implement and evaluate effective change and organization development programs. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 670 Global Dimensions in Social Policy and Social Work Practice (3) Exploration and critique of how political, economic, cultural, religious and environmental factors impact social welfare policies, social work practice, and social development globally. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 671 Clinical Intervention and Advanced Theories in Work Settings (3) Clinical intervention strategies and theories emphasizing crisis intervention, task-centered, and short-term interventions with individuals, families, and social networks effective in work settings. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 545.

SOWK 672 Improving Work Life Through Social Policy and Managing Organizational Development and Change (3) Advances students’ ability to formulate social policy and conceptual understanding of workplace issues. Intervention strategies for organizational development. Prerequisite: SOWK 535.

SOWK 673 Program Development, Training, Grant Writing, and Program Evaluation in Work Settings (3) Focus on the role of social workers in program development and evaluation, supervision and training, and research in workplace settings. Prerequisite: SOWK 562.

SOWK 674 Human Sexuality in Clinical Social Work Practice (3) Explores physiological, psychological, and sociocultural variables associated with sexual identity, sexual orientation, and sexual behavior to increase student understanding and appreciation for human sexual behavior. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 675 Play Therapy in Social Work with Children and Adolescents (3) Advances student theoretical knowledge and clinical practice skills in working with children, adolescents, and their families and explores the process of child psychotherapy. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 676 Psychopharmacology for Therapists and Counselors (1, FaSpSm) Overview of various classes of basic psychotherapeutic medications. Useful to social workers, counselors, therapists, and other individuals who counsel and treat mentally ill patients.

SOWK 677 Mental Health Practice with Children and Adolescents (3) The assessment and treatment of children with serious emotional disturbance, including the service delivery models and policies that influence service delivery. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 678 Treating Hard To Reach Families: Child Maltreatment (3) Advanced practice course focusing on interventions with and treatment of complex family systems where the effects of child maltreatment are the presenting problems. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 680 Social Work Spanish for Culturally Competent Services (3) Integration of cross-cultural practice skills with Spanish language development through the class instruction and practice development. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 681 Managing Diversity in a Global Context (3) Interdisciplinary approach to innovative practices that make the workplace more inclusive and productive. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 682 Spirituality, Religion, and Faith in Clinical Practice (3, FaSp) Examination of diverse spiritual and religious traditions. Spiritually-sensitive treatment approaches applied to psychological and spiritual clinical problems of individuals, couples, and families. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 683 Hypnosis Social Work Practice (3) Examination of major theoretical and practice applications of hypnosis in social work practice and development of a beginning level of competency. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535.

SOWK 684 Community Practice for Social Change (3) Prepares students to work effectively within complex and diverse community settings. Prerequisite: SOWK 503, SOWK 505, SOWK 534, SOWK 535

SOWK 685 Working with Adolescents: ­Practice, Systems and Advocacy (3) Enhance knowledge and skill in working with adolescents involved in the child welfare, juvenile justice and other systems. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 686abc Field Practicum II (4-4-4) Supervised field placement to develop depth of skill and practice in area of concentration. Graded CR/NC/IP. Open only to Social Work students. Prerequisite: SOWK 586ab.

SOWK 687 Media in Social Work (3) Creation of short documentaries for social change. Techniques in media production, strategies for media outreach, and development of media literacy skills to deconstruct media messages. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 688 School Violence (3) Examines theoretical, empirical and practice-based literature on school violence including how students’ physical well-being, academic functioning, social relations, and emotional and cognitive development are affected. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 689 Models of Family Therapy: ­Theory and Practice (3) Expand students’ theoretical and practical competence in systemic and narrative family therapy models for work with 21st century families. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535

SOWK 690ab Research (1-4; 1-4) Intensive individual study of specific problems. Graded CR/NC.

SOWK 691 Psychosocial Issues in Health and Mental Health (3) Course examines psychosocial issues in health, including coping and social support, chronic illness, patient-provider communication, stigma and discrimination, quality of life, religion/spirituality, and social justice. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 692 Loss, Grief and Bereavement (3) Focus on the experiences of loss, death and bereavement as it is viewed by individuals, families and loved ones. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 693 Diagnosing Psychopathology: Introduction to DSM IV-TR (1) Advanced exposure to several issues in the area of adult psychopathology and diagnostics through didactic and experiential modalities. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 694 Group Psychotherapy in Mental Health Settings (3) Focus on group therapy for clinical social workers as practiced in various mental health settings. The entire process of group development is examined. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 695 Research Project I (2) Credit on acceptance of professional research project proposal. Graded CR/NC. Prerequisite: SOWK 562.

SOWK 696 LGBT Psycho/Social/Political Issues (3) Overview of clinical, social and political issues with which social workers should be familiar when working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients. Prerequisite: SOWK 505, SOWK 535.

SOWK 697 Research Project II (1) Credit on acceptance of professional research project. Graded CR/NC. Prerequisite: SOWK 695.

SOWK 702 Theories of Human Behavior in the Contexts of Social Environments (3) A focus on human behavior in interaction with the social environment; major paradigms including general systems theory, ego psychology, and role theories are examined.

SOWK 703 Explanatory Theories for Larger Social Systems (3) Theories of organizational and community behavior are examined in relation to their influence on the development of social services.

SOWK 733 Policy Analysis and Advocacy in a Comparative Social Policy Context (3) Examination of the evolution of American and other welfare states in selected nations. Analysis of global welfare institutions. Engaging in policy analysis in a comparative context.

SOWK 743 Theories for Practice with Small Systems (3) Early practice theories and their historical roots are examined. Implications for evolving current practice theories with individuals, families, and groups are discussed.

SOWK 744 Theories for Practice with Large Systems (3) Examination of the development and utility of theories, models and approaches to social work community and administrative practice.

SOWK 760L Introduction to Social Work Statistics (3) Foundation course covering univariate and bivariate descriptive and inferential statistics. Required lab covering basic computer skills and utilization of statistical software.

SOWK 761L Multiple Regression for Social Work Research (3) Multivariate statistical methods including descriptive and inferential statistics, parametric and non-parametric tests of hypotheses; correlation, analysis of variance, multiple regression, and factor analysis; utilization of computer programs for statistical analysis.

SOWK 762 Social Work Research Methods I (3) Models of research, the nature of inquiry, and the research process including problem formulation, measurement, designs, sampling and data sources. Prerequisite: doctoral standing.

SOWK 763 Social Work Research Methods II: Issues in Research for Social Work Practice (3) Research methods to provide students with advanced methodological knowledge in two areas related to social work practice: psychotherapy outcome research and program research. Prerequisite: SOWK 762.

SOWK 764 Advanced Multivariate Statistics (3) Introduction to single equation statistical modeling using limited dependent variables (categorical and ordered categorical). Methods are drawn from statistics and econometrics.

SOWK 770 Introduction to Qualitative and Mixed Research Methods (3) Overview of the use of qualitative and mixed methods in social, clinical and health services research.

SOWK 781 Guided Teaching Experience (2) Mentorship with a member of the teaching faculty; discussions of curriculum design; observation; preparation and delivery of selected course sessions. Graded CR/NC.

SOWK 785 Guided Research Internship (2) Research practicum designed to provide students with hands-on practical experience with an ongoing faculty research project. Graded CR/NC. Prerequisite: SOWK 763.

SOWK 790 Research (1-12) Research leading to the doctorate. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

SOWK 794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of dissertation. Graded IP/CR/NC.