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Pros and Cons of USC MSW VAC


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  • 2 weeks later...

I am currently halfway through the MSW@USC program, and I really love it. The professors are all of a very high quality, classes are small, intimate, and discussion based, and you have a great deal of flexibility, since most courses are offered at a wide variety of times. Classes are conducted via video conference, so you can see your professor and classmates on the screen. There are lots of supports for the students, from editing and writing coaching services through the writing center, to counseling and social support, and career development lectures and resources. During the first semester, you will do therapy on a weekly basis with an actor, getting feedback from your peers and professor about your performance, which is a very unique and helpful experience. The coursework is quite demanding, and is very writing heavy. Be prepared to write three to four 5-15 page papers per course. There are, however, few exams (I have had exams in only one course so far). You will have full access to all library materials, many of which are available in digital form. If something is not available online (an unusual occurrence), they will mail it to you. 


Also, your field placement liaison will work closely with you to get you the best possible field placement and match as closely as possible your professional and educational interests. 


Overall, I'd say the only thing I've disliked about the problem is the fact that it is difficult to connect with classmates and form friendships in the traditional way. In an on-ground program, it's easy to ask a classmate out for coffee after class, but in a virtual program, though you can, of course, email, talk by phone, or skype (or make arrangements to meet other students in your area - there are, in fact student forums for different geographic locations, especially if you are in a major metropolitan area), but it's not the same as meeting and hanging out in person. 


The professors are all very positive and supportive, and give lots of feedback and individualized attention. I feel it was a great decision to attend this program. Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions about the program, and I'd be happy to answer them: kylie@usc.edu.


Best of luck!

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