María P. Aranda, PhD

Professor of Social Work and Gerontology
Executive Director of the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging


  • PhD, University of Southern California, 1995
  • MPA, University of Southern California, 1991
  • MSW, University of Southern California, 1982
  • BSW, California State University, Los Angeles, 1979


María P. Aranda, PhD, joined the USC School of Social Work faculty in 1995 and holds a joint appointment with the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. She chairs the Human Behavior and Social Environment sequence as well as the Older Adult subconcentration. Aranda’s research and teaching interests address the interplay between chronic illness, social resources and psychological well-being in low-income minority populations.

Aranda has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on several key studies funded by and/or in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health, National Cancer Institute, The John A. Hartford Foundation/The Gerontological Society of America, National Institute of Rehabilitation and Research, Alzheimer’s Association/Health Resources and Services Administration, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Larson Endowment for Innovative Research and Teaching and AltaMed Health Services Corp. Overall, her research addresses the study of psychosocial care of adult and late-life psychiatric disorders, ethnic and racial diversity in the delivery of mental health services and sociocultural adaptations to evidence-based social work practice.

She has also served as a consultant to two population-based studies on health and aging: the Hispanic Epidemiologic Populations Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE) and the Puerto Rican Elderly: Health Conditions study (PREHCO).

Aranda has 20 years of licensed clinical experience providing mental health services to Latinos in the greater Los Angeles area. She has served on local and national boards and committees dedicated to the enhancement of practice, policy, research and advocacy related to underserved minority populations. Aranda was recently appointed to the Performance Measurement Advisory Committee of the State of California Department of Mental Health.

Email: aranda@usc.edu

Office Phone: (213) 740-0286