Knoxville, TN
student ratio
Not Reported
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Tuition Cost Not Reported
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average amount to complete degree
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fall application deadline
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3 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Social Work

For 70 years, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Social Work has provided comprehensive and cutting-edge social work education. It is committed to excellence in education and challenges its students and faculty members to excel in scholarship, in research, and in contributions to economic, social, and cultural development. The College of Social Work is committed to providing a quality education through exemplary teaching, research, and service.

It is a place where intellectual, social, and professional growth is the norm, where students face challenges in the classroom, have opportunities for international experiences, and connect with experts across the state. As part of the only research flagship campus in Tennessee, the UTK College of Social Work provides its students with the latest advances, where new knowledge is literally created every day. Its academic programs, research, and service span the state and beyond.

The undergraduate program prepares individuals for careers in social work practice and leadership. A highly recognized MSSW program prepares students for social work clinical practice or social work management, leadership and community practice. At the doctoral level, the PhD prepares individuals for careers in research and teaching, while the online DSW prepares individuals for advanced clinical practice and clinical leadership.

With emphasis on critical thinking and life-long learning, the college ensures that students acquire in-depth knowledge about social work theory, practice, and policy. In addition, it promotes interdisciplinary research that helps individuals, families, organizations, and communities.

Community outreach is also an important aspect of the school's mission. Faculty members, staff members, and students engage in community service that improves the lives of vulnerable populations and promotes social justice.

Global Initiatives

As the world moves increasingly toward a global society, the University of Tennessee, College of Social Work has developed a strong international focus. The college currently has students studying worldwide in over 11 countries, and actively recruits students internationally for all of its programs.

Master of Science in Social Work Program

The MSSW program offers a comprehensive and vigorous curriculum that prepares students to address pressing individual, family, community, and societal needs through use of cutting-edge knowledge and skills. The program combines state-of the art coursework with in-depth internship experiences.

The focus on leadership and strong generalist practice foundation in the MSSW program allows graduates to excel in all areas of social work, regardless of the major concentrations they choose.

There are two concentrations within the MSSW Program:

The "Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice" concentration provides advanced training in therapeutic interventions and group work. It allows students to further tailor their educations through a comprehensive offering of elective courses. EBIP graduates work in schools, hospitals, private practices, psychiatric clinics, prisons, non-profit agencies, community mental health centers, and more.

The "Management Leadership and Community Practice" concentration equips students with management, social-economic development, and policy analysis skills that enable them to lead non-profit agencies, work for the state or federal government, and engage with communities to help address pressing needs.

The MSSW program of study is flexible and allows students to choose a program of study that best fits with the reality of their busy lives. The full-time program enables students to complete their studies in two years. The part-time extended study program allows students to take classes during the evenings and complete the degree in three to four years. The advance standing program, which is for students who already have BSW or BSSW degrees, can be completed in one year for full-time students or in one and a half to two years for part-time students.

MSSW Online Program - One College, One Curriculum, One Faculty

The online Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville allows ambitious and talented students to earn their degrees via the internet. The program is administered with the same high standards as the traditional, on-campus MSSW program.

The focus on leadership and strong generalist practice foundation in the M.S.S.W. program allows graduates to excel in all areas of social work, regardless of the major concentrations they choose. The online program includes the same concentrations and courses of study as the on-campus program. Also the same talented and experienced faculty members teach courses in both programs. The model remains an apprentice model where students spend a significant period of time practicing in the field under the direction of an accomplished social worker, in the student's home town or city.

The flexibility of the online program allows students to choose the length of time it takes to complete their degrees, ranging from one-four years, and is ideal for those living more than 25 miles from either Knoxville or Nashville, TN. The online MSSW program recently ranked 2nd among social work programs in the United States as a best value/best buy social work education, according to the GetEducated Consumer Organization, and the Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education recently awarded the program the Innovative Credit Programming Award.

Certificate Programs

The University of Tennessee, College of Social Work offers four certificate/ licensure opportunities within the MSSW program, including "School Social Work," "Gerontology," "Trauma," and "Veterinary Social Work." UTCSW pioneers several of these areas of focused study.

Online Doctor of Social Work Program - Hybrid Distance Education

The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program is specifically designed for practicing clinical social workers, either LCSWs or MSWs with at least two years of practice experience, who wish to become clinical leaders in the field. It is an accelerated program where candidates can complete doctoral degrees in three years, without practice interruption.

The four key components of the program provide for one of the most comprehensive understandings of human functioning available: neuroscience, evidence-based practice, clinical leadership, and epistemology via a life-span approach.

Doctor of Social Work Format

Courses for the Doctor of Social Work program are taught online via synchronous and asynchronous methods. The synchronous method includes interactive video and instructional media that allow for real-time "classroom" interaction at designated times. Conversely, the asynchronous method allows students to use online communication tools to share information outside of virtual class times.

Although students complete courses online, they spend one week during each summer of the program at the university's Knoxville campus to complete intensive knowledge and skills development activities.

DSW Requirements

Students in the Doctor of Social Work program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have master's degrees in social work. They also have at least two years of clinical practice experience or designation as licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs).

Ph.D. Program in Social Work

The goal of the PhD program is to produce highly skilled social work researchers who can contribute to the knowledge base of the profession and disseminate this knowledge through the education and training of professional social workers. The purpose of the PhD program is to foster an understanding and appreciation of the scientific method so that graduates can improve and extend the knowledge base of the profession through empirical research. Graduates of the program are prepared to assume leadership roles in social work education and research.

PhD students work closely with mentoring faculty members, and have the option of collaborating with one or both of the college's research centers -- The Children's Mental Health Services Research Center or the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service.

Innovative Research

Research is an important component of the College of Social Work. Therefore, both students and faculty members conduct ground-breaking research that advances the body of knowledge in the field.

Faculty members examine a wide range of topics including aging, caregiver issues, child welfare, ethnicity, environmental justice, health, juvenile justice, social justice, neuroscience, trauma, and substance abuse.

In addition, the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service has obtained more than 40 million dollars in funding from state, local, and federal grants and contracts. These funds are used to support training, technical assistance, and research projects.

Expert Faculty Members

Faculty members in the College of Social Work are innovative teachers who have vast clinical and leadership experience. They are also dedicated to helping their students to expand their knowledge and skills in the field and to advance their careers.

Tuition and Financial Assistance

Fees and tuition for the University of Tennessee graduate programs are the same as those for all campus graduate programs. Online students' fees are slightly different. International students may also have additional requirements and fees for study. Interested students should contact the College of Social Work with detailed questions.

Students may be eligible for financial assistance to help cover their expenses. Students may be eligible for in state tuition through the academic common market with the DSW program only. The PhD program offers some competitive tuition and stipend packages as well. For further, detailed information, interested students should contact the College of Social Work.

Each student can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if he or she qualifies for financial aid such as student loans, grants, and scholarships

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the southern region of the United States. It is a "research-intensive" institution that provides nearly 28,000 students with more than 300 comprehensive academic programs.

UTK also enhances the state's culture, strengthens its economy, and positively impacts it citizens' lives through research and service.

A leader in public higher education, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has a ranking within the top 100 public universities on "US News and World Report's" 2015 list of best colleges

Location & Contact

Graduate Programs

College of Social Work
The University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

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Degrees & Awards

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)
    • Management Leadership And Community Practice Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)
    • Social Work Master's
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Yes
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableNot Reported



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