College of Social Work

University of Tennessee Knoxville
Knoxville, TN


Details at a Glance

  • School Type

    grad Public
  • Acceptance Rate

    rate 72%
  • Application Fee

    dollar-circle $60
  • Financial Aid Available

    checkbox-alt Yes

Degrees Offered

Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)
Doctorate of Social Work (DSW)
Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD)
Dual MSSW & JD
Dual MSSW & Master of Legal Studies

Our Program

Customize your education to match your theory of Change! Advanced training in micro or macro social work that is grounded in neuroscience.

About Us

The College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee Knoxville is ranked 22nd among all public graduate programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2020). We provide CSWE accredited professional social work education through the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) degree. Our graduate program combines state-of the art coursework with in-depth internship experiences. We prepare students to address pressing individual, family, community, and societal needs through use of cutting-edge knowledge and skills.

MSSW Program

Our flexible Master’s program allows students to choose a program of study that best fits the reality of their busy lives! MSSW students can pursue Advanced Standing, Full Time, or Extended Study, in person at the Nashville or Knoxville campuses, or 100% Online. With concentrations in Clinical Practice and Organizational Leadership we provide advanced training for micro and macro practice. Additionally students can obtain certificates in School Social Work, Gerontology, Veterinary Social Work, Forensic Social Work, and Trauma Treatment.

Dual Degrees

As of Fall 2021 we offer two dual degree programs in collaboration with the UTK College of Law.

MSSW/JD : Dual degree students can complete their Juris Doctorate (JD) and MSSW in 4 years, rather than the 5 years it would take to complete separately.

MSSW/MLS : Not interested in sitting for the Bar, but want a firm background in law to compliment your social work degree? Students can complete a MSSW and Master of Legal Studies (MLS) in 2 academic years (6 semesters).

Doctoral Programs

Beyond Masters level education, we offer two doctoral programs, a PhD to prepare students for research and teaching, and a DSW in advanced clinical social work practice and leadership.


  • Acceptance Rate

    rate 72%
  • Application Fee

    dollar-circle $60


  • checkbox-alt TOEFL
  • checkbox-alt Certified Academic Transcripts
  • checkbox-alt Personal Statement
  • checkbox-alt 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • checkbox-alt Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • checkbox-alt Online Application

Additional Requirements

Admission to the MSSW program is based on the following requirements:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency or foreign equivalent. (A Bachelor of Social Work is NOT required for entry to the Master of Social Work program)
  2. Preparation in the social sciences (at least three-fourths of the undergraduate work should be in the social sciences, humanities, physical sciences, and other liberal arts subjects).
  3. U.S. degree holders must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 out of a possible 4.0 on all undergraduate work and a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 on all previous graduate work. Individuals with degrees from foreign institutions must have a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work and a minimum of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale on all previous graduate work. All applicants applying for admission to the Advanced Standing program must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  4. Personal qualifications acceptable for entrance into the professional practice of social work.

Application Deadline

The College of Social Work does not offer spring admission. The Advanced Standing program begins in the summer semester. The Full Time and Extended Study programs begin in the fall semester.

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis, and applications will continue to be accepted until all spaces are full. The annual admission timeline is as follows:

  • Admission application opens Sept. 1
  • Priority admission application deadline is Feb. 1 (application must be completed by this date to be eligible for financial scholarships)
  • College of Social Work scholarship application deadline is Feb. 15 
  • Admission applications will continue to be accepted until all spaces are full (typically sometime in April) 

Student Body

  • Total Students

    pound 283 Students
  • Female

    female 89% Female
  • Male

    male 11% Male


  • checkbox-alt Dedicated Diversity Office
  • checkbox-alt Military Friendly School
  • checkbox-alt Military Spouse Friendly School

Clubs & Associations

The UTK College of Social Work has a number of organizations for students enrolled in person and online.

  • Coalition of Black Social Workers
  • Rainbow Collective
  • Master Students Social Work Organization (MSSWO)
  • Macro Social Work Student Network
  • Dean Student Advisory Council
  • College of Social Work Ambassadors
  • Phi Alpha National Honors Society

Tuition & Financial Aid

Additional Information

  • checkbox-alt Work-study Programs Available
  • checkbox-alt Financial Aid Available
  • checkbox-alt Graduate Assistantships Available
  • checkbox-alt Graduate Research Assistantships Available
  • checkbox-alt Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

Chat With Us at a Virtual Grad Fair