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The University of Tennessee College of Social Work began in 1942. Originally part of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, UT Knoxville took over the program in the 1950s. Today, the college offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, many of which students can earn online. Academic specialties include both doctor of social work and Ph.D. options.

UT Knoxville also encourages international collaboration, such as students studying abroad and graduate students working alongside foreign counterparts. It also boasts an active recruiting department that brings international students to Knoxville.

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The social work bachelor’s and master’s programs hold accreditation from the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

Featured Programs in Social Work

Social Work Program Overview

UT Knoxville’s College of Education strives to train the next generation of social worker leaders. The college runs many community outreach services in the Knoxville metropolitan area that both help communities in need and provide students with hands-on experience. These efforts reflect the college’s three core values: engaging the community, performing research, and promoting human dignity.

At the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Social Work Office of Research and Public Service, students and faculty work side-by-side to help at-risk youth and create training programs for Tennessee social workers. Each year, students and faculty present their latest findings at the Society for Social Work Research’s annual conference.

Online Social Work Programs

Prospective students can choose from two University of Tennessee online social work degrees: a master of science in social work or a doctor of social work in clinical practice and leadership. Both programs offer part-time options to help busy professionals earn their degrees in a flexible format. The programs’ curricula blend asynchronous and synchronous learning formats so students can benefit from in-person contact while still learning at their own pace. At no time do students need to visit the College of Social Work’s Nashville or Knoxville campuses. Both programs hold the same application requirements as their on-campus counterparts. The master’s program comprises 60 credits, and the doctoral program comprises 48 credits.

On-Campus Social Work Programs

On the UT Knoxville campus, students can earn a bachelor of science in social work, master of science in social work, or doctor of philosophy with a major in social work. The bachelor’s program encourages recent high school graduates and transfer students to apply. The on-campus master’s program uses the same curriculum as its online counterpart. Finally, the doctoral program boasts up to four years of funding, a benefit that students in the online doctoral program do not receive.

University of Tennessee Online Social Work Degree Programs

Online Master’s in Social Work

Program Overview

  • Department: College of Social Work
  • Program Name: Master of Science in Social Work
  • Concentrations: Evidence-interpersonal practice; organizational leadership


  • Format: Online or on-campus
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous

Program Requirements

  • Prerequisites: Undergraduate degree with a major in the social sciences
  • Credit Requirements: 60
  • Field Education Requirements: 2-4-semester practicum

Program Length

  • Program Options: Full- or part-time
  • Program Length: 2-4 years
  • Program Start Dates: Fall

Admission Requirements

  • Application Deadline: May 15
  • GPA: 2.7 minimum undergraduate; 3.0 graduate minimum
Read more information about Social Work Degrees and Careers in Tennessee