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  • Image of Henson Hall on the Knoxville campus

    Henson Hall, home of the College on the Knoxville campus

  • Image of Nashville campus

    Polk Center, home of the College on the Nashville campus

The College of Social Work is committed to advancing the mission of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville as the state's land-grant, flagship university, to provide a quality public education for the citizens of Tennessee through exemplary teaching, research, and service. The College of Social Work provides a professional social work education program that prepares students for social work practice and doctoral level graduate students for social work research and academia.


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Social Work was established in Nashville as the Nashville School of Social Work in 1942 in a consortium arrangement with Vanderbilt University, George Peabody College for Teachers, and Scarritt College. Master of Science in Social Work degrees were awarded through Vanderbilt University from 1944 through 1951. When the school became a part of the University of Tennessee, it expanded to Memphis in 1951 and to Knoxville in 1958. Since 1973, the Office of the Dean has been in Knoxville. In 1986, the UT School of Social Work became a college, and the name was changed to the College of Social Work.



College of Social Work Mission Statement: Grounded in social justice, we equip professional social workers with the skills needed to serve diverse and vulnerable populations. We build knowledge by conducting groundbreaking research that focuses on solving social problems. We engage with our communities through meaningful service.

The educational mission of the college is accomplished by faculty committed to the use of teaching methods that support critical thinking and life-long learning. The college's research mission embraces interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarship that seeks to increase knowledge for the benefit of individuals, families, organizations, and communities. Community outreach services are rendered by both faculty, staff, and students who seek to enhance the quality of life for people and human systems in Tennessee, with particular concern for improving life conditions and greater social justice for vulnerable populations.



College of Social Work Vision Statement: We envision a socially just world that prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable.



  • Human Dignity: Commitment to promote social and economic equity
  • Responsive Education and Research: Critically informed and practice-relevant professional formation 
  • Engagement: Collaboration with communities to achieve and sustain well-being


Statement on Racism, Discrimination, and Harassment

As a College of Social Work committed to the core values of our profession, we strongly reject all forms of hate speech and rhetoric that focuses on the superiority of one group over other groups. We recognize and affirm the inherent dignity and worth of ALL persons. Moreover, we are committed to challenging all forms of hate speech and other acts of racism and bigotry wherever they are found, including our own campus. More


Degrees Offered

The College of Social Work offers these academic degree programs:


On the main campus in Knoxville:
Knoxville Campus
1618 Cumberland Ave.,
401 Henson Hall,
Knoxville TN 37996
View address on Google Maps

At the Nashville offices:
Nashville Campus
193 Polk Ave., Ste. E
Nashville, TN 37210
Phone: 615-256-1885
View address on Google Maps


Accreditation and Organizational Structure

CSWE accreditation logoThe Bachelor's and Master's degree programs of the UT College of Social Work are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The MSSW program is the state of Tennessee's first and oldest CSWE accredited program. Though CSWE does not accredit doctoral programs, the college's Doctoral programs consistently receive strong, positive reviews from the University and national recognition from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

The offices of the Dean, Knoxville M.S.S.W. Program Director, B.S.S.W. Program Director, Ph.D. Program Director, D.S.W. Program Director, and faculty and staff of the Knoxville campus are located in Henson Hall on The University of Tennessee campus. All facilities on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus are available to the College including the University of Tennessee Libraries, the
Student Union, and the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Also located in Knoxville are the Office of Social Work Research and Public Service and the Center for Behavioral Health Research.

The offices of the Associate Dean, the Nashville and Online M.S.S.W. Program Director, and faculty and staff of the Nashville and Online campus are located in the Polk Center at 193 Polk Avenue, Suite E. The Polk Center also houses offices and facilities of the Institute for Public Service, Social Work Office of Research and Public Service, and the UT Health Science Center's College of Pharmacy. In addition to its full-time faculty members, the Nashville campus draws upon the research and teaching resources of 16 universities and colleges within the Nashville-Davidson County area. Students have access to the educational, cultural and social resources of Nashville and middle Tennessee. Students have access to all resources of the University of Tennessee Libraries through online access to all library catalogs and databases, instant access to ejournals and rapid inter-library loan.

Click here to view the UT CSW Organizational Chart.


The College of Social Work subscribes to the code of ethics of each of the following organizations:

National Association of Social Workers

International Federation of Social Workers



The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.