The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


David Dupper, Interim Dean

A Personal Message from Dr. David Dupper,
Interim Dean of the UT College of Social Work

It is my privilege to serve as interim dean of the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. What began 75 years ago as the Nashville School of Social Work has grown into the premier college of social work in the state of Tennessee with campuses in Knoxville, Nashville, and online. As part of our anniversary celebration, we are honoring 75 of our graduates, faculty, and staff who have created significant and lasting change in 12 challenge areas that have been identified by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is continually ranked among the nation's top public universities and is the largest research institution in the state of Tennessee. Discover the "Volunteer Difference" at the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee! If you are a college senior, someone who is considering a career change, or a veteran social service worker, or a master's graduate interested in a PhD or DSW, the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee has a program for you. You will find that many of your questions about our academic programs are answered on this site. Our six academic programs include a BSSW Program in Knoxville, MSSW Programs in Knoxville and Nashville, an on-line MSSW Program, an on-line Doctor of Social Work in Clinical Practice & Leadership (DSW), and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Social Work (PhD) in Knoxville. In addition, our college offers the Department of Children's Services (DCS) Bachelor of Social Work Tuition Assistance Program, BSSW Honors Program, Five-Year BSSW/MSSW Program as well as certificate programs in trauma treatment, gerontology and veterinary social work, and a Tennessee school social work licensure program.

Our College actively promotes international education for students, including studying abroad and completing field placements in international settings. Since 2008, students from the UT College of Social Work have participated in study abroad programs, international field placements with NGOs and faculty-led programs in Canada, Swaziland, Ghana, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa, Uganda, Ecuador, Scotland, and the Czech Republic.

The demand for highly qualified military social workers is at an unprecedented high. The College of Social Work actively recruits veterans and the versatility of our programs provides for leadership development in both the clinical practice arena and the organizational management or advocacy positions. The College of Social Work has become the second program at the University of Tennessee to receive approval to participate in the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Bill Education Enhancement Program, also known as the Yellow Ribbon Program.

David DupperAll of our programs incorporate cutting-edge research, a focus on critical thinking, and real-world applications to provide our students with the best educational experience possible. Grounded in social justice, our College's mission is to equip professional social workers with the skills needed to serve diverse and vulnerable populations, to build knowledge by conducting groundbreaking research that focuses on solving social problems and to engage with our communities through meaningful service.

Our College is home to the nationally recognized Center for Behavioral Health Research and the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service. Our College of Social Work has four endowed professorships: the Urban Child Institute Endowed Professorship, the Endowed professorship in Mental Health research & practice, the Betsy R. Bush Endowed Professorship in Behavioral Health, and the All Creatures Great and Small Endowed Clinical Associate Professorship. Among our faculty are fellows in several prestigious scientific academies including the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, The American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the National Academies of Practice, and the Gerontological Society of America. Please explore our website or join us on Facebook to learn more about our College.


David Dupper, PhD
Interim Dean


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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System