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Application Process

Doctor of Social Work (DSW) Application and Admissions Information

The application period begins in October each year for the next academic year.

Admission Requirements

  1. Meet requirements for admission to the Graduate School (See Graduate School application process below).
  2. Hold a Master's degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Applicants from international programs will be reviewed on an individual basis.
  3. Have two years of post-MSSW/MSW clinical practice experience
  4. Have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for previous graduate work
  5. Have achieved a competitive score on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination. The GRE must have been taken within the last 5 years.
  6. Have TOEFL scores of at least 550 on the paper test or 80 on the internet-based test if native language is not English.
  7. Demonstrable information technology skills.

Special Requirements and Policies

  • Students must adhere to ethical and professional standards as specified in the UT Hilltopics Student Handbook and the DSW Student Handbook. .
  • Students will attend an annual week of on campus residency each summer devoted to intensive study and skills practice.
  • Summer On-campus Orientation - Newly admitted students are required to attend the three-day, on-campus summer orientation offered in June prior to the beginning of their first fall semester. The summer orientation co-occurs with the annual week of on-campus residency for students already enrolled in the DSW program. The orientation is designed to provide students with an easy onboarding to start of the DSW Program. Utilization of online technologies, library research skills and new tools to support academic writing will provide an important foundation for success in the program.

    The summer orientation will also provide students with an opportunity to meet faculty and network with DSW students in other cohorts. Additionally, the on-campus orientation will focus on helping newly admitted students to develop knowledge and skills for balancing doctoral education, professional responsibilities, and family commitments.

Application Process

  1. Submit your application by completing the online application located on the Graduate School's web site (opens in a new window).
  2. Submit the following items directly to Graduate Admissions Office: Graduate School application, $60.00 application fee, official transcripts of all previous academic work, employment history (resume or vita), professional statement, writing sample and GRE general test scores.
  3. Provide the names and email addresses of three (3) references. The references will be contacted by CollegeNet to provide a letter of reference on your behalf.
  4. International applicants also submit TOEFL scores, a completed International Form, and a completed Financial Statement.

Application Deadlines:

  • Domestic: Upon acceptance of a highly qualified cohort of 25 students or May 1.
  • International: February 1

For More Information

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Graduate School
201 Student Services Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0220
(865) 974-3251



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