The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Master of Science in Social Work Program

MSSW Overview

The MSSW program offers a comprehensive and vigorous curriculum that prepares students to address pressing individual, family, community, and societal needs through use of cutting-edge knowledge and skills. The program combines state-of the art coursework with in-depth internship experiences.

Students complete either a clinical concentration or a macro concentration in order to focus their education to meet their professional goals.

The Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice (clinical) concentration provides advanced training in therapeutic interventions and group work. It allows students to further tailor their education through a comprehensive offering of elective courses. EBIP graduates work in schools, hospitals, private practices, psychiatric clinics, prisons, non-profit agencies, community mental health centers, etc.

The Organizational Leadership (macro) concentration equips students with management, social-economic development, and policy practice skills that enable them to lead non-profit agencies, work for the government, and engage with communities to help address pressing needs.

Three Courses of Study

MSSW students choose from three different courses of study:

  • Advanced Standing Program.
    The MSSW Advanced Standing Program can be completed on a full-time (twelve months) or part-time (eighteen to twenty-four months) basis for a total of thirty-seven semester hours. Applicants to this program must have a BSW or BSSW degree from a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, have graduated within 5 years of entry to the MSSW program, and have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to be considered. Advanced Standing students begin classes in the summer term. Students will have one field placement (672 hours)
  • Full Time Program
    MSSW Full-time students begin classes in the fall semester and complete the full-time program (60 semester hours) in two years, or four semesters, of full-time study. Students enrolled in the full-time program must complete 15 credit hours per semester. Students complete the generalist curriculum, which includes a field placement (352 hours) during the first year and the concentration curriculum, which also includes a field placement (672 hours) during the second year. Applicants must have a 2.7 GPA or higher to be considered for this program.
  • Extended Study Program.
    The MSSW Extended Study Program is a part-time program, in which students take six credit hours per semester (either face-to-face or online) and complete the MSSW degree requirements (60 credit hours) in three or four years. Extended Study students begin coursework in the fall term. Extended Study students complete two field placements. The generalist placement (352 hours) is during the second year of study and the concentration placement (672 hours) can either be in the third or fourth year, depending on course of study. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 or higher to be considered for this program. All classes for extended study Nashville and Knoxville are scheduled during regular day time hours. Online extended study classes meet in the evenings online.

What courses will I study if I am accepted in the MSSW program? Click Here to See the Programs of Study

The College of Social Work has two campuses, one in Knoxville and one in Nashville. Both campuses offer the same curriculum, concentrations, and programs of study. Students can choose to complete the MSSW program at either campus.

The Online MSSW Program offers even further flexibility for those who are unable to come to campus for class, due to their geographic location or schedule. Online students have the same choice of concentrations and programs of study as regular face-to-face students, but complete their coursework online.




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The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System