The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

MSSW Program

MSSW Program Directors

Greetings from the Directors of the Program


The University of Tennessee College of Social Work provides an MSSW education program that benefits the residents of the entire state, nation, and world. The program's mission is to educate students for culturally relevant and ethically sound social work practice within a changing global context affecting social work practice. Sensitivity to the personal, social, economic and political needs of vulnerable, high-risk populations is emphasized within a person and environment context.

In accordance with professional social work's ethical code and values, importance is placed on client empowerment, individual and political advocacy for greater social and economic justice, and challenging the oppression of diverse and vulnerable populations. Both the creation and dissemination of evidenced based knowledge are held to be essential. Critical thinking skills and the ability to evaluate social work knowledge to guide practice as well as the ability to evaluate one's own social work practice are emphasized. Student development of a positive professional identification and appreciation of the professional role is fostered to effectively engage, assess and intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.


The following goals are those that we hope our students will achieve in the course of their study here at the UT College of Social Work.

  1. Graduates will apply advanced critical thinking skills in collaboration with and on behalf of individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and societies, viewing themselves as life-long learners and their client systems as experts of their own life experiences.
  2. Graduates will practice in accordance with social work values and ethics, understanding the history of the profession from which those values and ethics derive.
  3. Graduates will practice in a culturally affirming manner that promotes human rights and social and economic justice with diverse populations as expressed through age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, relational status, national origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
  4. Graduates will evaluate, synthesize and apply the best available research, knowledge, and skills for practice in collaboration with and on behalf of individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and societies.


Ragan Schriver, Director, Knoxville MSSW Program

Kate McClernon Chaffin, Director, Nashville MSSW Program and MSSW Online Program


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