The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The PhD Program of the UT College of Social Work

Doctor of Philosophy of Social Work Program

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD)

The University of Tennessee College of Social Work offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in social work. The purpose of social work education at the doctoral level is to foster an understanding and appreciation of the scientific method, to improve and extend the knowledge base of social work, and to develop competent leadership in social work education, research, and practice. The program includes foundation courses, electives, advanced seminars, and dissertation research.

Doctoral research is directed toward developing knowledge that can be used by social work educators, practitioners, administrators, and policy makers. Students are currently conducting research in a variety of areas, including empathy, the effects of exposure to violence on mental health, chronic pain, the death penalty, juvenile violence, the rural Appalachian poor, foster care, adoptions, and service utilization by the elderly.

PhD students may also take advantage of related research curricula such as the Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics Program. This program enables students to obtain a minor or a master's degree in applied statistical analysis while pursuing a doctorate in social work.

A Path to Excellence

Leading-edge curriculum

Nationally competitive fellowships and Tennessee Fellowship for Graduate Excellence Program

Preparation for faculty & research positions across the nation & world

Collaboration with 2 world-class research centers

Full-time & part-time options

Contact the PhD Program

Interim Program Director: William Nugent, PhD,

Administrative Specialist I - Knoxville Campus, Sarah Browning.

For more information, email: or see contact information below.

Director of Student Recruitment: Susan Bryant -

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