The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


PhD Social Work Program

Greetings from the Director

Thank you for your interest in the PhD Program in Social Work at the University of Tennessee. The purpose of our program is to train researchers and teachers who can work in a variety of settings to develop and disseminate knowledge about interventions, programs, and policies that will be used by professional social workers.

Students who go through our PhD program will receive extensive training in research methods and statistics and will critically examine issues relevant to social work practice at both the micro and macro levels. An essential aspect of their training is their access to state-of-the art technology and equipment. Students also gain extensive experience in effective college teaching, including online teaching and best practices for the use of technology in the classroom.

A cornerstone of the PhD program is strong mentoring relationships between students and faculty. Working closely with a faculty mentor, students will become thoroughly familiar with the professional literature in their selected area and will conduct empirical research that will contribute to the knowledge base of social work.

We have on our faculty some of the most outstanding social work researchers and scholars in the country. Our PhD program faculty are dedicated to producing outstanding social work scholars and educators.

The PhD program is closely linked with the Children's Mental Health Services Research Center, a renowned and well-established center for social work research excellence. The Center works with faculty and PhD students on research in such areas as the structure and coordination of services, aggressive and antisocial youth, child welfare, and measurement and assessment.

PhD students have multiple opportunities to publish research papers, make presentations at national conferences, and develop their skills as social work educators. Graduates of our PhD program work in a variety of settings. Many are now on the faculty of social work programs around the country, and we have several graduates serving as faculty in universities in foreign countries. We also have graduates working in such settings as psychiatric hospitals and state agencies.

We encourage you to visit our program and talk with our doctoral faculty about your educational and professional goals. For more information, Feel free to contact us at:

PhD Program The University of Tennessee
College of Social Work
313 Henson Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996-3333
(865) 974-1096

A Path to Excellence

Leading-edge curriculum

Nationally competitive fellowships

Preparation for faculty & research positions across the nation & world

Collaboration with 2 world-class research centers

Full-time & part-time options


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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

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