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PhD Program Admissions Information

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University of Tennessee, Knoxville Application & Admission

Students must apply to, and be accepted to, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as well as the College of Social Work. A description of admission requirements for graduate admission to the University of Tennessee can be obtained from:

Application Deadlines

The application period begins in October each year and ends the last day of March for the upcoming fall semester.

We encourage students to apply by January 10, when the committee begins reviewing applications. For international applications, the final deadline is February 1. For domestic applications, the final deadline is March 30.

NOTE: The application for Fall 2021 is closed and we are no longer accepting new applications. The application for Fall 2022 will open early fall and our priority deadline is December 1, 2021. For more information contact Sarah Browning at .

College of Social Work Admission Requirements

The PhD Program is designed for students who have earned a Master’s degree from an accredited school of social work and have post-master’s social work/social welfare practice experience. Applicants who do not meet these requirements will need to achieve equivalent credentials as specified by the PhD Admission Committee.

The Application Process

  1. Submit your application by completing the following at the Graduate School’s web site:
    • Graduate School online application
    • $60.00 application fee (paid online at the time of your application submission)
    • Official transcripts of all previous academic work. Scanned versions of official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework must be uploaded with the online application. If you have attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville your UT transcripts will already be on file. If you do not upload your transcript(s) with your application, you must have your official transcript(s) mailed directly from the institution(s) to the Graduate Admissions office. Please keep in mind that doing this will delay the processing of your application.
    • Employment history (resume or vita)
    • Professional statement (e.g., professional background and its connection to your research interests, rationale for pursuing a PhD and why at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Social Work, your long-term career goals)
    • Writing sample (e.g., term paper from a graduate course, academic publication)
    • GRE general test scores. Note: Due to COVID-19, our requirements for submitting GRE scores has been adapted for this admissions cycle. Applicants now have the option to submit GRE scores, but they are not required.
  2. 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.
  3. International applicants also submit TOEFL scores, a completed International Form, and a completed Financial Statement.

International applicants should refer to the Admissions for International Students page on the Graduate School’s web site for additional information.

More on the PhD program:

About the PhD Program

Degree Requirements

Video on the Doctoral Programs