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BSSW Program Details: Knoxville Campus

Application, Admission, and Progression

For a description of admission requirements and applications for undergraduate admission to the University can be found on the admissions website below.

Progression into upper division social work classes

Students who declare Social Work as their major will be automatically be assigned to the BSSW Academic Advisor. Progression of students in the Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) program to courses numbered 312 and above is competitive and is based on capacity. Factors considered include overall grade point average, performance in selected lower-division courses, and personal qualifications deemed acceptable for entrance into the professional practice of social work.

Students with an intent to enroll in SOWK 312 in the fall semester must complete and submit the Progression Application by February 15. Students with an intent to enroll in SOWK 312 in the spring semester must complete and submit the packet by September 15.

Minimum requirements include:

  • 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher (UTK or transfer GPA)
  • Completion of at least 45 credit hours including English 101/118 and 102 and other general education requirements
  • Completion SOWK 200 (Introduction to Social Work) or its equivalent with a grade of C or higher
  • Completion SOWK 250 (Introduction to Social Welfare) its equivalent with a grade of C or higher
  • Completion of a Personal Essay (please see Progression Application link above)

(Please note: SOWK 200 and SOWK 250 are offered online every summer prior to enrollment in upper division social work classes in the fall.)

These minimum standards for consideration do not guarantee enrollment in SOWK 312 and progression to upper-division status within the college. The final decision for enrollment in SOWK 312 and progression to upper-division status resides with the department head or designee.

female student speaking with female advisor at her desk

Field Placement

All students will work with their field coordinator to secure their required field/practicum placements that occur in a real-world practice setting under the supervision of a professional social worker. Students are advised that several field placement (internship) agencies and licensing boards require successfully passing a criminal background check. Also, students in the college are encouraged to participate in community service and/or volunteer activities at a social service agency in advance of upper-division social work coursework.

BSSW Honors Program

The BSSW Honors Program provides a small group of academically high-achieving social work majors with an enriching, engaging, and individualized undergraduate academic experience and an opportunity to earn both a BSSW and an MSSW degree in five years. All declared social work majors with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 are invited to apply for admission to the BSSW Honors Program.

To apply to the BSSW Honors Program students must:

  • Be a declared social work major
  • Complete the Progression Application for into upper division Social Work Courses
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.5
  • Complete a personal interview with the BSSW Program Director or designee

The BSSW Program Director or designee maintains responsibility for selecting the most qualified applicants for entry into the BSSW Honors Program. All students admitted into the BSSW Honors Program must earn a grade of B or above in all required social work courses and social work honors courses. To graduate from the BSSW Honors Program, students must complete twelve (12) hours of social work honors courses while maintaining at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Students with cumulative grade point averages that drop below a 3.5 will incur probationary status and will be given one semester to raise their average to a 3.5 or above. Failure to improve one’s cumulative grade point average during the probationary semester will lead to dismissal from the BSSW Honors Program.