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MSSW Program Details

Face-to-face or Online – the choice is yours!

The College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville provides multiple formats to complete an MSSW degree: daytime traditional classes, online classes, or evening hybrid classes. Traditional in-person classes are offered on the main UT campus in Knoxville as well as at our Nashville campus. Evening hybrid classes are offered in Nashville. 

Flexible Courses of Study

The MSSW program offers three courses of study to meet the educational needs of students:

Advanced Standing Program
The MSSW Advanced Standing Program can be completed on a full-time (twelve months) or part-time (twenty-four months) basis for a total of thirty-six semester hours. Applicants must have a BSW or BSSW degree from a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), have graduated within five years of entry to the MSSW program, and have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to be considered. Advanced Standing students begin classes in the summer term. Students will have one field placement (600 hours).

Full-Time Program
MSSW Full-time students begin classes in the fall semester and complete the program (60 semester hours) in two years (four semesters). Students must complete 15 credit hours per semester. Year one (generalist year) includes 400 hours of field placement over two semesters. In year two, students complete the concentration curriculum (see section below on the concentrations available), including 600 hours of field placement over two semesters. Applicants must have a 2.7 GPA or higher to be considered for this program.

Extended Study Program
The MSSW Extended Study Program is a part-time program that begins in the fall semester, in which students take six credit hours per (60 credit hours total) in three or four years. Extended Study students complete two field placements. The generalist placement (400 hours) is during the second year of study and the concentration placement (600 hours) can either be in the third or fourth year, depending on course of study. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 or higher. Please note: All classes for Extended Study students in Nashville and Knoxville are scheduled during regular day time hours (unless attending the Nashville campus Hybrid program, referenced below). Online Extended Study classes meet in the evenings online.

Hybrid Night Classes – Nashville Campus
Beginning Fall 2023. The MSSW Hybrid Night Class Program is geared toward working professionals who are seeking an MSSW degree. This program allows students a flexible schedule and the ability to earn your MSSW while working. 

What is Hybrid?  
The class will meet every other week, with in-between weeks being time for students to work on their own. The in-person portion of the class will be at our Nashville campus and take place in the evenings. 

Concentrations

At the time of their application, MSSW students choose to complete either a clinical or macro concentration, depending on their professional goals. The chosen concentration determines concentration-year courses a student will take: 

  • Clinical Practice 
    The Clinical Practice (CP) concentration is based on the underlying principles of social justice, anti-racism, interprofessional practice, and trauma informed care. Students in the CP concentration develop skills in interpersonal evidence-based treatments and interventions for use in individual and group settings. 
     
    The goal of the CP concentration is to produce empathetic and culturally responsive social work clinicians who are critical thinkers in using evidence-based practices for diverse clients and client systems. Knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice and trauma-informed lens with a special concern for those living in poverty and that have been marginalized. 
  • Organizational Leadership 
    The Organizational Leadership (OL) concentration is based on the underlying principles of social justice, anti-racism, interprofessional practice, and trauma informed leadership. The concentration equips students with management, social-economic development, and policy practice skills that enable them to lead non-profit and governmental agencies, and engage with communities to build strong organizations that address pressing needs. 
     
    The goal of this concentration is to produce social workers who are critical thinkers in skill-based, evidence-based practices, including social and economic development, planning, organizing, coordinating, developing, and evaluating services and policies for at-risk clients and client systems. The knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by students in this concentration produce practitioners who are prepared to work as professionals on interdisciplinary teams and in interdisciplinary settings. These concepts are all taught through a social justice lens with a special concern for the poor and marginalized. Students will be prepared to deliver, develop, manage, and evaluate programs; acquire funding; write grants; as well as analyze and advocate for policy change in political systems, organizations, and communities. 
      

Field Practicum (Internship)

The field practicum is the critical and required internship portion of the MSSW program component of each student’s educational experience. Students work with experienced social work professionals in a variety of settings to complement classroom theory and research. The College offers field practicum opportunities with more than 400 agencies. These settings include schools, courts, hospitals, nursing homes, state agencies, homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and mental health centers. 

The College of Social Work has a strong relationship with social services agencies throughout the state and surrounding areas. In an effort to meet students’ unique educational goals, we also offer the opportunity for students to explore practicum prospects in other parts of the nation, as well as internationally. (Much more detailed information about the field practicum may be found here.) 

An important note is that the College Field Coordinator for your program will secure the field placement for you. You as a student do not have to go out and find your own placement – in fact, that’s highly discouraged due to CSWE field practicum requirements. 

MSSW Program Certificates

In addition to the generalist curriculum that challenges the students in the MSSW program, the college has developed a series of additional program certificates that allow serious student to specialize in four diverse practice areas if they choose to do so. 

The certificates programs are:

 
More on the MSSW program:

About the MSSW Program
Online MSSW Program Information
Application and Admissions Information
Frequently Asked Admissions Questions
MSSW Program Video