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Online MSSW Program

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Yes, you can earn your MSSW degree online!

Flexibility. The College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville recognizes the demands that work, family, and geographical location can place on those seeking to pursue a graduate degree in social work.

Flexibility is what we had in mind when designing coursework for our online MSSW students. Though the format for course delivery is flexible, students can expect to receive the same quality and rigorous education that face-to-face students receive. Class sizes are small, all students have a dedicated advisor, and online students have many opportunities to be involved and engaged with campus activities or organizations. Consistently ranked at the top of the nation’s online graduate social work programs, the College of Social Work provides affordability, quality, and individualized approach to all of our students.

The Online MSSW program has the same flexible courses of study (part time, full time, and advanced standing), the same concentrations (Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice and Organizational Leadership), the same ability to pursue a certificate program, and the same field practice (internship) requirements. The only difference between the Online program and the traditional on-campus program is where you take classes. See the MSSW Program Details for complete information. It is important to note that whether you take classes on campus or online, the MSSW program is taught by the same professors, is held to the same high standards, and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Courses in the Online MSSW program are taught online through synchronous and asynchronous approaches. Real-time or synchronous classes are offered in the late afternoon and evening and allow students to interact with each other and their professors. Asynchronous learning occurs between live sessions and allows more time for autonomy and flexibility. All students completing the online MSSW program will also be assigned to a field placement. Field practice is the signature pedagogy of social work education and allows students the process of applying skills and knowledge that they have learned in class in real-world settings.

This may be an obvious statement, but please note that having a computer (laptop or desktop) is a must for those in the Online MSSW program . You will not be able to do everything that you need to do for your classes on just a phone or tablet. Computer requirements for “live online” sessions of Online MSSW classes may be found at:


Here’s what just a few of our Online MSSW program graduates have to say:

Some students may be imtimidated by online courses, but the staff and professors at the UT College of Social Work have developed a seemless, solid program designed with flexibility in mind. Time constraints or geography unfortunately prohibit some individuals from further pursuing their educational goals, but the Online MSSW program eliminates these barriers while also ensuring that each student still receives a high-quality education. As a three-year alumna, I still consider earning my MSSW through the UT College of Social Work’s Online program the best decision I made throughtout my educational career.
–Beth Simpson, MSSW, LMSW

Through the support and supervision that I received from the program, I was able to travel abroad as a non-traditional student with my family and complete an internship in Belize for one school year. The field experience truly helped me grow and allowed me to view the role of social workers from an international perspective. The Online MSSW program provided me with an opportunity of a lifetime that was both challenging and rewarding – and the perfect balance of what I needed and what I wanted.
–Jamila Walker, MSSW

Despite having a very demanding and unpredictable work schedule, the Online MSSW options made it possible for me to earn my degree. All of the staff were incredibly supportive throughout my time in the program, especially my field coordinators who worked with me to find placements that were flexible around my work obligations, but also gave me great experiences in my areas of interest.
–Amy Campbell-Pittz, MSSW, JD

More on the MSSW program:

About the MSSW Program
MSSW Program Details
Frequently Asked Admissions Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about the Online MSSW Program
MSSW Program Video