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Master of Social Work Online

Online Master of Social Work Degree for Tennessee Residents

Build on your passion for supporting individuals and families across Tennessee with our CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work degree. It’s your opportunity to make a bigger difference by learning from our experienced faculty in a convenient online format.

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Regular Standing MSW

Format 100% Online

Total Credits 60

Program Length As few as 4 semesters

Certificate Options Yes

Advanced Standing MSW – Accelerated Format

Format 100% Online

Total Credits 30

Program Length As few as 2 Semesters

Certificate Options Yes

Complete Our MSW Program Online, Without Leaving Tennessee.

By enrolling in UK’s online MSW program, you can prepare to advance the ideals of human rights and social justice as a social worker in Tennessee. With our Advanced Standing option, eligible Tennessee students can finish the program in 12 months if they study full time.

UK’s online Master of Social Work degree lets you tailor what you learn so that you can offer the support Tennessee communities need most. What’s more, you can choose from multiple certificate options to customize and enrich your education.

Each certificate and the IPS prepare you to provide the support vulnerable populations need across Tennessee. We also offer courses that instill macro-level expertise for enacting positive changes to social policies and large-scale systems of care.

Helping People in Tennessee Can Become Your Career Focus.

With our online MSW program, you can prepare to meet the rising need for social workers throughout Tennessee. Ten-year employment projections show the need for mental health counselors will grow by 35% in Tennessee—much faster than the national rate.1 Tennessee will also need 27% more mental health and substance abuse social workers2 and 16% more healthcare social workers.3

Tennessee’s Social Work Jobs by the Numbers.

Here are five social work roles available in Tennessee, ranked by employment projections for 2028. With our Advanced Standing social work degree, eligible students can prepare for these roles in 12 months.

  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers: 6,140 jobs4
  • Mental Health Counselors: 5,100 jobs1
  • Healthcare Social Workers: 4,150 jobs3
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers: 2,330 jobs2
  • Social Workers (All Others): 1,560 jobs5

15% Ten-year projection for mental health and substance abuse social workers in the U.S.2

27% Ten-year projection for mental health and substance abuse social workers in Tennessee.2

No. 3 Tennessee’s ranking among states with the highest concentration of healthcare social workers.6

Careers Details

Get Ready to Seek Licensure in Tennessee.

Our online Master of Social Work degree program instills the confidence and expertise to create social change in Tennessee. What’s more, our MSW program was created with a Licensing Preparation Initiative (LPI) using specific instruction and exam structure throughout coursework that better prepares you to sit for the social work licensure exam. Our licensure pass rates surpass the national average.

Professional licensure or certification may be required to practice, advance, or specialize in social work. However, educational requirements for licensure vary by state. You can view more information on social work licensure here.

Get more information about our online MSW program’s SARA compliance.

Curriculum: Support Tennessee’s Most Vulnerable Populations.

Tennessee students with a bachelor’s degree in social work can apply to our 30-credit Advanced Standing program to earn an accredited social work degree faster. We also offer a 60-credit Regular Standing MSW program for students with bachelor’s degrees in other fields. You will complete one of our multiple certificates in areas like Clinical Social Work, Child Welfare, Military Behavioral Health, School Social Work and Substance Use Disorder, or select elective courses to complete an Individualized Plan of Study while pursuing the online Master of Social Work degree.

No matter which program path you choose, you can fulfill your passion for becoming an ethical social work practitioner in Tennessee. The online social work degree program focuses on complex issues impacting every community, such as poverty, inequality, and injustice while teaching you to apply the theory behind psychopathology, direct service, and other practices. To provide hands-on experience, you’ll complete a series of practicums guided by a faculty field professor and an agency field instructor.

Our online MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Explore Curriculum

Choose an Area of Focus for Careers in Tennessee.

Our Regular and Advanced Standing MSW programs offer the choice of earning a specific certificate or allow you to follow an individualized plan of study. Each option includes online courses that enhance your learning experience and focus on topics relevant to social work careers in Tennessee.

Clinical Social Work Certificate

Gain an advanced level of clinical knowledge and skills including application of social work practice in a variety of clinical settings. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.

Individualized Plan of Study

Create your plan of study based on your specific career goals through a selection of social work elective courses designed for your professional success. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.

Substance Use Disorder Certificate

Learn treatment and prevention approaches related to substance use disorders and develop essential intervention skills through a curriculum founded on evidence-based practice. Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online MSW program.

Admission Requirements

You don’t need to take the GRE or have previous work experience to apply to the online Master of Social Work degree program at UK. Admission requirements include*:

An application to the 30-credit-hour Advanced Standing program requires:

  • A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited program, earned within the past seven years
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0, social work GPA of 3.5, or a graduate GPA of 3.0 (if applicable)

An application to the 60-credit-hour Regular Standing program requires:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • A GPA of 3.0 or above in all of your academic endeavors

Other requirements include:

  • Application Form
  • Personal Résumé
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • If you graduated within the past five years, at least one academic reference is required
    • References you provide should fit the following categories: professor, social work professor, professional social worker/field instructor, and work or volunteer supervisor
    • Please exclude personal, pastoral, and relative references
  • 4-page autobiographical personal statement
  • 250-word writing sample on an ethical dilemma
  • All transcripts from any higher education institution attended

*Students may apply for the certificate after being accepted to the online Master of Social Work degree program.

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Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition is $700.50, per credit hour, regardless of where you live. This means the total tuition for the 60-credit Regular Standing MSW program is $42,030, or $21,015 for the 30-credit Advanced Standing MSW program.

Students can save up to 40% on tuition by taking advantage of our block tuition rate.

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We’re here to help students in Tennessee fulfill their commitment to academic excellence. We can also connect you with a variety of forms of financial aid—from federal loans to scholarships and military benefits.

Note that additional fees may apply, and total tuition will depend on various factors, such as the number of credits taken and time to complete the online social work degree program. Tuition rates are subject to annual changes.

Tuition Details

Military Student Support

The flexible nature of our online Master of Social Work degree program is ideal for U.S. military service members and veterans living in Tennessee. With faculty who have military backgrounds, courses specific to the issues relevant to you, and military-specific benefits like our Veterans Resource Center, our mission is to support your academic success.

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Inspiring Faculty Enable You to Support Tennessee Communities.

UK faculty understand the theory behind social work and the realities that practitioners face in Tennessee. Many of our faculty members are licensed professionals who bring their deep passion and practical experience to the online classroom.

Our Regular and Advanced Standing MSW programs allow Tennessee-based students to learn directly from professors committed to the ideals of justice and equity in social work. What’s more, you can work with a field advisor to cultivate hands-on experience for your career.

Our Faculty

Why Should Tennessee Students Choose UK Online?

Bring Big Blue Nation to the Volunteer State

The MSW program at UK lets you benefit from a tradition of excellence as you can build your career with confidence—all while learning online at your pace. With experienced faculty, a thoughtfully designed curriculum, and a licensure exam pass rate that surpasses the national average, we make sure Tennessee students graduate exceptionally prepared for real-world practice.

How to Apply

Follow these steps to apply to our online Master of Social Work degree program:Follow these steps to apply:

  • Create an online account
  • Submit your undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other supporting materials
  • Pay the $65 application fee

You can expect to receive a decision 2 to 3 weeks after you apply.

Get Started

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about the online Master of Social Work degree program? Visit our Resource Center to find answers fast.

Resource Center
Yes, the online MSW program is fully CSWE accredited. This affirms our commitment to the core competencies, outcomes, and practices required by the CSWE, the nation’s premier social work accrediting body.

Up to 25% of coursework can be transferred toward either program courses or electives, with up to 15 credit hours for Regular Standing and 9 for Advanced Standing.

Yes, the online MSW program does offer virtual open houses. These events are held regularly—register to participate in an upcoming virtual open house here.

Regular Standing requires three practicum courses and Advanced Standing requires two practicum courses. Each practicum requires 300 hours over 16 weeks.

The online MSW program does not offer concentrations. However, students may choose to complete a certificate or Individualized Plan of Study along with their master’s degree to gain in-depth skills in a specific area of study. Learn more about available certificates and developing an Individualized Plan of Study here.

Sources

  1. O*NET OnLine. (2022, March 1.) Tennessee Employment Trends for: 21-1014.00 – Mental Health Counselors. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.onetonline.org/link/localtrends/21-1014.00?st=TN&g=Go.
  2. O*NET OnLine. (2022, March 1.) Tennessee Employment Trends for: 21-1023.00 – Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.onetonline.org/link/localtrends/21-1023.00?st=TN&g=Go.
  3. O*NET OnLine. (2022, March 1.) Tennessee Employment Trends for: 21-1022.00 – Healthcare Social Workers. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.onetonline.org/link/localtrends/21-1022.00?st=TN&g=Go.
  4. O*NET OnLine. (2022, March 1.) Tennessee Employment Trends for: 21-1021.00 – Child, Family, and School Social Workers. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.onetonline.org/link/localtrends/21-1021.00?st=TN&g=Go.
  5. O*NET OnLine. (2022, March 1.) Tennessee Employment Trends for: 21-1029.00 – Social Workers, All Other. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.onetonline.org/link/localtrends/21-1029.00?st=TN&g=Go.
  6. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021, March 31.) Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020: 21-1022 Healthcare Social Workers. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211022.htm#st.