The PhD program is a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree with a major in social work. The PhD is a research degree where students take courses in research methods, statistics, and theory to prepare them to conduct independent research. PhD graduates are prepared for faculty positions in higher education and other research careers. PhD students take classes on-campus in Knoxville for two years and then work on their dissertation.
In social work, the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. There is, however, no accreditation process for either PhD or DSW programs at this time. That said, the quality of programs is typically dependent on the quality of the school or college of social work in which they reside. The UT College of Social Work PhD program is a member of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE) in Social Work.
Applicants must submit all transcripts, a personal statement, three reference forms from faculty members or graduate level professionals, a writing sample, and a resume. There are also questions to answer within the application. There is also a section within the application where applicants can explain extenuating circumstances (i.e. a failed class), if needed. Additional requirements for international applicants can be found at the UTK Graduate School.
Yes, the College of Social Work welcomes international applications to the PhD program. International students are eligible for the graduate assistantship funding and other opportunities. International students may have to submit scores on the TOEFL or other scores to indicate English fluency. Information relevant to international students can be found both at the UTK Graduate School and the Center for Global Engagement.