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DSW Application and Admissions Information

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Application & Admission

Students must apply to, and be accepted to, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville as well as the College of Social Work. A description of admission requirements for graduate admission to the University of Tennessee may be obtained below.

Application Deadline:

The fall 2024 application will open on August 1st, 2023. Domestic and International applicants must apply by January 1st, 2024.

Doug Coatsworth laughing with social work student

College of Social Work Admission Requirements

  • Meet requirements for admission and apply to the Graduate School .  Admission information for International Students may be found here.
  • Hold a Master’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Applicants from international programs will be reviewed on an individual basis. The DSW program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.
  • Have a minimum of three years of post-MSSW/MSW clinical practice experience.
  • The GRE requirement has been waived for Fall 2024 admission. Please check back later for updates on further admission terms.

DSW Application Process

Submit your application by completing the online application located on the Graduate School’s web site.

Submit the following items directly to Graduate Admissions Office:

  • Graduate School application
  • *$60.00 application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous academic work
  • Resume
  • References – Provide the names and email addresses of three (3) professional references with direct knowledge of your clinical practice experience (preferably current and former supervisors).
  • Professional statement (300 word maximum per prompt):
    1. Why do you want to pursue doctoral education?
    2. The College of Social Work and the DSW Program follow our National Association of Social Work Code of Ethics, adhering to core values, including social justice; service; dignity and worth of the person; importance of human relationships; integrity and competence, in all aspects of our curriculum and community engagement. How will you re-commit to and embody these core values in this program?
    3. How you will contribute to an inclusive environment in the College of Social Work if you are selected as a DSW student?
    4. How will obtaining a DSW in advanced clinical practice, scholarship and leadership enhance your professional goals?
    5. Describe how your personal strengths, experiences, & aptitude will contribute to your success in the DSW program and further your career in social work.
    6. Without violating confidentiality, briefly describe a clinical problem (individual, group, family, or clinical supervision/leadership) you recently confronted in which you recognized the need for greater knowledge and skills.

* We are able to waive the $60 Graduate Admissions application fee for a select number of applicants, including those experiencing financial hardship. For information please contact Jennifer Scagnelli at

Special Requirements and Policies

  • Students must adhere to ethical and professional standards as specified in the UT Hilltopics Student Handbook and the DSW Student Handbook.
  • Students must attend an annual week of on campus residency each summer devoted to intensive study and skills practice.
  • Summer On-campus Orientation – Newly admitted students are required to attend the three-day, on-campus summer orientation offered in June prior to the beginning of their first fall semester. The summer orientation co-occurs with the annual week of on-campus residency for students already enrolled in the DSW program. The orientation is designed to provide students with an easy onboarding to start of the DSW Program. Utilization of online technologies, library research skills and new tools to support academic writing will provide an important foundation for success in the program.
    The summer orientation will also provide students with an opportunity to meet faculty and network with DSW students in other cohorts. Additionally, the on-campus orientation will focus on helping newly admitted students to develop knowledge and skills for balancing doctoral education, professional responsibilities, and family commitments.

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