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School Social Work Licensure Program

The State of Tennessee School Social Work Licensure Program at the Universtiy of Tennessee College of Social Work is available to currently enrolled Bachelor’s level and Master’s level students as well as persons who currently hold either a Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This licensure program in school social work equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice in school settings throughout the state of Tennessee.

The College of Social Work, in collaboration with the University of Tennessee College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, will certify applicants for the State of Tennessee School Social Work License after the satisfactory completion of the requirements detailed in the application packet.

For more information about School Social Work – and specifically, what you can do with School Social Work licensure – see “What do school social workers do?”

Requirements for Tennessee School Social Work Licensure

Applicants must hold a BSW/BSSW and/or MSW/MSSW from a CSWE accredited Social Work program. Applicants who meet all requirements may apply for licensure immediately after graduation.

Application Process

Each of the following items is needed as part of your application for the School Social Work Licensure Program:

Evidence of graduation from a CSWE-accredited Social Work Program by providing one OFFICIAL transcript of ALL academic work (graduate and undergraduate, including community college transcripts). Official transcripts must be mailed directly from the institution to the School Social Work Coordinator. Electronic transcripts will not be accepted.

  • Experience and Documentation can be met in one of three ways:
    1. Evidence of a minimum of two years of direct social work practice with children and families following receipt of MSSW or BSSW degree
    2. Have had a K-12 school social work field placement in a MSSW or BSSW program (minimum of 400 clock hours required). You must submit your field practicum time sheet with your application.
    3. Have been employed as a school social worker or have provided social work services in an educational setting for a minimum of six months following receipt of MSSW or BSSW degree.

      We must receive a letter directly from your supervisor with a description of duties, length of employment, and an evaluation of your performance in this setting.

  • A letter of reference from current or most recent social work employer in the area of children and families on company letterhead.

    Official transcript verifying completion of a course in school social work (include the course syllabus if the course is taken anywhere other than UT). The course must have been completed within the past five years and passed with a grade of C or higher.

    A money order (NO personal checks or cash) for $100 made payable to The University of Tennessee College of Social Work for evaluation and processing fee.

    A background check is required as part of the licensure application process. After submission of your application you will be contacted with instructions for completing the background check.

    Please send all application materials to:
    School Social Work Coordinator
    UT College of Social Work
    1618 Cumberland Ave
    401 Henson Hall
    Knoxville, TN 37996-3333

    If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Scagnelli at 865-974-1096 or

    Praxis Exam

    Please note: At this time the state of Tennessee no longer offers the School Social Work section of the Praxis exam. If that exam is reinstated these requirements will be updated to include a Praxis score.