May 22, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Social Work

Graduate Program
Grading Policy
Course Load
uTrack Requirements

Progression Requirements
Honors Concentration
Academic Programs

Karen M. Sowers, Dean
David R. Dupper, Director

Combs-Orme, T., PhD – Washington (St. Louis)
Cummings, S., PhD – Georgia
Dupper, D., PhD – Florida State
Glisson, C., PhD – Washington (St. Louis)
Nugent, W., PhD – Florida State
Orme, J., PhD – Washington (St. Louis)
Patterson, D., PhD – Utah
Sowers, K., PhD – Florida State
Theriot, M., PhD – California (Berkeley)
Wodarski, J., PhD – Washington (St. Louis)

Associate Professors
Bolen, R., PhD – Texas (Arlington)
Bowie, S., PhD – Barry
Ellis, R., PhD – Florida International
Hall, J., PhD – Smith
Rogge, M., PhD – Washington (St. Louis)
Staudt, M., PhD – Washington (St. Louis)

Assistant Professors
Choi, S., PhD – Washington (St. Louis)
Forrest-Bank, S., PhD – Denver
Held, M., PhD – Texas
Lawson, J., PhD – California (Berkley)
Mason, L., PhD – Washington (St. Louis)
McClure-Cassie, K., PhD – Tennessee
Strand, E., PhD – Tennessee

Assistant Professors of Practice
Chaffin, K., MSSW (Knoxville) – Tennessee
Childers, A., MSW – Simmons
Hawkins, D., EdD – Trevecca Nazarene
Manifold, S., MSSW (Knoxville) – Tennessee
Schriver, R., MSW – Washington (St. Louis)
Veit, K., MSSW (Knoxville) – Tennessee

Clinical Associate Professor
Thompson, P., PhD – Utah

Clinical Assistant Professor
Cooper, L., PhD – Louisville

Research Faculty
Green, P., PhD – Tennessee
Hemmelgarn, A., PhD – Tennessee
Williams, N., MSW – Boise State

Field Coordinators
Denton, K., MSW – Virginia
Hickman, C., MSSW (Knoxville) – Tennessee
Keiser, S., MSSW (DE) – Tennessee
Mallory, K., MSSW (Nashville) – Tennessee

Distance Education Coordinator
Chaffin, K., MSSW – Tennessee

Director of Field and International Education
Jackson, R., MSSW (Knoxville) – Tennessee

BSSW Academic Advisor
Curtis, S., LMSW (Knoxville) – Tennessee

Social work is a helping profession which focuses on providing skilled intervention in the prevention and amelioration of individual and societal problems. It is a challenging and rewarding career involving the application of knowledge, skills, and professional values to assist individuals, families, groups, and communities in reaching their potential. The primary mission of the undergraduate social work program is to develop generalist social workers who are strategic thinkers, life-long learners, and opinion shapers. It is the purpose of the college to provide an education which enhances individual and career development and fosters involvement on behalf of social and economic justice.

The program prepares students for social work careers in such diverse areas as schools, youth programs, family service agencies, nursing homes, courts, mental health, and welfare agencies. The degree provides graduates a competitive advantage in many jobs, the possibility of up to one year’s standing in some master’s degree programs in social work, and the potential to be licensed in a number of states throughout the nation.

The social work curriculum builds on a strong liberal arts base. The humanities and the social and behavioral sciences are emphasized to help students understand human diversity and the transactions between people and their environment. The curriculum combines classroom experience and agency-based field placements. Courses provide a knowledge base in social work practice theory, human behavior, social welfare policy, and research. Educationally directed field placements, which consist of over 600 clock hours of supervised field instruction in agency settings throughout greater Knoxville, provide extensive and challenging opportunities for students to apply the lessons of the classroom to the needs of society. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

The undergraduate social work program (Bachelor of Science in Social Work) started in 1982 in the College of Liberal Arts. It was granted initial accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education in January 1983, and reaffirmation was given in 1992, 2001, and 2010. The program was transferred to the College of Social Work in September 1985. The four programs, Bachelor of Science in Social Work, Master of Science in Social Work, Doctor of Philosophy, and Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in Clinical Practice and Leadership in the college represent the full continuum of social work education.


The College of Social Work is housed in Henson Hall, located on the corner of Cumberland Avenue and Volunteer Boulevard on the UT Knoxville campus. This building houses the administrative and faculty offices, along with classrooms for the BSSW, MSSW, PhD, and DSW programs. Video and computer resources are available to facilitate instruction.

Graduate Program

The College of Social Work offers a fully accredited two-year graduate professional degree at the master’s level (MSSW). The college also offers a graduate program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD) and a program leading to a Doctor of Social Work (DSW). Information concerning graduate programs is given in the College of Social Work Bulletin and also in the Graduate Catalog. Master’s degree programs are offered on the campus in Knoxville and in Nashville. The PhD program is offered in Knoxville. The DSW program is offered via distance education.

Grading Policy

The Satisfactory/No Credit option is not permitted in the major. The minimum acceptable grade for all social work courses is a C. Courses, other than field, in which a C– or below is achieved may be repeated once. Field courses must be completed with a C or better and may not be repeated.

A student receiving a grade of incomplete (I) in any social work course must remove the Incomplete before enrollment in subsequent field practice.

Course Load

The maximum credit hours per semester allowed for any student is 19. Special permission is needed for any overload.

uTrack Requirements (for students entering Fall 2013 or later)

Universal Tracking (uTrack) is an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA. uTrack requirements only affect full-time, degree-seeking students who first entered Fall 2013 or later. uTrack does not apply to transfer students who enter prior to Fall 2015.

Progression Policies and Requirements

Progression of students in the Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) program to courses numbered 312 and above is competitive and is based on capacity. Factors considered include overall grade point average, performance in selected lower-division courses, and personal qualifications deemed acceptable for entrance into the professional practice of social work. Students planning to enroll in SOWK 312  in the fall semester must complete and submit the BSSW Progression Application Packet by February 1. Students planning to enroll in SOWK 312  in the spring semester must complete and submit the BSSW Progression Application Packet by September 1. These minimum standards for consideration do not guarantee enrollment in SOWK 312  and progression to upper-division status within the college. The final decision for enrollment in SOWK 312  and progression to upper-division status resides with the department head or designee.

Upper-Division Status

A lower-division student must apply for progression to upper-division status after completing at least 45 credit hours including ENGL 101 *, ENGL 102 *, SOWK 200  or SOWK 207  (with a grade of C or better) and SOWK 250 * (with a grade of C or better) and an overall GPA of 2.5 or above.

Transfer Students

Transfer students, including internal University of Tennessee, Knoxville, transfers, must meet the minimum requirements stated above to be considered for progression to upper-division status within the college. These minimum standards for consideration do not guarantee enrollment in SOWK 312  and progression to upper-division status within the college. The final decision for enrollment in SOWK 312  and progression to upper-division status resides with the department head or designee.


Any student who has not continued enrollment for at least one semester (excluding summer) or has withdrawn from the university and wishes to re-enroll must complete and submit the application for readmission. Readmitted students who wish to resume their prior major or declare a major must meet first with an academic advisor in the college.

Honors Concentration

The honors concentration provides highly motivated social work majors with the opportunity to pursue advanced coursework and complete a senior research project. All declared social work majors with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 are invited to participate in the honors concentration. To graduate with honors, social work majors must complete 12 hours of honors work including at least 9 hours of social work honors courses. Students completing the honors concentration must take SOWK 417  and SOWK 467  and complete a senior research project. A grade of B or above must be earned in all honors courses and students must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.5. Students are evaluated at the end of each semester. Students with cumulative grade point averages that drop below a 3.5 will incur probationary status and will be given one semester to raise their average above 3.5. Failure to improve one’s cumulative grade point average during the probationary semester will lead to dismissal from the honors concentration. Students interested in honors at any level should consult with their academic advisor or the BSSW program director about participation in the honors concentration.

Academic Programs