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    Jun 02, 2023  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Forensic Social Work Graduate Certificate

The add-on graduate certificate in Forensic Social Work is a partnership between the College of Social Work and the College of Law. The certificate is intended for currently admitted Social Work graduate students. This certificate provides students with the coursework and practical experience needed to provide forensic services and evidence-based interventions in a variety of settings including but not limited to prisons, juvenile justice settings, child welfare, public defender offices and legal aid, programming and policy development.

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Graduate Certificate Type


Application Standards/Procedure

  • To be considered for this certificate, students must submit a departmental application at the time of their admission to the MSSW program.
  • Students will receive information about the certificate program at the time of their admission to the MSSW program.
  • Entry into the certificate is on a first serve basis. Students should apply early if interested.
  • Students selected for admission, must be formally admitted to the certificate through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • The application includes a brief personal statement describing reasons for participating in the certificate, acknowledgement that they understand there are four additional credit hours to be taken beyond the sixty credits required for the MSSW and professional career goals.
  • Admitted students will be directed to contact the Chair of the Forensic Social Work Certificate to make arrangements to meet the course requirements.

Credit Hours Required

23 graduate/law credit hours

Required Courses

  • 4 credit hours to be taken during the generalist year of the program:
    • LAW 990  Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis for the Non-JD Student (2 credit hours)
    • LAW 998  Structure and Operation of the American Legal System (2 credit hours)
  • 7 credit hours to be taken during the concentration year of the program:
    • SOWK 573  (3 credit hours)
    • Two electives from the College of Law (2 credit hours each, totaling 4 credit hours). Students may choose from the following courses:
      • LAW 933  Elder Law(2 credit hours)
      • LAW 990  Sex, Gender and Justice (2 credit hours)
      • LAW 990  Poverty, Race, Gender and the Law (2 credit hours)
      • LAW 990  Advanced Advocacy and Expert Witnesses (2 credit hours)

Additional Course Requirements

  • 12 credit hours in a field placement that focuses on work with and/or on behalf of populations impacted by the legal system (i.e., a placement in which more than half of the student’s time is spent working within forensic related systems).
    • The 12 credit hour field placement must be approved by the MSSW Field Coordinator.
    • Forensic social work students will develop a field learning plan in preparation for their concentration field that focuses on forensic social work-specific learning. The field learning plan will include learning goals specific to the arena of forensic social work.