Doctor of Social Work / Clinical Practice & Leadership
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Program Details

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Social Work offers a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in Clinical Practice and Leadership that prepares graduates for advanced clinical practice and leadership. This program is geared toward working professionals; the Doctor of Social Work (DSW) is an intensive accelerated program that enables students to satisfy all degree requirements without career disruption. The post-MSW/MSSW Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) in clinical practice program is for individuals interested in advancing their clinical knowledge and becoming leaders in clinical practice.

Advanced practitioners in social work are research-literate, reflective and professional leaders in their field. They are able to draw on a range of empirical, theoretical and professional sources of knowledge and take the lead on social work policy and practice innovations. The DSW differs from other social work doctorates in that it is a professional practice degree, designed to prepare students for advanced clinical practice and advanced practice leadership. The curriculum focuses on advanced clinical practice, clinical research and advanced practice leadership.

At the completion of the DSW program, graduates will be able to integrate social and behavioral science with other disciplines as the basis for the highest level of evidence-based social work practice, demonstrate professionalism, advocacy, ethical principles, and scientific integrity in advanced social work practice, provide collaborative leadership in the development of social work evidence-based practice models and standards of care for diverse populations. They will also learn how to generate client, system and outcomes research and analyze other evidence to guide improvements in practice, and utilize information systems/technology to support and improve social work care and social and health care systems.

Courses will be taught online but students will spend one week each summer on the UT Knoxville campus engaged in intensive knowledge and skills development.


  • Hold a Master’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
  • Two years of post-MSSW/MSW clinical practice experience
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume or vita
  • Professional statement
  • Writing sample
  • GRE 
  • Three references
  • International applicants also submit TOEFL scores, a completed International Form, and a completed Financial Statement

Students must attend an annual week of on campus residency each summer devoted to intensive study and skills practice.

School Accreditation Statement

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges