Tennessee MSW Degree Programs

Last updated March 2, 2023
By Online MSW Degrees staff
School Program Admissions
University of Kentucky Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited, 100% online. Regular and Advanced Standing MSW tracks.
University of Kentucky CSWE Accredited MSW Program
University of West Florida Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited, 100% online. Traditional and Advanced Standing MSW tracks.
University of West Florida CSWE Accredited MSW Program
Campbellsville University Online Master of Social Work
No GRE or GMAT required. Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks available. Program can be completed in less than a year.
CSWE Accredited
University of Kentucky Doctorate of Social Work
Select one of four concentrations: Administrative Leadership, Clinical Social Work, Military Behavioral Health, and Social Work Education.
George Mason University Master of Social Work (MSW) Online
CSWE accredited. Tracks include: Adults & Healthy Aging or Children, Youth, & Families.
CSWE Accredited
i sponsored

Click to view accredited online MSW programs that are taking applications for 2024.

Of the nine schools that have an accredited Master of Social Work from the CSWE, the exclusive online opportunity is through the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. The highest-paying specialization in social work throughout the state, which is in youth and family services, has an estimated average salary of $42,760 annually.

Tennessee CSWE Accredited MSW Programs

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville offers the lone online MSW program in the state of Tennessee that has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Master of Social Work can be completed in a variety of different formats and has no campus requirements necessary. Specializations that students can consider include gerontology, school social work, and macro work within a community.

Are there online MSW programs in Tennessee?

Yes, there are colleges in Tennessee with an online Master of Social Work degree program. Consider a featured online MSW program that is taking applicants right now, or move on to the list.

School Program Admissions
Our Lady of the Lake University Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited
Adelphi University Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited
University of Kentucky Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited
University of West Florida Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited
Virginia Commonwealth University Online Master's in Social Work
i sponsored

Click to see more accredited online MSW programs that are taking applications for 2024.

List of the best online MSW programs in Tennessee that are CSWE accredited

School Program CSWE Accredited?
University of Tennessee at Knoxville Online MSW: Clinical or Macro (Management, Leadership, and Community Practice)

Finding a Campus Based Tennessee MSW Program

In total, there are nine different institutions that provide a Master's degree in social work, including a collaboration of three schools - Austin Peay State University, Middle Tennessee State University, and Tennessee State University. There is a hybrid option available at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale.

Additional locations can be found in North Carolina and Virginia through East Tennessee State University, which is based in Johnson City.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville's Online MSSW

The College of Social Work offers a Master of Science in Social Work that is available online and at the Knoxville and Nashville campus locations. Students can choose concentrations in Evidence-Based Practice and Organizational Leadership regardless of format, and there are similar admission and curriculum requirements in the available programs.

Advanced Standing Format

Since these programs move at a streamlined process, students are unable to take more courses to graduate at an earlier date. Those looking for a quicker experience may consider advanced standing if they are eligible. Students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA with a completed BSW degree that was accredited by the CSWE.

60 total credit hours are needed to complete the traditional program, which can be completed in full-time or part-time enrollment. Examples of courses that students take in this program include Lifespan and Neurophysiologic Development, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Military Social Work Practice, and Trauma Treatment with Children and Adolescents. Field work requires 1,024 total clock hours, which is spaced out into two different placements.

Online Information

Technical requirements include having a modern laptop or desktop computer with a Windows or Mac-based operating system. Students should refer to the course syllabus in order to have the proper software needed as this varies in courses that are taken. While mobile devices may have access to certain course materials, students will be unable to complete the entire program with them due to compatibility issues.

The Best Campus-Based Tennessee MSW Programs

Austin Peay State University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Clarksville
  • Advanced generalist concentration focuses on both individual social work and improving communities. Hybrid format allows for on-campus and online study for courses when available. Students meet once per week for three hours with two different courses. Some courses have 100 percent online distribution. Advanced standing requires an accredited BSW with 3.0 GPA. If ineligible, courses waived with any prior credit if applicable.

East Tennessee State University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Johnson City
  • 37 to 63 credit hours required depending on traditional or advanced standing format. Students must complete all coursework within a six-year time frame. Courses are in the afternoon and evening during the work week. Program also available at Abingdon, Asheville, and Sevierville campus locations. Sevierville offers part-time hybrid format blending on-campus work with online courses. Courses are often during Monday and Tuesday evenings.

Middle Tennessee State University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)
  • Campus: Murfreesboro
  • Graduate program is a collaboration of three universities in Tennessee. Includes Austin Peay State University and Tennessee State University. Concentration offered as an advanced generalist with group or family practice. Courses distributed in hybrid format with on-campus education and online lectures. Online courses include social welfare policy, social justice, and social policy analysis. Admission into the program is only available in the fall.

Southern Adventist University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Collegedale
  • Provides social work generalist topics with a faith-based impact and mindset. Ability to specialize in school topics, mental health, and emergency management. Traditional online format exclusive to students planning for full-time study. Advanced standing is available online through full or part-time enrollment. Admission requires accredited BSW with one C grade or less in social work courses. Hybrid education provides blend of online and on-campus content with courses on Sunday.

Tennessee State University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Nashville
  • Collaboration program along with Austin Peay State University and Middle Tennessee State University. Offers hybrid education with evening course times and online opportunities. Online courses include Social Justice, Social Welfare Policy, and Social Policy Analysis. Special topics that focus on current events or advocacy are often available online. Concentration focuses on advanced generalist skills. Focus on improving public services for youth and family.

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSSW)
  • Campus: Knoxville
  • Same opportunities and faculty offered between on-campus and online formats. Concentrations offered in evidence-based practice and organizational leadership. Online courses distributed both live and on-demand for students. Live sessions are generally offered in the late afternoon or evening hours. Official transcripts, resume, and three reference letters needed in the admission process. Traditional format allows admission in the fall an advanced standing is in summer.

Union University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Jackson
  • Offered at the Jackson and Memphis campus locations. Hybrid option available with some online coursework. There is no opportunity to take the program 100 percent online. Advanced standing requires a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students conduct interviews with faculty and complete a bridge course the summer before. Students may elect to study abroad in South Africa in the summer and Kenya in the winter. 900 total field hours needed, with two-thirds reserved for specialty year.

University of Memphis

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Memphis
  • Complete the program in one to four years based on enrollment and academic standing. Students starting full-time in the spring need 30 months to complete instead of two years. Advanced standing offered 100 percent online through the global campus. Concentrations offered in Adults and Families or Children, Youth, and Families. This is further expanded on with three electives, two of them being in the advanced year. Dual degree options available in special education and public health.

Careers, Licensures, and Salaries in Tennessee

Social workers that help family members and support school systems receive higher pay when compared to other specializations in the state of Tennessee. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage is estimated at $42,760 across the state. The Jackson metropolitan area has some of the highest job concentration in the health care specialization.

Tennessee Social Work Licensure Requirements

Three different designations for state licensure are available in the state of Tennessee when an individual completes their CSWE-accredited Master’s program.

  • Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW)
  • Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker (LAPSW)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Gaining the advanced practitioner (LAPSW) designation allows social workers to practice professionally in non-clinical settings. 3,000 hours of postgraduate social work must be completed under supervision from a professional that has licensure between two to six years. The LCSW is similar but allows clinical practice (and requires LCSW-level supervision), and either license requires the LMSW to be earned prior.

Endorsements and Renewal Requirements

There are differing renewal requirements for licensure levels, which takes place every two years. The LMSW needs 12 continuing education credit hours each year (24 total) with at least three credit hours dedicated to ethics. Both LAPSW and LCSW licensures require 15 credit hours each year with at least three credit hours in ethical topics.

Tennessee’s board does recognize other state licensures, but professionals must submit an application and verify their accomplishments with specific documentation. These professionals must have earned their licensure with equal or more strict requirements, and they must be in good standing in their practice.