Bachelor of Science (BS)

Social Work

College of Social Work

Program Overview

If you have earned or plan to complete your Associate degree in Art or Science from an accredited community college by fall enrollment, the online Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has the flexibility and rigor designed to further your career.

Credit Hours


Cost Per Credit Hour*

In-State $439

Out-of-State $514

Field Experience


Admissions Term


*Cost per credit hour is an estimate based on maintenance and university fees. Some programs may have additional course fees. Please contact your department for additional information on any related fees, and visit Tuition and Fees in Detail at One Stop.

students and teacher sitting in classroom


Flexibility. Increased access. Quality education. Five words that describe our Online BSSW Program well. The Online BSSW Program is specifically designed for transfer students who have earned 60 transferable credit hours and an Associate of Art (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree from a regionally accredited community college. Applicants who have not yet finished their AA or AS are eligible for admission as long as their AA or AS and 60 transferable credit hours are complete by the fall semester.

All curriculum and program requirements for the online BSSW Program are identical to those required for the on-campus BSSW Program. All required social work courses will be delivered exclusively online using real-time or synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods. Synchronous class times typically occur on Tuesday or Thursday evenings every other week to maximize student learning while balancing the demands of work and family. 

Once enrolled, students will immediately start their program with upper-division (300-400 level) social work classes. Examples of course work include Introduction to Interpersonal Social Work Practice, Social Justice and Anti-Oppressive Practices, Human Development in Context, Social Welfare Policy and Programs to name a few. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to take social work elective course work on topics including, but not limited to, crisis prevention/suicidology, trauma-informed care, forensic social work, mental illness and social work practice, human sexuality, and substance abuse.

Students will also complete 500 hours of internship experience through approved field placement. Students will work with our field faculty to find an internship experience that is near their place of residence and with a population/setting that interests them. Potential internship placements include, but are not limited to, K-12 schools, hospitals, community non-profit organizations, homeless shelters, mental health centers, social services, and health clinics. While in their internship, students are also supervised by a professional social worker to ensure that our students are learning the skills they need to work in the field. All students are trained at the Generalist Social Work level, which prepares them to practice Social Work with individuals, families, organizations, and communities.

Students who earn their BSSW degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing MSSW, where students can complete their MSSW degree in only one year.

Applicants should know that the online BSSW Program and the College of Social Work are committed to anti-racism and to advancing social, economic, and environmental justice through its teaching, community-engaged research, and service to the community.

Featured Courses

Examples of the courses you can take during the Bachelor of Science in Social Work program include:

SOWK 312: Introduction to Interpersonal Practice

This course introduces social work students to professional interpersonal practice specific to individuals, families, and small groups. This course integrates the social work code of ethics, theoretical models, and practice techniques with an emphasis on social justice, trauma-informed care, and interprofessional practice. The course assists students with identifying appropriate evidence-based service interventions with consideration to intersecting identities, professional standards, and ethical code. 

SOWK 316: Social Justice & Anti-Oppressive Practice

This course is designed to increase students’ awareness of the dimensions of human diversity, equity, and inclusion. Students will learn to articulate and apply multicultural and social justice practice frameworks, critical theories, and a human rights perspective to address complex social problems. Students will be prepared to integrate these concepts into future ethical decision-making and practice with historically excluded and underserved populations. 

SOWK 335: Adverse Childhood Experiences & Trauma-Informed Care

Examines Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the potentially detrimental effects that these traumatic events, including maltreatment, neglect, and witnessed violence, can have on the development of children. This course will also examine the effects of traumatic events on the adult population in the context of various types of traumatic events. 

SOWK 345: Crisis Intervention & Suicidology

Provides the knowledge, values, and skills for entry level generalist practice in a crisis intervention setting. 

social worker in mask

Ready to make a difference?