2023-24 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 23, 2024  
2023-24 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, B.S.S.W. (5820)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs (A-Z)

Social Work Program

The UT Martin Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE, 1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314, telephone 703-683-8080) within the Council on Postsecondary Education and the United States Department of Education. The underlying philosophy of the Social Work Program at UT Martin is a commitment to human welfare - a concern with the interaction between people and their social environment which affects their ability to accomplish life tasks, handle problems and realize their aspirations and ideals.

Most graduate schools of social work now offer an “accelerated” program of study whereby the student who has graduated from a CSWE-accredited bachelor’s-level social work program may complete the master’s program in 12 or 18 months, rather than in the traditional two-year program for non-social work majors.

At program entry and concurrent with classroom instruction, social work majors begin to come in contact with both providers and consumers of social services. This enables the student to integrate classroom learning and field experience through meaningful interaction with human services professionals and with clients, patients, consumers and others.

Social Work Program Mission Statement

The University of Tennessee at Martin Social Work Program prepares students to use social work knowledge, skills, and values to demonstrate competent, ethical, evidence based practice to diverse populations across all social systems. Emphasis is placed on promoting social justice and service to all persons, particularly underserved populations, including rural areas such as those found in Northwest Tennessee.

Social Work Program Goals

Students are prepared to begin generalist professional practice with individuals, families, small groups,organizations and communities.

Students are prepared to develop an identity which will incorporate the values and ethics of the social work profession.

Students are prepared to practice with diverse, oppressed and at-risk populations and to link social research and social service practice.

Students are prepared for lifelong learning and critical thinking through an educational process combining a liberal arts foundation with professional social work education.

Students are prepared for graduate education in social work.

Students are prepared for service and leadership within the community and the social work profession.


Social Work internships (SWRK 490 ) allow students to apply the knowledge and theory gained in the classroom to practical experience. Also known as “field experience” and “field internship,” internships are designed to accomplish the objectives of the Social Work Program by preparing the student for generalist practice, by bringing about readiness for graduate study and by enhancing the student’s ability to cope with the pressures, stress and realities of day-to-day living and working.

UT Martin’s internships are block placements in agency settings. The student is in the agency each working day during the semester and maintains the same hours as employees of the agency. Numerous agencies in West Tennessee, Nashville and Memphis participate. Examples of these internships sites include family service agencies, health-care settings, social welfare agencies and schools. Every attempt is made to arrange internships in agencies that specialize in the student’s primary area of interest in social work.

Liability Insurance Coverage

The student must provide proof of liability insurance coverage to the Department of Behavioral Sciences prior to beginning SWRK 490: Field Instruction which will necessitate interaction between the social work student and clientele in a variety of placement settings.

Admission to Social Work Program

A three-stage progression model is used to monitor entry into and advancement through the Social Work Program. This process enables the faculty and student to make an early assessment of feelings, reactions, impressions and beginning abilities to function as a helping agent within the profession. The student may also make alternate career selections before too great an investment is made if social work does not appear to be a satisfactory choice.

The following identifies progression criteria for social work students:

Initial Progression

  1. Initial progression must be completed prior to enrollment in any social work courses beyond 220.
  2. Successful completion of SWRK 200  and SWRK 220  with a grade of C or better.
  3. Favorable review of the student’s application for entry into the Social Work Program.
  4. Cumulative grade point average of 2.50.
  5. Social Work grade point average of 2.75

Advanced Progression

  1. Advanced progression must be completed prior to enrollment in SWRK 400  and/or SWRK 440 .
  2. Successful completion of SWRK 340  with a grade of C or better.
  3. Approval by social work faculty. This process includes a close review of the student’s performance in volunteer work.
  4. Cumulative grade point average of 2.50.
  5. Social Work grade point average of 2.75

Full Progression

  1. Full progression must be completed prior to enrollment in SWRK 490 . Successful completion of a minimum of 90 semester hours with a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or above and a grade point average in required social work courses of 2.75 or above.
  2. Successful completion of SWRK 470  with a grade of C or better.
  3. Approval by social work faculty. This process includes a close review of the student’s performance in volunteer work for SWRK 440 .
  4. Social Work grade point average of 2.75

Transfer students from other UT Martin majors, junior/community colleges and other four-year colleges and universities must meet with a social work faculty member prior to initial progression.

Course sequence is designed to carry the student through various levels of learning. Each level of learning in the social work curriculum requires a related field activity (internship) which enhances the student’s ability to relate what is taught in the classroom with actual practice in a work setting.

Policies and Procedures for Repeating a Social Work Course

  1.  Students who earn a grade of D or below in a required upper-division social work classroom course are eligible to repeat the course one time only.
  2. Students are allowed to repeat only two required upper-division social work courses in which they received a grade of D or below.
  3. SWRK 490 - Social Work Field Instruction  may not be repeated. Students requesting an exception to these policies must write a letter to the Director of the Social Work Program requesting readmission to a social work course. The letter must include documentation to support unusual or extenuating circumstances which contributed to the academic problem and a readiness to meet expected standards of performance. The Director of the program, in conjunction with the Student Affairs Committee, will make a final decision after careful consideration of all information available. The student will then be notified of the decision in writing. These policies are applicable to declared social work majors as well as those approved for progression.

B.S. in Social Work Curriculum

The student must complete the following minimal requirements and earn a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major. A minimum portfolio score of 10 is required by all students for graduation in social work. (More information on the Portfolio Criteria for Graduation Evaluation can be found in the Advisement Handbook for Social Work Majors.) All students considering a major in Social Work are instructed to meet with a Social Work faculty member at the earliest opportunity. Academic credit for life experiences and previous work experience shall not be given in whole or in part in lieu of the field practicum or any other Social Work course. No minor is required.

No minor is offered in Social Work.

General Education (38 Hours)

Biological and Physical Systems: 8 Hours

Complete any general education lab science sequence OR

Complete two courses:

Communication: 9-10 Hours

Fine Arts (Aesthetics): 3 Hours

Humanities: 9 Hours

Mathematics: 3 Hours

Social and Behavioral Sciences: 6 Hours

Other Required Courses (12-15 Hours)

Foreign Language: 3-6 Hours

(completion of 122 or higher in any language)

Electives (11-14 Hours)

Minimum Hours Required for B.S.S.W. Degree: 120

Department of Children’s Services Stipend Program

The Social Work Program at UT Martin works closely with the Department of Children’s Services and offers a Stipend Program. The Stipend Program will pay UT Martin tuition for a minimum of three and maximum of four full-time semesters in the Social Work program and the selected students will receive a stipend to aid with living expenses and books. The recipient for the Stipend Program will be selected by the Department of Children’s Services and in return will begin employment with the Department of Children’s Services upon graduation. The student agrees to work for the Department of Children’s Services for at least two years. During the Stipend Program involvement, the student will complete two child welfare courses (SWRK 325  and SWRK 415 ) which will enable the student to become a certified case manager upon graduation. The stipend student must remain in good standing with the University and complete graduation within four semesters. The courses can also be taken by non-stipend social work students and they too can become a certified case manager with DCS. A certified case manager begins employment with DCS as a Case Manager II and receives a higher starting salary. In the event that the student is unable to complete their portion of the agreement the tuition and stipend will be refunded by the student in full. Students participating in the stipend program will experience their field work within DCS.

School Social Work Licensure

The Social Work Program, in collaboration with the College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences, has been approved by the Tennessee Department of Education to recommend individuals for licensure as school social workers when the following requirements have been met:

  1. graduation from a CSWE-accredited social work program
  2. completion of SWRK 375 - Social Work in the School Setting *
  3. completion of HLRN 325 - Educational Psychology  or TCED 716 - Growth and Development in School Age Students, 9-12
  4. completion of SPED 300 - Children with Exceptionalities  or SPED 500 - Children with Exceptionalities *
  5. completion of EDST 450 - The School, the Teacher, and the Law  or EDST 650 - The School, the Teacher, and the Law*
  6. completion of SWRK 490 - Social Work Field Instruction  * (in a school setting), OR one year successful postgraduate experience as a school social worker or family and children social worker may substitute
  7. recommendation from the UT Martin Social Work Program and
  8. recommendation from the UT Martin College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences.

*Students must receive a grade of C or above to successfully complete courses.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs (A-Z)