The University of Tennessee College of Social Work offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in social work. The purpose of social work education at the doctoral level is to foster an understanding and appreciation of the scientific method, to improve and extend the knowledge base of social work, and to develop competent leadership in social work education, research, and practice. The program includes foundation courses, electives, advanced seminars, and dissertation research.
Doctoral research is directed toward developing knowledge that can be used by social work educators, practitioners, administrators, and policy makers. Students are currently conducting research in a variety of areas, including empathy, the effects of exposure to violence on mental health, chronic pain, the death penalty, juvenile violence, the rural Appalachian poor, foster care, adoptions, and service utilization by the elderly.
PhD students may also take advantage of related research curricula such as the Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics Program. This program enables students to obtain a minor or a master's degree in applied statistical analysis while pursuing a doctorate in social work.
UT CSW has been accredited continuously by the Council on Social Work Education since 1945.