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Admissions inquiries
Office of Admissions 423.869.6280


Check out the Tennessee Social Work Snapshot, a special Social Work Reinvestment Initiative publication by NASW-TN that profiles the social work profession in our state.

"When I graduated from the program in 1997, I was confident in my abilities and very proud of my profession. I was following in the footsteps of other great historical leaders who had made a difference in people's lives. The program prepared me for graduate school. Little did I know what effect it would have to come from a University with a CSWE accredited social work program. I was able to enter into the University of Kentucky's Advanced Standing Program. In addition, the knowledge and skills I acquired at LMU gave me quite an advantage. I graduated with my master’s degree as an Outstanding Social Work Student and received an award for Prevention Research. I appreciate all that the LMU Social Work Program has done to help me."
-Jennifer Smith, MSSW, class of 1997

"This morning (November 2, 2006) we were informed that we at K.C.E.O.C. Community Action Partnership, Inc. (KCEOC) have been granted the entire $1,924,300 dollars set aside for HUD Section 202 Capital Advance Grant in rural Kentucky that is used to build one bedroom subsidized rental units with supportive services for the elderly and disabled tenants. This will provide more housing opportunities for senior citizens, low income elderly, and the homeless elderly or disabled in Knox County. Elderly and disabled people in a five county area will benefit from the availability of these new units. I feel that this was a direct result of taking your classroom advice about the need for thoroughness in grant writing."
-George Hoskins, class of 2004

LMU Social Work Students Gain Experience Through Remote Area Medical Services

Read the article by Dr. Callahan

Discover Social Work:

A Day in the Life of a Social Worker
Be a Social Worker
NASW's Code of Ethics

Career Opportunities:

10 Unusual Majors can Get You These Jobs

Federal Jobs for Social Workers

TN Social Work Snapshot 2008

Join “LMU Social Work” on Facebook!


TENNderCARE for students under 21

Tennessee has made a commitment to promoting good health in children from birth until age 21. It's called the TENNderCARE program. Learn more here.

2013-14 Social Work Program Assessment Results

Congratulations to the 2013-14 juniors and seniors in the practice courses and field on achieving an overall rating of 3.25 on a 4 point scale on the Program’s 10 competencies (professional identity, ethics, critical thinking, diversity, social and economic justice, research, human behavior in the social environment, policy, practice context, and social work practice).    The LMU Social Work Program measures student understanding of social work knowledge and values and skills acquisition on 41 practice behaviors that are linked to 10 competencies; each practice behavior is measured in two or more ways.  Email if you would like a copy of the complete report.

CSWE Student Learning Outcomes AS4 Form

Social Work

To inquire about this program:
Dr. Kay Paris | 423.869.6323 |


  • Social workers help people of all ages from adoption to hospice care.
  • Social work jobs are expected to grow in the coming years.
  • We have a high retention rate for majors in our program.
  • We have a high employment rate for our graduates.
If you would like to be a member of a dynamic and challenging profession that focuses on improving the quality of life for people of all ages, families, groups, and communities, social work may be the major for you.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for social workers is expected to grow faster than average especially in gerontology, home healthcare, substance abuse, private social service agencies, and school social work.

The National Association of Social Workers (2008)  found that social work positions in mental health and substance abuse treatment are growing at a faster rate than all other occupations in Tennessee.

LMU Social Work Program has already seen the implications of this growing need for social workers, particularly in rural areas where people are traditionally underserved. Many of our graduates locate their first jobs within two to six months of graduation.

We Are Here to Help

The LMU Social Work Program can help you develop the professional knowledge, values, and skills to serve a variety of clients in a variety of settings as a baccalaureate social worker.

Since 2001, the LMU Social Work Program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting agency for all baccalaureate and masters social work programs.

CSWE accreditation affirms the delivery of high quality social work education across accredited social work programs. Our graduates are eligible to become a licensed bachelor social worker (LBSW) in Tennessee and other states and/or seek admission into masters programs.

Consistent with the mission of LMU, the Social Work Program further strives to create educational opportunities for first generation and nontraditional students as well as to recruit and maintain qualified social workers to serve people in our rural communities.

The LMU Social Work Program helps you along your career path by providing supervised social work experience in community agencies, as well as opportunities to participate in workshops, conferences, community projects, and research.

Degree Offered

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Course Information

Our social work courses provide you with the knowledge, values, and skills that you will need to succeed in your job.  Most students complete the required courses and internship hours in four semesters.  Special topics and elective courses are available in the areas of family caregiving, aging and the family, crisis intervention, substance abuse, school social work, and spirituality in health care.

Several courses are delivered in a condensed format, supplemented by Blackboard and/or use a hybrid approach to enhance student access.  Courses are usually scheduled in blocks on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to minimize travel time.

Course Information

Four Year Plan (PDF)


The Department of Social Work practice courses and internships are only available to social work majors who have completed the program admissions process, which consists of two phases.   

Phase I: Admission to the Program requires junior status with nine semester hours taken at LMU in the social work core curriculum with grades of "C" or higher; completion of SOCW 200, SOCW 230 and SOCW 240 with grades of “C” or higher; a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher; an application that includes a statement of philosophy; letters of recommendation from faculty and others; and a successful interview with the Program admissions committee. Interviews with the Admissions Committee are scheduled in late fall during the junior year. Phase I must be completed before the student can enroll in any of the practice courses (SOCW 340, 450, 460, 470, 480, 497 and 498). Students will be notified of admission status after fall grades are posted.

Phase II: Admission to Internship must be completed before the student enrolls in internship and requires the completion of all of the Lincoln Liberal Arts Core (or equivalent); all social work core curriculum with grades of "C" or higher; and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

The LMU Social Work Program has a high retention rate -- 87% of students who are admitted to the program graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.

Internship Opportunities

The LMU Social Work Program has developed over 70 placements in community agencies in the Tri-State Cumberland Gap area (southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and east Tennessee) for our senior internships.

All field supervisors have baccalaureate or masters degrees in social work and many years of practical experience. Agency placements that provide “real world” experience are available in:
  • Home health and hospice agencies
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Schools
  • Community action/service centers
  • Adoption agencies
  • Foster care agencies
  • Child protective services
  • Children’s group homes
  • Juvenile justice centers
  • Senior centers
  • Boys/Girls Clubs

Career opportunities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Association of Social Workers (NASW) (2008) reported that full-time social workers typically earn between $31,040 and $59,999 a year.

The NASW salary calculator provides an excellent resource to determine salary relative to your level of education (baccalaureate or masters), type of position, employer, and region.

The LMU Social Work Program graduates have a high placement rate with 84% obtaining their first jobs or entering masters programs within two to six months after graduation.

Recent LMU Social Work graduates have secured positions in:

  • Home health and hospice
  • Nursing homes
  • Community action/service centers
  • Adoption
  • Foster care
  • Child protective services
  • Senior centers
  • Schools

Research Opportunities

LMU Social Work Program students have opportunities to participate in research, travel, and conference in preparation for life-long learning.  These experiences help build portfolios used for employment or admission into a masters program.

Students have received grants from the Appalachian College Association (ACA) to complete research projects in the areas of retirement planning for teachers, accessibility of health care for children, service availability for senior citizens and the cost impact of medications on senior citizens.

LMU Social Work Program faculty members also conduct research, present at local, state, and national conferences, and publish in peer-reviewed journals.  Faculty research interests include spiritual sensitivity, hospice care, children and grief, compassionate removal of children, family caregiving, social work education, program administration, and disaster preparedness.

Graduate School Opportunities

Graduates of CSWE accredited baccalaureate social work programs are eligible for admission to accelerated masters programs at regional universities such as East Tennessee State University, Radford University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and the University of Tennessee.

Continuing Education Opportunities

LMU Social Work Program students are encouraged to participate in local, state, and regional conferences, including the NASW Tennessee sponsored Social Work Day on the Hill in Nashville, Tennessee.  Since 1996, the Department of Social Work has been sponsoring the Tri-State Social Work Roundtable on the first Monday in October.

Some of the Roundtable topics have included:
  • Diversity in Appalachia
  • Housing and Homelessness in Appalachia
  • Grant Writing in Appalachia
  • Serving Children in Appalachia
  • Serving the Elderly in Appalachia
  • Mental Health Services and Issues in Appalachia
  • Hospice Services in Appalachia
  • Spirituality and Client Care
  • Substance Abuse and Client Care

Organizations and Honors

The LMU Social Work Program recognizes student academic accomplishments through membership in the Eta Nu Chapter of Phi Alpha, the national honor society for social work.

The LMU SHARE Club is the social work student organization that provides opportunities for socially concerned students to reach out to the surrounding community with volunteered services.

The Social Work Leadership Award is an annual award presented during the Celebration of Social Work Month to students who show exemplary leadership skills through volunteer service.

The annual Outstanding Social Work Student award for overall performance in the social work program is recognized during the University Awards Day ceremony.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to assist social work majors in funding their education.

Below are a few examples of financial resources available:

  • Federal
    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
    • Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Funds
  • State
    • Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA)
    • Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (Hope Scholarship)
    • Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • Lincoln Memorial University
    • Academic Excellence Awards
    • Diversity Grant
  • Department of Social Work
    • Davis Scholarship
  • Community (specific to Social Work)
    • Social Workers of the Lakeway Area Scholarship
    • Appalachian Children’s Home Scholarship
Please click here for more information or contact financial aid staff at 1.800.325.0900 ext. 6336 or by emailing

Faculty/Staff Directory