• Social Work
    Professor Chuck Frost talks to Story Corps' David Isay at Summer Convocation
  • Social Work
    Some spring days call
    for holding
    class outside
  • Social Work
    Jacob Verhoeff recounts
    his MTSU experiences to the
    Honors Board of Visitors
  • Social Work
    Honors graduate Rahma Mohamed plans to use her skills in long-term care

Social Work

Social workers promote human and community well-being; their courses focus on developing competent, ethical professionals with the knowledge, values, and skills for effective practice with individuals, families, groups, agencies, and communities.  Guided by an awareness of individuals and their environment, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, social work's purpose is realized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons.

Internships provide practical hands-on learning

Learn through experience

Internships, required for all social work students, provide practical hands-on learning. This field experience occurs in an agency setting, allowing students to combine classroom learning with real-world experience under the supervision of agency personnel and mentored by faculty. Students are able to use the internship as a reference when applying for jobs after graduation.  In fact, every year there are students who find their first professional position at the agencies where they completed their internships.

Students visited Thistle Farms

Get involved

Through social work campus organizations, students volunteer, learn, participate, and explore community agencies and social justice issues that are impacting communities. In recent months, students visited Thistle Farms, a social enterprise that supports the work of Magdalene House, serving women in recovery from addiction and prostitution. Groups organized and partnered with the Salvation Army food truck to reach out to homeless men and women in middle Tennessee and prepared meals for Journey Home in Murfreesboro. Other activities included a Valentine's Day Dance at Community Care of Rutherford County and expanding the number of children's library books in Spanish in Rutherford County Schools.

Graduates are employed in many different public and private work settings, including

  • Aging services
  • Child and adult day care centers
  • Child welfare agencies
  • Children and youth services
  • Community action agencies
  • Criminal justice agencies
  • Domestic violence programs
  • Family services agencies
  • Home care agencies
  • Homeless shelters
  • Hospices
  • Hospitals
  • Income maintenance programs
  • Legal services agencies
  • Mental retardation/developmental disabilities services
  • Nursing homes
  • Public health agencies
  • Residential treatment programs
  • Schools (elementary and secondary)
  • Substance abuse programs
  • Vocational rehabilitation services


Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • ACLU of Tennessee
  • Alzheimer's Association
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Big Brothers & Big Sisters
  • Catholic Charities
  • Child Advocacy Center
  • Domestic Violence Program
  • Drug Court
  • Greenhouse Ministries
  • Mental Health Court
  • MTSU Disabled Student Services
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Nashville Vet Center
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Probation and Parole
  • Project Help
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Sunnington Assisted Living
  • Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth
  • Tennessee Department of Children's Services
  • Vet Success Center of MTSU

Justin Bucchio
Assistant Professor
Justin.Bucchio@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Kathleen Darby
Associate Professor
kathleen.darby@mtsu.edu

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Carmelita Dotson
Lecturer
carmelita.dotson@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Margaret Fontanesi-Seime
Professor
margaret.fontanesi-seime@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Charles Frost
Professor
charles.frost@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Kenneth Lancaster
Associate Professor
kenneth.lancaster@mtsu.edu

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Angela Pharris
Field Coordinator
angela.pharris@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Ariana Postlethwait
Associate Professor
ariana.postlethwait@mtsu.edu

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John W. Sanborn
Associate Professor
john.sanborn@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Rebecca Smith
Department Chair | Professor
rebecca.smith@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Barbara Turnage
Professor
barbara.turnage@mtsu.edu

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Students majoring in Social Work earn a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree. A minor is not required for Social Work majors.  

An undergraduate minor is available in Social Welfare, and the department participates in an interdisciplinary minor in Health Care Services. 

The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree is offered through collaboration with Austin Peay State University and Tennessee State University.  This is a hybrid program consisting of in-person classes, online classes, and internships.

Both the B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and qualify the graduates for state licensure as a social worker.

For details about the B.S.W. program, including assessment outcomes, please go to www.mtsu.edu/socialwork.

The sample schedule below is based on the current undergraduate catalog. It is not a substitute for academic advisement. Contact your advisor if you have any questions about scheduling or about your degree requirements or consult the undergraduate catalog (catalog.mtsu.edu) for a complete list of requirements and electives.

You may choose to attend a summer term to reduce your load during fall or spring terms but still stay on track to graduate in four years. (Refer to the scholarships website for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.)

NOTE: Learning Support courses will alter the sequences on this map. Missing milestones could delay your program.

Social Work (CSWE Accredited) Academic Map

Department of Social Work
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3Grade of C- or better ENGL 1020 (Comm)3Grade of C- or better
MATH 1010 (Math)3Or higher GenEd math Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4 
BIOL 1030/1031 or Nat Sci4  SOC 1010 or Soc/Beh Sci3
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  SW 2570 3Grade of C- or better
UNIV 1010 or elective3  Elective or minor3 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL16 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3 
Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3  PSY 1410 or Soc/Beh Sci3 
SW 26303Grade of C- or better SW 3000 3Grade of C- or better
Elective or minor4  Elective or minor3 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL15Completion of ALL GenEd this semester
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
SW 3110 3Grade of C- or better SW 31203Grade of C- or better
SW 3160 3Grade of C- or better; apply for formal adm.;
submit UD and Intent to Graduate with app.* SW 3161 3Grade of C- or better
SW elective3Grade of C- or better  SW 32003Grade of C- or better
Electives or minor6  SW 45803Grade of C- or better; apply for adm. to field
    Elective or minor3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15 
*For additional information on formal admission to the Social Work major, refer to the B.S.W. Student Handbook online or see a social work advisor.
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
SW 45906Grade of C- or better SW 4680 9Grade of P
SW 44803Grade of C- or better SW 4690 3Grade of C- or better
SW 46503Grade of C- or better    
Elective or minor3     
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL12 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120 - TOTAL HOURS IN MAJOR: 54

FRESHMAN SUMMER
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3Grade of C- or better SW 25703Grade of C- or better
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
ENGL 1020 (Comm)3Grade of C- or better ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030,
or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3 
MATH 1010 (Math)3Or higher GenEd math Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4 
BIOL 1030/1031 or Nat Sci4  COMM 2200 (Comm)3
UNIV 1010 or elective3  Elective or minor3 
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL13 
SOPHOMORE SUMMER
Elective3  Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3  PSY 1410 or Soc/Beh Sci3 
SOC 1010 or Soc/Beh Sci3  SW 3000 3Grade of C- or better
SW 26303Grade of C- or better Elective or minor3 
Elective1     
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL12Completion of ALL GenEd this semester
JUNIOR SUMMER
SW elective3Grade of C- or better SW 32003Grade of C- or better
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
SW 3110 3Grade of C- or better SW 31203Grade of C- or better
SW 3160 3Grade of C- or better; apply for formal adm.;
submit UD and Intent to Graduate with app.* SW 3161 3Grade of C- or better
Electives or minor6  SW 45803Grade of C- or better; apply for adm. to field
    Elective or minor3 
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12 
*For additional information on formal admission to the Social Work major, refer to the B.S.W. Student Handbook online or see a social work advisor.
SENIOR SUMMER
SW 46503Grade of C- or better    
SUBTOTAL3     
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
SW 45906Grade of C- or better SW 4680 9Grade of P
SW 44803Grade of C- or better SW 4690 3Grade of C- or better
Elective or minor3     
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120 - TOTAL HOURS IN MAJOR: 54

Graduation information may be accessed here.

Social Work

SW 2570 - Introduction to Social Work
3 credit hours
The methods, history, philosophy, and present organization of the social work profession.

SW 2630 - Interviewing Skills for Social Work Practice
3 credit hours
An introduction to principles and processes of social work practice including interviewing and developing relationships.

SW 3000 - Social Policy
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: SW 2570. Emphasis on recurring themes in social welfare policy development processes, historical turning points; societal ethics; causal relationship--social problems, social change, and social welfare policy analytical frameworks for assessing social welfare policy and programs.

SW 3050 - Women and Poverty
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: WGST 2100 or SW 2570. Predominant theories, policies, and programs dealing with poverty among women. Explores the effects of poverty on women in addition to a general knowledge of poverty; ageism, sexism, and racism in relation to poverty; historical treatment of women and views of poverty.

SW 3100 - International Social Work
3 credit hours
International dimensions of social work. Explores the impact of globalization on social work problems. Includes status of women, aging populations, family breakdown, drug addiction, child abuse and neglect, poverty, and emerging problems such as civil strife, ethnic cleansing, resettlement, and AIDS.

SW 3110 - Research Methods for Social Work Practice
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: SW 2570. Research processes; includes information about values for research, knowledge of methods, and opportunities for skill development.

SW 3120 - Data Analysis for Social Work Practice
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: SW 3110. Data analysis and interpretation. Opportunities for skill development in the use of statistical procedures and knowledge of the meaning of results of such procedures. Instruction in computer use for data entry and data analysis.

SW 3160 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: Individual
3 credit hours
Major theories of human development across the life span and life course. Ecological relationship of diverse individuals and families with other systems in the social environment described with focus on biological, psychological, and social context and content.

SW 3161 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment II: Groups, O
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: SW 3160. Builds on concepts learned in SW 3160. Presents theories on and about the development, structure, and function of small groups, organizations, and communities and how they interrelate eco-systemically with individuals and families.

SW 3170 - Family Caregiving Across the Life Span
3 credit hours
Caregivers--gender roles, cost of caregiving, managing stress, respite care, finding recourses, financial and legal matters, establishing support groups, differential caregiving tips for various illnesses and disabilities from infancy to old age, emerging trends, and long distance caregiving.

SW 3200 - Cultural Diversity: Competency for Practice
3 credit hours
(Same as AAS 3200.) Examines culturally appropriate practice issues that are essential considerations for effective service delivery, including African American families and ethnic subcultures predominant in the U.S.

SW 3250 - School Social Work
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: SW 2570 and SW 2630. Introduces social work students to practice in school settings. Examines various roles of social workers in school systems and the specifics of practicing with students from 3-21 years of age in individual, group, and organizational level interventions.

SW 4150 - Topics in Social Work
3 credit hours
Selected topics important in current social work practice but too specialized to be taught as regularly scheduled courses.

SW 4200 - Creativity and Personal Growth
3 credit hours
Introduces the creative process and the use of that process in the development of self-awareness and empathetic relationships with others.  

SW 4430 - Social Work with the Terminally Ill
3 credit hours
Factors and principles involved with the terminally ill which should stimulate students to learn and think about what he/she values and anticipates experiencing in the area of medical social work.

SW 4440 - Social Work with the Disabled Individual
3 credit hours
The effects of disability on the individual, the family, and society. An examination of a variety of intervention strategies from a social work perspective.

SW 4480 - Social Work with Groups
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: SW 2570, SW 2630, and SW 4580. Group process and group techniques as they apply to social work practice, including both treatment and task groups. (Must be admitted to Social Work program.)

SW 4580 - Social Work: Practice I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: SW 2570, SW 2630, SW 3000, and SW 3160. Theories and related techniques for beginning-level social work. (Must be admitted to Social Work program.)

SW 4590 - Field Instruction I
6 credit hours
Prerequisites: SW 2570, SW 2630, SW 3000, SW 3110, SW 3160, SW 3161, SW 3200; SW 4580; completion of all General Education requirements; and senior standing. Student is assigned to a social agency under the joint supervision of agency and instructor with concurrent seminar. Application must be made the preceding semester. (Must be admitted to Social Work program.)

SW 4620 - Child Welfare Services
3 credit hours
The contemporary child welfare system and services designed to strengthen families. Historical trends, policy issues, and child advocacy.

SW 4640 - Health: Organizations, Policy, and Ethics
3 credit hours
(Same as SOC 4640.) A resource allocation assessment of U.S. health care systems. Applied ethics topics (i.e., justice, virtue, and informed consent) included.

SW 4650 - Social Work: Practice II
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: SW 3110, SW 3120, SW 4580, and senior standing. Theories and related techniques for advanced-level social work practice. (Must be admitted to Social Work program.)

SW 4680 - Field Instruction II
9 credit hours
Prerequisites: SW 4580, SW 4590, senior standing, and all other major requirements. Second field placement for social work majors. Application must be made the preceding semester. (Must be admitted to Social Work program.) Pass/Fail.

SW 4690 - Integrative Seminar in Social Work
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: SW 4590, SW 4650 and SW 4680 or concurrent enrollment. An opportunity for the student, with instructor and peers, to explore the knowledge, values, and skills gained from academic and field experiences and to synthesize and integrate theory and practice. (Must be admitted to Social Work program.)

SW 4720 - Crisis Intervention
3 credit hours
The basis of crisis theory applied to intervention services for suicide, rape, natural disasters, and other crises.

SW 4800 - Special Projects
1 to 6 credit hours
Field experiences or reading courses through which special interests or needs of the student may be pursued under individual supervision. Arrangements must be made with an instructor prior to registration.