University of Memphis


Nationally Ranked Social Work Education at UofM

The University of Memphis in our ranking of the 36 Most Affordable Accredited MSW Programs in the South East.

Since 1974, the College of Arts & Sciences has housed a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work for 300+ University of Memphis undergrads to learn human rights principles and community change strategies in an inclusive environment. Coordinated by Dr. Susan Elswick, an SSWAA Gary Lee Shaffer Award recipient, the 120-credit humanities sequence maintains a 16:1 learner-faculty ratio in McCord Hall courses from Welfare Policy to Substance Abuse.

The Master of Social Work launched in 2011 deepens evidence-based practice skills in Memphis or Jackson for LMSW licensure. Directed by Dr. Elena Delavega, a Benjamin L. Hooks Policy Fellow, the 37-60 credit curriculum takes one to four years in two Advanced Practice tracks: Youth & Families or Adults & Families. The Field Education Office requires 460 BASW and 960 MSW hours at off-campus placements, such as Agape Services, Meritan, Shelby County Aging Department, Tennessee Voices for Children, Latino Memphis, Friends For Life, and Le Bonheur Hospital. Other options include joining the Lambuth Social Work Society, pledging Phi Alpha, becoming MIBH-TI trainees, adding the Online Nonprofit Leadership Certificate, pursuing the Dual MPH, and attending the Welcoming Diversity Forum.

About the University of Memphis

The University of Memphis was opened on September 10, 1912, by Dr. Seymour Mynders as the West Tennessee State Normal School using funds from the General Education Bill. By 1928, it was renamed West Tennessee State Teachers College and home to John W. Brister Library. During the Great Depression, its enrollment plunged to 200 and budget dropped to $35,000, threatening closure. In 1946, J. Millard Smith turned this around by adding liberal arts and graduate studies. Desegregated in 1959, the Memphis State University name was adopted in 1966 with the first doctorate. In 1983, it made history as the Volunteer State's first accredited public institution. Renamed again in 1994, the University of Memphis expanded from its 99-building, Jeffersonian-style "Grind City" campus to Jackson in 2011. Budgeting $478 million, UofM now serves 21,521 Tigers, including Social Work majors, from 76 countries.

The U.S. News & World Report recognized Memphis for the 135th best public affairs school and 88th top social work department nationally. On Niche, UofM boasts America's 88th best dining, 150th best public education, 200th top Greek life, and 316th most diversity. Times Higher Education placed the University of Memphis within its top 501-600 overall. Forbes crowned UofM the 248th best public school and 256th most impactful research institution. College Factual applauded Memphis for the 271st best social work value and 239th top-paid graduates. PayScale estimated a 20-year net ROI of $237,000 for University of Memphis alums. The Center for World University Rankings declared UofM the 205th best college with the 500th best employment rate. In 2011, Memphis had Tennessee's second safest metropolitan campus. Great Value Colleges also chose UofM as the 10th most politically liberal Southern school.

University of Memphis Accreditation Details

In 2015, the University of Memphis submitted a satisfactory Quality Enhancement Plan to keep Level VI accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) through 2025 under its 12th president, Dr. M. David Rudd, who earned a Military Health System Research Symposium Award. Based 382 miles southeast via Interstate 22 in Decatur, this authorized 11-state Appalachia accreditor works with the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate practices in UofM's 129 baccalaureate, 55 master's, 27 doctoral, and 56 certificate programs. The University of Memphis' curriculum was last approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in 2010. The School of Urban Affairs & Public Policy also renewed its Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation in February 2018.

University of Memphis Application Requirements

Starting at the University of Memphis is considered "moderately difficult" by Peterson's because only 11,647 of the 13,727 Fall 2017 candidates were triumphant for 84 percent acceptance. First-year Tigers eyeing the B.A. in Social Work need four years of high school education or the GED to enter pre-major courses. High-achieving students are placed in the Talented Top 10% Program. On average, freshmen present a 3.42 GPA, 23 ACT, and 1110 SAT mark. Adults over 21 provide Accuplacer exam results instead. Admission to the School of Social Work is reserved for juniors and transfers with 60+ credits. Specifically, there are 14 prerequisites like Elementary Logic, Introduction to Sociology, American Government, and Social Response to Human Need. Grades above "C-" are sought for a minimum 2.5 GPA. Prospective MSW cohorts need at least a 3.0 GPA during bachelor's study and related work experience. Entering the 37-credit Advanced Standing track relies on CSWE-accredited prep with 3.3 GPAs.

The University of Memphis has domestic undergrad admission deadlines of July 1st for Fall, December 1st for Spring, and May 1st for Summer. Note F1 Visa holders have only until May 1st and September 1st though. Priority dates for the Master of Social Work are April 15th and October 15th, but entrants are reviewed on a seat-available basis. Interested students submit the respective $35 UofM Application ($60 if international) online. Official transcripts go to the Office of Admissions at 101 Wilder Tower in Memphis, TN 38152. Electronic test score reports are sent with ACT code 3992 or SAT/GRE code 1459. Supplemental items include the current résumé, goals statement, three references, Praxis Core results, 500-word critical thinking essay, and a signed NASW Code of Ethics agreement. Please contact (901) 678-4722 or [email protected] with future questions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, the University of Memphis is billing full-time Tennessee B.A. in Social Work majors $4,850 per term or $9,700 annually. Non-resident undergrads are paying $10,706 each semester or $21,412 by year. Tuition includes the $818 program service fee. Studying part-time currently incurs $434 to $922 per credit. Living at the Shelby County campus' dorms like Carpenter Complex adds $1,365 to $4,770 each term. All-access dining plans for Tiger Den Food Court cost $1,785. Memphis suggests leaving $1,415 for textbooks and $4,562 for miscellaneous needs. Annual bachelor's attendance equals $24,660 in-state and $36,372 out-of-state. The Master of Social Work is charging Tennesseans $609 and non-residents $1,097 per credit. Total pricing ranges from $22,533 to $65,820 based on standing.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office in Wilder Tower disburses $22.06 million yearly for 97 percent of new full-time UofM Tigers to receive packages averaging $8,960. University funds include the Social Change Scholarship, Janet Mulford Memorial Scholarship, Cicely Crawford Scholarship in Social Work, Charles & Edna Neumann Scholarship, Luther C. McClellan Scholarship, Isaac Bruce Foundation Scholarship, Equal Chance for Education Opportunity Scholarship, and Valedictorian Scholarship. The $4,000 Memphis Advantage Program requires a 20 ACT, 1020 SAT, or better score. The $5,000 First Scholars Program has a February 1st deadline for first-generation students. Disabled veterans and their families qualify for a full-tuition Folds of Honor Scholarship. State-based offerings like the Tennessee Student Assistance Award, Helping Heroes Grant, HOPE Scholarship, and Dual Enrollment Grant might help. Submitting FAFSA applications coded 003509 could provide Federal Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, and Direct Loan money. Bachelor of Arts in Social Work majors could receive four semesters of DCS Tuition Assistance. Seven graduate assistantships are also available for $3,000 plus partial fee waivers.

Find more about the University of Memphis at the School of Social Work website.