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Social Work

To inquire about this program: Dr. Ann-Marie Buchanan | 423.869.7158 | 

The 2023-2024 year represents a milestone as the 49th year that social work degrees have been offered at Lincoln Memorial University. For social work programs in Tennessee, LMU has decades of experience in educating the next generation of social workers. If you would like to be a member of a dynamic and challenging profession that focuses on improving the quality of life for individuals of all ages, families and their communities, you're right at home in the bachelor of social work major at LMU.

The LMU Bachelor of Social Work program provides students with the academic preparation and practical experience needed to start work immediately after graduation as an entry-level generalist social worker or enter a graduate school. Most students complete the major for social worker in the four semesters of their junior and senior years. You have your choice of social work programs in Tennessee, but only LMU offers the foundation and supportive social worker education to guide you to a BSW degree and assist you in finding a job placement as a bachelor's level social worker.

Choose a Social Work Degree at LMU

Nearly 50 years of success later, the social work degree at LMU stands apart as an educational cornerstone of our academic departments. Why is it so special?

The bachelor of social work at LMU...

  • Is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
  • Combines classroom instruction with supervised hands-on agency experiences that other majors helping professionals don't include.
  • Provides the knowledge, values and ethics, and skills social worker classes need to work with vulnerable populations using strengths perspective approach to learning and working.
  • Provides a program for social work focusing on education and mentorship from experienced and licensed faculty members who maintain their involvement with community agencies.
  • Features an advisory council composed of social work practitioners who serve as guest speakers for classes and special events, admission committee members, field supervisors and adjunct instructors.
  • Provides opportunities during the social work program to build resumes through volunteer work and internships.
  • Provides students entry to continuing education through social work education workshops, conferences, webinars, community projects and research.
  • Prepares bachelor's degree in social work graduates for immediate employment, state licensure process and advanced degrees.

A bachelor's degree in social work will teach you how to help people identify the resources available to deal with their needs and concerns. They connect people to services and other resources, set up new programs and services, write grants, and advocate for individuals or groups. A bachelor's-level social worker wants to be part of the search for solutions to today's problems such as poverty, unemployment, discrimination, injustice, homelessness, substance abuse, and all forms of domestic violence and abuse.

Meet the Faculty

Ann-Marie Buchanan, PhD, MSW, LMSW, Professor of Social Work, Program Director and Chair, Department of Social Work. 

Kristy Lee, MSW, LMSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Field Coordinator


Bachelor of Science in Social Work Course Information

The 14-course curriculum (52 of 122 credits required for graduation) in LMU's Bachelor of Science in Social Work program exposes students to the knowledge, values and ethics, and skills they need to succeed in their job. When you study baccalaureate-level social work classes at LMU, our courses will prepare you to work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations on various issues.

Students also have many opportunities to learn about the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics in their courses during the Bachelor of Social Work degree program. A copy of the NASW Code of Ethics may be located at, and course descriptions are included in the current University Catalog.

Example First Year Schedule

Courses with * must have a grade of C or better.
a = General Education or Degree Requirement
b = Major requirement

First Semester - Fall

Course Hours
UACT 100 Strategies for College Success a 1
LNCN 100 Lincoln's Life and Legacy a 1
ENGL 101 Composition I a 3
*SOCW 100 Introduction to Social Work b 3
Science Requirement a 4
History Requirement a 3

First Semester - Spring

Course Hours
ENGL 102 Composition II a 3
History Requirement a 3
Elective 3
Science Requirement a 4
Mathematics Requirement  3

Full Four-Year Plan (Starting Fall 2024)
Full Course Catalog


Admission to the LMU Social Work degree practice courses and internship consists of the following steps:

  • Apply and be admitted to Lincoln Memorial University.
  • Declare a major in Social Work and meet with your advisor to develop a curriculum plan. Transfer credits from other CSWE accredited programs may be accepted as substitutes for LMU Social Work Program courses, but no credit for life or work experience is accepted to substitute for LMU Social Work Degree courses.
  • Apply for admission to and be accepted into the LMU Social Work Program at the end of the first semester of the junior year.
  • Apply for admission to the LMU Social Work Program Field Experience at the end of the second semester of the junior year. Admission to Field Experience must be completed before enrolling in Field Experience and requires completing all of the Lincoln Liberal Arts Core (or equivalent); all social work degree core curriculum with grades of "C" or higher; and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Apply to LMU

Social Work is a Growing Field

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that the demand for social workers will increase by 12% from 2020-2030, which is much faster than average.

  • Median Salary (as of May 2020) - $51,760 per year/$24.88 per hour
  • Number of Jobs in 2020 - 715,600
  • Projected Social Work Job Openings (2020-2030) - 78,300 average per year

You can expect job growth and openings to be available for healthcare social workers; child, family, and school social workers; and mental health and substance abuse social workers.

Career Opportunities

Jobs are available in various agencies, including home health and hospice, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools, community action/service centers, adoption, foster care, child protective services, and senior centers. Our graduates usually locate jobs within six months of graduation, and LMU Social Work Program graduates are eligible for licensure in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and other surrounding states.

Field Placement Opportunities

The LMU Social Work Program has developed placements in community agencies in southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and eastern Tennessee. All field supervisors have baccalaureate or master's degrees in social work and many years of practice experience. Placements are available in:

  • Home health and hospice
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Community action/service centers
  • Adoption services
  • Foster care
  • Child protective services
  • Juvenile justice
  • Senior centers
  • Group homes
  • Veteran's services

Research Opportunities

Students in the LMU Social Work Program have received research awards from the Appalachian College Association for original research projects in the areas of retirement planning for teachers, accessibility of health care for children, service availability for senior citizens, the cost impact of medications on senior citizens, children's hunger relief in East Tennessee, and service for children "aging out" of foster care.

Graduate School Opportunities

Graduates of CSWE accredited baccalaureate social work programs are eligible for admission to accelerated master's programs at regional universities.

Honors and Organizations

The LMU Social Work degree recognizes student academic accomplishments through membership in the Eta Nu Chapter of Phi Alpha, the national honor society for social work. The Outstanding Social Work Student is recognized during the Awards Day ceremony each spring. The Social Work faculty choose the recipient based on the student's performance in the classroom and field; participation and leadership in various roles within and outside the university; and the student's potential as a social worker as reflected and demonstrated through attitude and performance, and leadership, cooperation, flexibility, initiative, and self-confidence. The LMU SHARE Club is a recognized bachelor of social work student organization that provides opportunities for socially concerned students to reach out to the surrounding community with volunteered services.


Contact Us

Dr. Ann-Marie Buchanan
Professor of Social Work & Chair for Social Work