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Social Work

To inquire about this program:
Dr. Ann-Marie Buchanan | 423.869.7158 |  [email protected]

The 2021-2022 year represents a milestone as the 47th year that social work courses have been offered at LMU. Students who 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, are right at home in the social work major.

The LMU Social Work Program provides students with the academic preparation and practical experience needed need to start work immediately after graduation as an entry-level generalist social worker or to enter a graduate school. Most students complete this professional program in the four semesters of their junior and senior years.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook ( predicts that the demand for social workers will increase by 16%, which is considered to be much faster than average especially in the areas of healthcare social workers; child, family, and school social workers; and mental health and substance abuse social workers.

The LMU Social Work Program:

  • Is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE);
  • Combines classroom instruction with supervised "hands on" agency experiences;
  • Provides the knowledge, values/ethics, and skills students need to work with vulnerable people using the team approach to learning and working;
  • Provides instruction and mentoring by experienced and licensed faculty members;
  • Provides opportunities to build resumes through volunteer work and internships;
  • Provides students entry to continuing education through participation in workshops, conferences, webinars, community projects, and research; and
  • Prepares graduates for immediate employment, state licensure, and advanced degrees.

Social workers help people talk about and identify the strengths and resources they have 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 on behalf of individuals or groups. Social workers want 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.


Degree Offered

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Social Work

Four Year Plan


Special Features

The LMU Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting organization for baccalaureate and masters social work programs in the United States ( Courses in the social work major meet the standards of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).



The LMU Social Work Program faculty members are licensed social work practitioners who maintain their involvement with community agencies. They also keep up with what is happening in social work and the solutions to social problems by serving as active members of local, state, and national professional organizations.

The LMU Social Work Program has 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. These social workers tell us about job openings, changes in laws and policies, new agencies and services, and identified community needs.


Course Information

The 15 courses (58 credits of the 128 credits required for graduation) in Social Work expose students to the knowledge, values and ethics, and skills they need to succeed in their job. As baccalaureate level social workers students have courses that prepare them to work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Students also have many opportunities to learn about the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics in their courses; a copy of the NASW Code of Ethics may be located at and course descriptions are included in the current University Catalog.



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

  • Submit application and be admitted to Lincoln Memorial University;
  • Declare a major in Social Work and meet with your advisor to develop a curriculum plan (transfer credit 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 Program 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; and
  • 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 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.


Field Placement Opportunities

The LMU Social Work Program has developed placements in community agencies in southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and east Tennessee. All field supervisors have baccalaureate or masters 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, foster care, child protective services, juvenile justice, senior centers, group homes, and Veteran's services.


Career Opportunities

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


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 masters programs at regional universities.


Honors and Organizations

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 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 the recognized social work student organization that provides opportunities for socially concerned students to reach out to the surrounding community with volunteered services.