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Master of Social Work Program

Department of Social Work

ETSU offers a limited number of scholarships and graduate assistantships. Academic achievement and/or financial need are considered in the selection of each recipient. More information regarding scholarships, grants, and awards can be found here.

James H. Quillen Scholarship

We are proud to have 4 MSW students as recipients for 2014-2015.

Jamie Humbert, Sara Tanner, Jennifer Campbell, and Stephanie Tejeda

Jamie Humbert, Sara Tanner, Jennifer Campbell, and Stephanie Tejeda

The James H. Quillen Scholarship for Graduate Students is scholarship established by the late Congressman James H. ("Jimmy") Quillen to provide financial assistance to deserving undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate students must have a GPA of a 3.0 or higher. Preference will be given to applicants from the following counties in Tennessee: Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington. Students must have documented financial need and must demonstrate achievement in one or more of these areas: scholastic endeavors, school and community leadership, volunteer services and activities, other extracurricular activities or work experience. Recipients shall be known as "Quillen Scholars".

Ellyn Lancaster Scholarship

It is scholarship time again at East Tennessee Foundation. In an effort to reach more students, the criteria for the scholarship has expanded. The new scholarship description is listed below. Scholarship applications will be available on our website,, beginning November 1, 2016 and the deadline for application submission is February 15, 2017. The scholarship application must be completed and submitted online. Attached here is a copy of the online applicant tutorial. 

Ellyn Lancaster Scholarship

  • Purpose and History: Established in 2013 to assist adult, non-traditional aged "women in transition" to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or a Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree.
  • Scholarship Amount: $1,500 one-time award for 1 year. (amount subject to change)
  • Eligibility Requirements:
    • Residency Requirement: Washington County, Greene County, or Sullivan County.
    • Education Requirement: Returning adult student: high school graduate or GED recipient, or current college student.
    • Field of Study: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or Masters of Social Work (MSW.)
    • GPA Minimum: Not applicable.
    • College/Enrollment Requirement: Full-time enrollment at East Tennessee State University pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) of Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree.
    • Must demonstrate financial need.
    • Scholarship applications available on our website.
    • Deadline for application submission is February 15, 2017.


Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at or toll-free at
(877) 524-1223.

Department of Social Work

The Department of Social Work also provides limited financial support. The following links provide more information regarding graduate assistantships and field agency stipends.

Graduate Assistantships

The goal of a graduate assistantship (GA) is to enhance the ability of the student to complete her or his graduate degree. When at all possible, work assignments made to graduate assistants and other service obligations should reinforce their educational goals.
GA positions are available in the social work department as well as other areas on campus. Full-time Graduate Assistants perform twenty hours of service per week and half-time Graduate Assistants perform ten hours of service per week for their entire contract period. GA contracts for the academic year extend from August 10th, two weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall semester and proceed every week, except the week between Christmas and New Year's, to May 16th. Within the social work department, GA positions carry a 10-hour per week commitment. This may not sound like a great deal, but this is in addition to the requirements of your courses.

For out-of-state students, a GA position will often offer tuition reduction to the in-state rate, in addition to the stipend award. To remain eligible, one must carry a 9-credit hour course load.

More information regarding graduate assistantships and available positions on campus are available here.

How To Apply For Graduate Assistantships
Graduate Assistant Policies

Field Agency Stipends

Davis Murphy Scholarship

Barbara Murphy Brooks, in honor of her parents, Rush W. and Celma Davis Murphy, has generously set up a fund for the ETSU Department of Social Work to award one or two annual scholarships to BSW students. The amount and number of scholarships vary, depending on funds, but generally the scholarship is $500-1000 per year, awarded over two semesters.

Barbara was a social worker who worked in the areas of child welfare, public assistance, and adoption. She also taught social work at the University of Georgia from 1970 to 1982. In 1982 she returned to the field of social work in the area of mental health, and later she retired. Through the course of her mother's terminal illness in the 1990's, she was reminded of the importance of social services in people's lives, particularly the baccalaureate social workers who were so helpful to her during the period of her mother's illness. In 1998, she set up the scholarship for the BSW Program, and we are most pleased to be able to offer this scholarship to our students every spring for the following academic year.

Criteria to apply for the scholarship include:

  • Student must have been formally admitted to the social work major.
  • Preference is given to students from TN.
  • Student must show financial need (to be determined by the Financial Aid Office)
  • Student must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Applications and Financial Aid Release forms are available in the Department of Social Work located at Lyle House and for download here. For the application deadline each spring (generally it is March 15), contact Dr. Heather Dye, the BSW Program Director, at .

The application form for the Davis Murphy Scholarship is available for download here.

Applications include a short essay that addresses the following topics:

  • Human service experience to date and what you learned from those experiences.
  • Your long-term and short-term goals following graduation with your BSW degree.
  • Any financial need information that you feel would be helpful for us to consider when we review your application.
Barbara G. Kirkpatrick Scholarship 

East Tennessee Foundation Scholarship Opportunities

520 W. Summit Hill Dr., Suite 1101 - Knoxville, TN - 37902 – Toll Free Phone: (877) 524-1223 - Fax: (865) 637-6039

Scholarship Information & Applications available online at


Please Note: All scholarship award amounts are subject to change.

Barbara G. Kirkpatrick Scholarship 

Purpose: Established to assist single parent students pursuing a four-year undergraduate degree at East Tennessee State University.
Scholarship Amount: $2,000 per year for one year.

Eligibility Requirements:

Residency Requirement: East Tennessee Foundation 25-county service area OR Bristol, TN/VA  Education requirement: Graduating high school seniors OR current college students OR GED recipients OR returning adult students.
GPA: 2.5
College: East Tennessee State University
Enrollment Requirement: Full-time enrollment  
Must demonstrate financial need 
Additional Requirements:

  • Single Parent
  • U.S. Citizen

Application Process and Guide

VDSS Stipend

VDSS Child Welfare Employee Education Assistance Program

The Virginia Department of Social Services’ (VDSS) Child Welfare Employee Education Assistance Program (CWEEAP) offers funding and specialized child welfare training to selected full-time local department of social services (LDSS) staff who are enrolled in a part-time MSW program. The CWEEAP is aimed at supporting LDSS employees who are committed to working in public child welfare in foster care/adoption following graduation.

  • CWEEAP Details:
    • Provides funding to selected applicants on a reimbursement-basis, upon successful completion of each semester, for up to $2,500 (per semester, maximum $5,000 per calendar year) toward tuition and fees only.
    • Offered for full-time LDSS employees already enrolled in a part-time MSW program at participating universities with accredited Schools of Social Work (ETSU Abingdon Campus)
    • In exchange for the financial assistance, employees commit to work in the LDSS where currently employed (“Supporting Agency”) in foster care or adoption, following graduation - six (6) months of continuous, satisfactory work owed for every year of funding received.
    • Must have the support of Agency Director (indicated by submitting a signed Agency Letter of Support).
    • To ensure equitable access to the program, up to two (2) qualified applicants from each state region (Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Piedmont) may be chosen, (depending on funding and qualified applicants) not to exceed ten (10) employees total.

Applications will be accepted for the 2019-20 academic year beginning January 2019.

Contact the VDSS State Coordinator for more information or to request application materials at or (804) 726-7423.

Note: This program differs from the existing Employee Education Assistance Program available at some LDSS.  The CWEEAP should not be used to replace the Employee Education Assistance Program offered through LDSS, but can be used to support additional employees who are not receiving local agency EEAP funding. 

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