skip to main content columnskip to left navigationskip to horizontal navigation

Department of Social Work

College of Arts & Sciences

Click on the following links for more information

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.
Wahlberg National Scholarship

Dr. Patty Gibbs Wahlberg, ETSU's BSW Program Director, in cooperation with the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD), established a student scholar award in honor of her late husband, Dr. Jim Wahlberg, the former MSW Program Director at ETSU who gave longstanding service to and leadership in social work and social work education at local, regional, and national levels before his untimely death in 1999.

The award includes round trip airfare to the BPD annual spring conference so the recipient can present his or her essay on Social Justice, Equality, and Empowerment. The award recipient also receives a one night hotel stay at the conference, a $250 honorarium, and recognition with a plaque at the Annual Recognition Luncheon held during the conference.

In addition to the scholar award to present the essay, the recipient is eligible for a full scholarship to pursue the master's degree in social work at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. To be chosen for this award is a prestigious honor, as well as an opportunity for full funding to pursue an MSW degree. Additional information and applications are available on the BPD website. To navigate to the information select the "About" section, then "Awards" (located on the left navigational menu).

Lakeway Area Scholarship

This $500 scholarship supports students in their senior year who are from the Lakeway area (including the counties of Hamblen, Jefferson, Cocke, Grainger, Hawkins, Claiborne, Greene, or Hancock counties) and who are committed to pursuing a career in social work. Recipients should be willing to attend at least two SWLA meetings (1 st Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in Morristown) and commit to be present to receive the scholarship, which is awarded on the 1 st Thursday night in January at the monthly SWLA meeting). The deadline for the scholarship is generally November 1, but call the Department of Social Work to confirm the due date (439-6006).

In order to be considered for the award, students must be in good academic standing and submit the scholarship application (available from the Social Work Department Main Office), as well as the following documents.

  • A recommendation from a social work instructor that addresses the applicant's scholastic abilities and enthusiasm for a career in social work
  • A letter of recommendation from the applicant's field instructor or an employer that addresses the applicant's work ethic and contribution to the agency/workplace (volunteer work is acceptable)
  • A 250 to 500 word essay that addresses the following points:
    • Statement of financial need
    • Why you chose the field of social work
    • Your career plans/goals
    • Brief biographical sketch
Ellyn Lancaster Scholarship

Purpose and History: This scholarship was established in 2013 to assist non-traditional aged "women in transition" to pursue a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) or a Masters of Social Work (MSW)

Scholarship Amount: $1,500 one-time award for 1 year

Eligibility Requirements:

Residency Requirement: Washington, Greene or Sullivan counties

  • Education Requirement: Returning adult student: high school graduate, GED recipient, or current college student
  • Field of Study: Bachelors 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 Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) degree or a Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree
  • Must demonstrate financial need

More information about the scholarship and application process, please go to the East Tennessee Foundation's website, selecting Receive and then under scholarships listed by name.

Patty Gibbs-Wahlberg Scholarship

Patty Gibbs-Wahlberg Scholarship recognizes student scholarship, service and leadership. Awards of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 are presented each year. The first place winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to present her or his work during the Student Session of the Association of Baccalaureate Program Directors conference held each Spring. This scholarship is sponsored by Phi Alpha National Honor Society; more information regarding the scholarship and application process can be found on their website.

Mina McVeigh Social Work Endowment Scholarship


The purpose of the Mina McVeigh Social Work Scholarship Endowment is to create a scholarship opportunity for an ETSU student who has been accepted into the Department of Social Work to pursue either a Bachelor's of Social Work or a Master's of Social Work.

Mina McVeigh established this scholarship to assist first-generation students in pursuing their dream of higher education. Ms. McVeigh has been the Assistant Director of the ETSU Counseling Center where she worked since 2011, after she graduated from the ETSU MSW Program that same year. She is the 2016 National Association of Social Workers (NAS W) Tennessee State Social Worker of the Year. Through her work with students at The Counseling Center, Ms. McVeigh came to recognize the additional burdens carried by students who lack the privilege of having a parent or guardian with a college degree. These remarkably resilient students face substantial social, psychological and financial challenges often unknown to others. Encouraging this diverse group of students to stay in school so that they can in turn use their strengths to help others was one of Ms. McVeigh's passions. In establishing this scholarship Ms. McVeigh would also like to express her own debt of gratitude for the privilege of having parents who valued both education and service to others.

Scholarships shall be awarded by the Department of Social Work Scholarship Committee. The annual payout of earning from this endowment shall be used to provide one scholarship for an ETSU student who has been accepted into the social work program and is pursuing either a BSW or a MSW. The scholarship shall be awarded at no less than $2,000 per school year. Depending on funds available, multiple scholarships can be awarded.

Applications should be submitted to the Department of Social Work Scholarship Committee by March 1 of each year. Students must be accepted into the social work program to be eligible for this scholarship.

The Department of Social Work Scholarship Committee shall consider the following criteria in awarding scholarships.
Each applicant must:

  1. be enrolled as a full-time student if pursuing a BSW, or either part time or full time if pursuing a MSW, and have satisfactory academic standing;
  2. be accepted into the social work program;
  3. have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 if currently pursuing a BSW or a cumulative GPA of 3.0 if currently pursuing a MSW. These respective GPAs must be maintained in order to be eligible for renewal; and
  4. have documented financial need.

Preference shall be given to applicants that meet the above criteria and are first generation college students in their maternal and paternal familial lineage and/or are also single custodial parents.

Annual renewal shall be contingent on maintaining the aforementioned requirements. This scholarship shall not renew more than eight consecutive academic semesters for a recipient pursuing a BSW full time and not more than four consecutive academic semesters for a recipient pursuing a MSW full time or 8 consecutive academic semesters for a recipient pursuing a MSW part time.  If a student initially receives the scholarship while pursuing a BSW and completes the degree in less than eight consecutive academic semesters as a scholarship recipient, then the recipient shall be eligible for additional consecutive academic semesters while pursuing a MSW. In no event shall a student receive this scholarship more than eight consecutive academic semesters, unless documentation of a significant hardship is presented and approved by the Department of Social Work Scholarship Committee.

The application for the Mina McVeigh Social Work Endowment Scholarship is available for download here.

ETSU Scholarship Office

Click here to visit the ETSU Scholarship Office.

icon for left menu icon for right menu