Master of Social Work (MSW) programs with a clinical concentration are designed to help prepare students to become licensed clinical social workers (LCSW). In addition to foundation level social work courses, they focus on the skills needed to provide social work services and treatment to individuals (children, youth, and adults) and small groups (couples and families). Students are taught advanced assessment techniques, how to diagnose and treat psychosocial problems, and how to develop, promote, and restore mental health and social functioning. In addition, students are taught how to evaluate their own practice and intervention techniques. Currently, there are 22 online MSW programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) that offer a clinical or mental health concentration.
Requirements for Clinical Social Work Licensing
An MSW from a graduate program accredited by the CSWE is required to become an LCSW in the United States. While the terms are sometimes used synonymously, schools do not directly offer “LCSW programs;” they offer MSW programs. However, students who wish to pursue licensing following graduation may want to consider an online MSW program with a clinical concentration, depending on their state of residence.