Online MSW Programs with a Clinical Social Work Concentration (Online LCSW Programs)

Last updated: March 2021

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.

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What is Clinical Social Work?

Clinical social work is a specialty practice within the field of social work. Clinical social workers provide specialized support services to individuals and families experiencing problems with serious illness, substance abuse, or domestic conflict. Clinical social work differs from other social work roles as it requires a master’s degree in social work (MSW), supervised clinical experience, and a license to practice.

While non-clinical social workers offer counseling and support to clients, clinical social workers use specialized skills such as assessment, diagnosis, and interventions. Clinical social workers may provide counseling services for clients, in addition to psychotherapy, behavioral therapies, and other therapeutic clinical strategies.

What Does It Mean to Be a Clinical Social Worker?

Clinical social workers provide assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention education for those with mental illness or behavioral disturbances. A clinical social worker must be licensed or certified within their state of practice. There is a range of settings in which clinical social workers may work, including community mental health, hospitals, primary care, agencies, and private practice.

We’ve interviewed professionals working in the field of clinical social work, here is what they say:

Samantha Roberts, (LCSW) is a clinical case manager at the University of California, San Francisco’s (UCSF) Citywide program. Roberts was compensated to participate in this interview.

“I take on a number of roles; therapist, advocate, case worker and crisis manager, to name a few,” says Roberts. “I work with clients 18 years and older who have a severe mental illness, i.e. schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder with psychotic features, and delusion disorder are some of the diagnoses, and are involved in the criminal justice system.”

Roberts explains that her role as a case manager is to help teach each client to live a healthy and stable life, to the best of their ability. “The modalities used with clients are different for each client and each CM. Personally, I find CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) to be the most useful, since the majority of my clients have poor insight, and respond better to concrete tasks.”

Beth Jakubanis is a licensed clinical social worker currently working within the field of immigration.

“Being an immigration social worker is a little bit like being a detective,” explains Jakubanis. “It is my responsibility to assemble all of the necessary clues which the client gives me to identify the biological, psychological, and social welfare concerns which will support their immigration application.”

Jakubanis explains that sometimes clients who go through the immigration process interface with a system which has become accustomed to processing people.

“A well-composed letter or evaluation can build empathy and humanity for the client while establishing their mental health functioning. An evaluation that does not capture the client’s experience accurately can result in a missed opportunity for the client,” she says.

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What Are the Benefits of Specializing in Clinical Social Work?

Clinical social workers provide vital assistance and support to some of the most vulnerable sectors of the community. Those who work in the field point out that the work can be emotionally demanding, and requires the ability to thrive in sometimes challenging circumstances.

In addition to providing clinical support for clients, clinical social workers often also undergo training, perform administrative work, liaise with institutions such as hospitals or the justice system, or undertake managerial roles. The work is highly varied, with the potential to practice in diverse fields. One distinctive benefit is that clinical social workers can sometimes schedule their work with greater flexibility.

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.

Licensing for social workers is determined by state-specific social work licensing boards. Therefore, licensing requirements vary by state. Students should research the requirements for licensing in their state of residence to ensure that the MSW program they choose will meet the requirements for licensing. In some states, it is not required to complete an MSW program with a clinical concentration to become an LCSW. In these situations, students may be required to complete additional coursework in order to meet the requirements for licensing. However, some states do have specific requirements that students need to be aware of if they plan to pursue a career as an LCSW after graduation.

For example, New York requires applicants to have completed at least 12 hours of clinical coursework. In this case, coursework may be completed during or after an MSW program (restrictions may apply). In Florida, social work applicants are required to have provided clinical services directly to clients during at least one of their field education placements.

Check out our resource section for more information on how to become a licensed clinical social worker. To become an LCSW, students must have dedication and commitment; earning an MSW is just the first step. Licensing typically takes two to three years post-graduation and requires a significant amount of work experience in the field.

Resources:

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Coursework for Online MSW Programs with a Clinical Concentration

While specific courses for online MSW degree programs vary, students will undertake coursework in the following core areas:

Clinical Social Work Practice: Individuals (Children, Youth and Adults) and Small Groups (Couples and Families)
This course is focused on the transactional relationships between people and their social environments. A key learning outcome of this course is the acquisition of social work practice methods to help restore, promote, and maintain functioning between individuals, families and small groups. The course is grounded in behavioral and social science theories, and informed by social work values and ethics. The course also teaches clinical interventions as they relate to individuals, families, and small groups.

Mental Health and Human Behavior
This course centers on developing students’ foundational knowledge of human behavior by reviewing human development theories. Key concepts within mental health, such as the notions of mental ill-health and mental illness are discussed, and explored within a conceptual framework. The classification of mental illness is also explored.

Psychopathology
Psychopathology is focused on the study of mental illness in order to best diagnose and treat it. In a psychopathology course, students familiarize themselves with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (DSM-5) which provides categories of mental disorders, such as the schizophrenia spectrum, and the criteria needed to evaluate them.

The course helps students to recognize some of the major mental disorders and appropriate treatment practices.

Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis
This course helps to build assessment competency in students. There is a strong focus on the use and application of the DSM-5 in understanding mental disorders. The limitations of the DSM are also explored.

A course in clinical assessment and diagnosis often considers the history of diagnosis. Diagnostic criteria are usually studied from a biopsychosocial perspective that also integrates neurobiological understanding. This course may also cover clinical interventions and treatment approaches.

Evaluation of Research Methods and Social Work Practice
An understanding of research methods is critical for clinical social workers to enhance their understanding of client needs and improve the services offered. This course provides an overview of different theoretical frameworks and methodologies to help students use a scientific and analytic approach to building knowledge and evaluating clinical services.

A course in research methods always explores the importance of ethical standards in research to protect vulnerable and marginalized populations.

In addition to coursework, all students are required to complete field education at a local health services agency. Typically, students in traditional MSW programs complete their clinical field rotation during their advanced standing year in the program, which usually occurs in the second year for full-time programs.

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All Online Master’s in Clinical Social Work Programs

There are several schools that offer CSWE accredited online Master of Social Work programs with a clinical social work or mental health concentration. Click on the school name for more information about the programadmission requirements, and more. As with all degree programs, this information can change at any time (especially student eligibility and admission requirements), so students should speak with an admission advisor before applying to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information.

Boise State University

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Boise, Idaho

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 61

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelors degree with liberal arts and social science coursework
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE accredited school in the last 7 years, oor 10 years with significant post-BSW practice experience, for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Social service practice experience, either paid of volunteer
  • Personal essay
  • Recommendation letters
  • Background check
  • Willingness to understand and abide by NASW Code of Ethics
  • Interview
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Boise State University

Boston University

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Boston, Massachusetts

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 43+

Concentrations:

Macro Practice, Clinical Practice

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from an accredited college or university
  • Candidates with two years of supervised, direct human or social service experience may apply for the Human Service Experience track
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program earned within six years for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 for advanced standing applicants
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Three letters of references
  • Transcripts
  • Interview
  • TOEFL scores for non-native English speaking applicants
  • Other requirements as outlined for specific tracks
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Boston University

Campbellsville University

Carver School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Campbellsville, Kentucky

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 30

Concentrations:

 Clinical Practice, Addictions

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited institution for advanced standing applicants
  • Baccalaureate degree with 15 credit hours of liberal arts education 
  • Baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 
  • Transcripts from accredited institutions 
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Signed statement of understanding of the Social Work Professional and Technical Standards 
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Campbellsville University

Columbia University

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

New York, New York

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1 year

Credits: 33+

Concentrations:

Advanced Clinical Social Work, Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming, Policy Practice, Social Enterprise Administration

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Academic transcripts
  • Resume
  • Three essay questions
  • Three letters of reference
  • TOEFL scores for non-native English speaking applicants
  • Other requirements as outlined for specific tracks
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Columbia University

Edinboro University

College of Science and Health Professions

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: N/A

Credits: 33+

Concentrations:

Trauma Informed Practice

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution 
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program for advanced standing applicants 
  • Coursework in human biology or human anatomy and physiology 
  • Minimum of 21 undergraduate credits in liberal arts curriculum 
  • Minimum GPA of 2.8 
  • GRE scores required for GPAs under 2.8 
  • Resume 
  • Two references 
  • Personal statement 
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Edinboro University

Florida State University

College of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Tallahassee, Florida

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 39+

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited institution for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum of 400 field education hours in generalist practice for advanced standing applicants
  • GRE waiver available
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA for past 60 hours of undergraduate degree
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Florida State University

Indiana University

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Indianapolis, Indiana

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5+ years

Credits: 41+

Concentrations:

Clinical and Community Practice

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor of Social Work from an accredited program earned within the last five years or BSW earned in the last 10 years with social work practice experience or active social work licensure during the last five years – for advanced standing applicants only
  • Resume
  • Writing sample and statement
  • Academic transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendations
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Indiana University

Louisiana State University

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 33+

Concentrations:

Child and Youth Services, Gerontology, Social Work Practice in Schools, Policy and Macro Practice

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree form an accredited college or university
  • Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program earned within the last five years for advanced standing applicants
  • Liberal arts undergraduate preparation with at least 12 credits in social and behavioral sciences
  • Grade of ’’C’’ or better in an introductory statistics course
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Letter of intent
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Louisiana State University

Rutgers University

School of Social Work

Master's of Social Work (MSW)

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Name of Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 60

Concentrations:

Children, Youth, and Families

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Prefered 3.0 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Introductory Statistics course completion 
Learn more about the Master's of Social Work (MSW) from Rutgers University

Samford University

School of Public Health

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Birmingham, Alabama

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 33+

Concentrations:

Advanced Clinical Practice

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Bachelor degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program for advanced standing applicants
  • Grade of  ’’B-’’ or higher for undergraduate social work courses for advanced standing applicants
  • Field evaluation for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 or 3.2 during last 60 hours of undergraduate credit
  • If GPA at least 2.8, GRE scores required for consideration
  • Three letters of reference
  • Completed undergraduate coursework in statistics with a grade of ’’C’’ or better
  • Academic writing sample
  • Personal statement
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Samford University

San José State University

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

San José, California

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 37+

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Bachelor’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 for traditional standing, 3.5 for advanced standing applicants
  • Official transcripts
  • Some social work experience for traditional standing, 400 hours of recent social work experience for advanced standing applicants
  • Evaluation from BSW/BASW field internships for advanced standing applicants
  • Liberal arts foundation
  • Personal statement
  • Three recommendations
  • Writing sample
  • English proficiency exam if necessary
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from San José State University

Temple University

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 1.5+ years

Credits: 30+

Concentrations:

Clinical Practice, Macro Practice

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a broad liberal arts focus from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program within the last five years for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 for traditional applicants, 3.25 for advanced standing applicants
  • Final field evaluation for advanced standing applicants
  • Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL scores for international students whose native language is not English
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Temple University

The Catholic University of America

National Catholic School of Service

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Washington, D.C

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: Less than 1 year – 3+ years

Credits: 30+

Concentrations:

Clinical Social Work

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelors degree with a liberal arts foundation
  • Bachelors degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program for advanced standing applicants
  • Official transcripts
  • Coursework in human biology and social statistics recommended
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0, 3.5 in social work undergraduate coursework and 3.2 for bachelors degree cumulatively for advanced standing applicants
  • Completion of 480 hours of field education for advanced standing applicants
  • Senior field evaluation forms for advanced standing applicants
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Three letters of reference
  • TOEFL scores for students whom English is a second language
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from The Catholic University of America

University at Buffalo (SUNY)

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Buffalo, New York

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 1.5+ years

Credits: 35+

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution 
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program for advanced standing applicants 
  • Grad of  ’B-’ or better in all undergraduate social work courses for advanced standing applicants 
  • Minimum of 24 credits in liberal arts coursework 
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 preferred, 3.0 required for advanced standing applicants 
  • Human biology undergraduate coursework 
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Official transcripts 
  • Essay 
  • Additional requirements for international students 
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University at Buffalo (SUNY)

University of Arkansas, Little Rock

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Little Rock, Arkansas

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 60

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree with a liberal arts perspective from an accredited institution 
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA 
  • Narrative statement of professional orientation 
  • Three letters of reference 
  • Any volunteer, employment or life experiences related to social work 
  • Official transcripts 
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Arkansas, Little Rock

University of Central Florida

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Orlando, Florida

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 1.3+ years

Credits: 32

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree from an accredited institution 
  • Bachelor degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program earned within the last six years for advanced standing applicants 
  • Minimum GPA of 3.3 in last 60 credits for advanced standing applicants 
  • Official transcripts 
  • Completion of humanities, physical and biological sciences, mathematics, and social sciences coursework 
  • Resume 
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Professional statement  
  • Writing sample 
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Central Florida

University of Houston

Graduate College of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Houston, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 39+

Concentrations:

Clinical Practice, Macro Practice

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a liberal arts foundation from an accredited university or college
  • Bachelor’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Three letters of reference
  • Personal narrative statement
  • Proficiency in English testing may be required
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Houston

University of Louisville

Kent School of Social Work

Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)

Louisville, Kentucky

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 30+

Concentrations:

Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Gerontology, Mental Health, Military Social Work, Psychosocial Oncology

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Bachelor’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program earned within the last seven years for advanced standing applicants
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Essay, additional essay required for advanced standing applying into a specialization
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 preferred, with 3.25 in social work coursework for advanced standing applicants
  • Resume
  • Copies of practicum evaluation for advanced standing applicants
  • Additional requirements for international applicants
Learn more about the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) from University of Louisville

University of Missouri

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Columbia, Missouri

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 39+

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution 
  • Bachelor degree in social work earned within the last seven years accredited by the CSWE for advanced standing applicants 
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 
  • Completed coursework in college-level statistics 
  • Transcripts 
  • Resume 
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Personal statement 
  • Field evaluation documentation for advanced standing applicants 
  • English proficiency exam if English is not your native language 
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Missouri

University of New England

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Portland, Maine

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.3+ years

Credits: 35+

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Bachelor’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited institution within the last seven years for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Evidence of experience in the human services field with MSW supervision for advanced standing applicants
  • Professional statements
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Copy of field evaluations for advanced standing applicants
  • Official transcripts
  • Additional requirements for international admissions
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of New England

University of New Hampshire

College of Health and Human Services

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Durham, New Hampshire

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.3+ years

Credits: 35+

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree with a liberal arts background from an accredited institution
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program earned within the last five years for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2 for advanced standing applicants 
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal state
  • Two years of full-time experience in the field is strongly recommended
  • Additional requirements for international applicants
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of New Hampshire

University of Northern Iowa

Department of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 37+

Concentrations:

Trauma Informed Practice 

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Bachelor degree in social work from a program accredited by the CSWE for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0, 3.2 for advanced standing applicants
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Completion of a statistics course with a minimum grade of ’’C’’
  • Related work, volunteer, or practicum experience 
  • Three letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Northern Iowa

University of South Florida

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Tampa, Florida

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: N/A

Credits: 35

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree with liberal arts coursework
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program earned within the last five years for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Grade of ’’B-’’ or better for social work courses for advanced standing applicants
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • One year of post-undergraduate work in a social service agency preferred
  • Interview may be required
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of South Florida

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

College of Social Work

Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)

Knoxville, Tennessee

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 37+

Concentrations:

Evidence-Based Interpersonal Practice, Organizational Leadership

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by regional accrediting agency
  • Bachelor of Social Work accredited by the CSWE earned in the last five years for advanced standing applicants
  • Completed coursework in social science
  • Liberal arts perspective coursework
  • Minimum GPA of 2.7, 3.0 preferred, 3.0 GPA required for advanced standing applicants
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of reference
  • Resume
  • Additional requirements for international applicants
Learn more about the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) from University of Tennessee at Knoxville

University of Texas, Arlington

School of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Arlington, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 38+

Concentrations:

Community and Administrative Practice, Direct Practice in Aging, Direct Practice in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Direct Practice with Children and Families

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degre from an accredited institution
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program earned within the last six years for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in last 60 hours of undergraduate work, 3.0 required for advanced standing applicants
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation for applicants who do not fully meet the other requirements 
  • Personal narrative for applicants who do not fully meet the other requirements 
  • TOEFL or TSE scores for applicants whose native language is not English
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Texas, Arlington

University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

School of Social Work

Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)

Edinburg, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 33+

Concentrations:

Administrative and Community Practice, Direct Practice with Latino Individuals, Families and Groups

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree from an accredited institution
  • Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited institution for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0, 3.2 in social work core coursework for advanced standing applicants
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Completion of a basic statistics course
  • Personal statement
  • Additional requirements for international applicants
Learn more about the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) from University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

University of Utah

College of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Salt Lake City, Utah

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 45+

Concentrations:

Mental Health

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree from a regionally accredited university
  • Bachelor degree in social work from CSWE-accredited program earned within the last seven years for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Prerequisite coursework in human development across the lifespan and research methods
  • Official transcripts
  • Three professional recommendations
  • Statement of purpose
  • Social work practice timed case study
  • Resume
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Utah

Widener University

Center for Social Work Education

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Chester, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 36+

Concentrations:

Clinical Social Work

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree from an accredited college or university
  • Bachelor degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program for advanced standing applicants
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0, 3.3 for coursework in social work major for advanced standing applicants
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two recommendations
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Social Work (MSW) from Widener University

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Clinical Social Work Program FAQs

What can you do as a licensed clinical social worker?

Licensed clinical social workers can choose to work in a wide range of settings supporting diverse sectors of the community. Some of the options available include: the criminal justice system, children and their families, schools, geriatric communities, the LGBTQI community, and medical and psychiatric settings.

What is the difference between an MSW and LCSW?

An MSW refers to a graduate degree program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. An LCSW is a social worker who holds a master’s of social work and has been licensed by his or her state of residence to provide clinical services to patients. To practice as a clinical social worker in the United States, you must first earn a master’s degree and a professional license. Learn more about the difference between an MSW and LCSW.

How long does it take to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW)?

The title of LCSW is the highest level of licensure available to social workers. Only licensed clinical social workers are permitted to practice in private settings. To become an LCSW, candidates must obtain a masters degree from a university course accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, which typically takes two years.

Students must then complete two to three years of supervised experience under the supervision of a licensed clinician. When the student has attained sufficient experience required for eligibility, they then sit the ASWB Clinical Examination. They will need to submit proper documentation of their work responsibilities and experience to the licensing board, as well as hours logged on the job.

Is clinical social work a good career?

Clinical social work is a rewarding career for those looking to work directly with clients in a therapeutic setting. Clinical social workers can help to change the lives of individuals and influence positive change within social structures.

Becoming a clinical social worker also represents an effective method of advancing a career in social work, accessing higher pay, and undertaking more varied and challenging work within the field.

How much does a clinical social worker make a year?

The average salary for a licensed clinical social worker depends on factors such as their location and field of practice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2021, the average salary for social workers within these fields is as follows:

  • Healthcare Social Workers: $56,750
  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers: $47,390
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers: $46,650
  • All Other Social Workers: $61,230

Licensed clinical social workers within these fields can expect to earn above the average salary.

What is the difference between an LCSW and LPC?

An LPC refers to a licensed professional counselor. While the roles of LPC and LCSW are functionally similar in that they provide psychotherapeutic services, social work encompasses additional responsibilities. An LCSW also offers healthcare assistance, social services, job placement, and other services to clients that generally fall outside the purview of counseling.