There are 22 online MSW programs available that have a Clinical MSW concentration and are also CSWE accredited (Council on Social Work Education). Online Clinical Master of Social Work programs are mostly designed for those looking to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (through LCSW certification), with curriculum including: diagnosis of psychosocial issues, mental health prognosis and restoration, intervention, psychotherapy, and mental health assessment, among others.
As you learn more about Social Work and the different concentrations that are present within this field, you may see that Social Workers can have a profound impact on many different groups within society.
One sub-field of Social Work that has attracted many new applicants each year is the field of Clinical Social Work. This incredibly influential field can have many different attributes that are pulled from fields such as Counseling, Psychology, and Sociology. Read more below to learn about this fascinating degree option.
Introduction to Clinical Social Work
Clinical Social Work often involves a more personal approach to improving society. Working in a one-to-one or group setting, Clinical Social Workers can help clients better understand the influence that society and social interaction plays in their everyday woes. Clinical Social Work can be a part of therapeutic acceptance of serious illness or death, helping people that have been diagnosed with mental illness find resources and support in society, assisting people with substance abuse issues identify their strengths or even counseling families that are prone to domestic violence or neglect.
Psychotherapy Used in Clinical Social Work
Some of the tools utilized in Clinical Social Work include psychotherapy – which leans more on the strength of the individual and counseling rather than medication, counseling – which is a vital tool for people from all age groups, and referral – which can put people in contact with resources and support groups that can assist them with improving their overall quality of life.
Diverse Subject Subsets of Social Work
In degree programs that focus on Clinical Social Work, you can come in contact with many diverse subjects that are drawn together in this field. It is important to have an all-inclusive set of skills when working with people from different backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and nationalities. If you feel like you could be a helpful guide for people in need of help, this is definitely a field for you to consider.
22 Online MSW Programs Accredited by CSWE
Accredited MSW programs can be found in nearly every state throughout the country. If you are looking for schools that offer the MSW degree online, the CSWE provides up to date listings for accredited online schools on their website. While the list below is not exhaustive, it can provide you with a good idea of the possibilities available to you for your education.
- Arizona State University
- Boise State University
- Boston University
- California State University – Multiple Satellite Locations
- Campbellsville University
- Columbia University
- Delaware State University
- Florida State University
- Indiana University
- Louisiana State University
- Michigan State University
- Portland State University
- Rutger’s University
- Temple University
- Texas State University
- The University of Arkansas
- The University of Tennessee
- The University of South Florida
- Western Kentucky University
- Western New Mexico University
Clinical Social Work Licensing Requirements
In order to be a guiding resource for people within society, you must obtain licensure after completing your degree program. There are a strict set of requirements for becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, some of which may vary slightly depending on which state you live in. Our team of experts has provided you with a standardized list of requirements you will need to abide by in order to become a LCSW. Check out the list below.
- Completion of a CSWE-Accredited MSW Program: Your choice of a MSW program can take a toll on whether or not you can becoming licensed in the future. The first step at this point is to choose a MSW program with a relevant specialization in Clinical Social Work. You must also ensure that the degree program you are enrolled in has been accredited by the CSWE. Accreditation ensures that your program is reliable and up to date on national standards for educational programs in Social Work.
- Supervised Work Experience: After you have obtained your degree, you should find work experience under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. This experience can help you better understand how your expertise can be provided in a clinical setting. This requirement can vary depending on the state – which some states requiring 3,200 supervised clinical hours and others designating a minimum of 3 years experience.
- Additional Coursework Requirement: Most MSW programs include all required course work for licensure, but your state could require that you take certain courses in order to apply for licensure. Examples of some courses that may be extra requirements are those that pertain to Physical Abuse, Sexuality, and Substance Abuse.
- Apply for and Successfully Complete Board Examinations for LCSWs: As a final requirement after your educational programs and supervised work experience, you may also be required to take a board examination specifically for Clinical Social Workers. This exam will test your knowledge and abilities in the field, in an effort to ensure that you have what it takes to work one-on-one with the public. Once you have successfully completed this examination, you can finish your documentation for licensure and begin working in the field.
Coursework for Online MSW Programs with a Clinical Concentration
If you have previously completed a BSW program, you know what to expect in terms of course work and assignments. However, the curriculum for Clinical Social Work programs can have some new topics that were not discussed in undergraduate degree programs. The most interesting component about Clinical Social Work programs is that it includes the counseling topics as well as the therapeutic techniques and processes that are similar to counseling professionals.
Below this section, you will find a list of courses that are common to Clinical Social Work degree programs. You might be interested to find that the curriculum is quite diverse and contains some topics you might not expect to see in a Social Work degree. Read more about this below.
- Skills for Social Work Practice: Personal skill such as attitude, demeanor, client interaction, and boundaries are a major portion of this course.
- Diversity and Human Rights: Examines how race, ethnicity, social class, religion, and gender play a role in today’s society. Encourages students to have unbiased opinions during the course of their career.
- Social Policy: Introduces students to the development and change of social policies over time. Also helps students identify different resources within society that can assist with client direction.
- Social Work Theory and Practice: Students can learn different approaches for working with clients in a clinical setting. They may also investigate the creation of social theories and how they are applicable in the field.
- Psychopathology for Social Work: Identifies individual strengths and weaknesses that can assist with developing treatment plans. Examines how biological factors can also play a role in social functioning.
- Clinical Practice in Social Work: Teaches students to use evidence-based practice as a foundation for their career. Different therapeutic skills and methods may also be discussed.
- Social Work Lab: Tests a student’s skills with representations of real-life scenarios and conflicts. Challenges students to better develop their clinical skills based on what has previously been learned.
- Analysis and Advocacy in Social Work: Teaches students how to advocate for relevant policy changes that can affect their practice in the field. Also educates students on the various policies and how they complement or interfere with effective practice.
- Human Behavior and the Social Environment: A look into the biological and natural foundations of human behavior and how it is developed and changed through interactions within the social environment.
- Social Research: Focuses on the importance of research in the development and improvement of social policies and theories.