Online Licensed Clinical Social Worker Degree Program Info

To become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), an individual must earn a master's degree in social work from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), fulfill supervised work requirements and pass a licensing exam. Master's degree programs are available online, though students need to complete in-person clinical training to qualify for licensure. Read on to explore online learning options in this field.

View 4 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

There are several Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs that offer all coursework in an online format. However, MSW programs require supervised practical training through an internship, so students nearing the end of their program may need to dedicate a year or more to working at one or more clinical sites. The length of the internship may depend on a student's prior training.

Prospective online MSW students need to find out if a program's curriculum and clinical training requirements meet their state's standards for licensure. Master of Social Work students should also be aware that they need to hold a bachelor's degree in social work to enroll.


Online Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree Overview

CSWE-accredited online Master of Social Work (MSW) programs are designed for individuals who have already earned a bachelor's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited school. Master's degree programs offer advanced courses that focus on clinical skills and supervised training with clients. Students may choose to specialize in working with certain populations, such as the elderly, families and children, substance abusers or the mentally handicapped. All online programs in this field require the completion of an in-person internship in a social work setting.

Program Information and Technical Requirements

Most online Master of Social Work programs are part-time and take 2-3 years to complete. Two or three semesters of online coursework are typically followed by 2-3 semesters of internship. Internships require face-to-face interactions, but can be completed locally in nearby medical clinics or nursing homes. Some schools require a short campus visit at some point in the program, while others have no on-campus requirements.

Online courses are delivered in various ways, including interactive TV, Web-based learning programs and video-conferencing. Many online programs require specific computer equipment; for example, one MSW program requires students to use only IBM PC-compatible computers. A few online MSW programs request students to have access to a webcam, voice recording software and a microphone for real-time interactions.

List of Common Social Work Courses

Online courses in social work provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to assist at-risk populations.

Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Child Development Course

This course investigates potential threats to the healthy development of the child from birth to adolescence. Factors that might affect a child's development include bullying, peer pressure and violence, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism and divorce.

Family Counseling in Social Work Course

Students are introduced to the theories and methods used in family counseling. They learn techniques for assessing problems and strategies for overcoming them.

Social Work Field Course

With the school's assistance, online students find local internships in medical clinics, schools or nursing homes. Under close supervision from experienced social workers, students are trained to work directly with clients.

Career Information for Licensed Clinical Social Workers

LCSWs may work in environments such as schools, government programs or long-term care facilities. They might find positions as counselors, program managers or researchers. LCSWs may also set up private practices to provide counseling.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the need for social workers to grow by 16% through 2018 (www.bls.gov). Salaries for social workers generally depend on previous experience and area of specialization, but the BLS does state that in 2008 the median annual wage for a social worker was $39,530.

Continuing Education for Licensed Clinical Social Workers

Licensed clinical social workers may wish to pursue further education in social work by obtaining either a Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work or a Doctorate in Social Work (DSW). There is no substantial difference between these two doctoral degrees. Both may lead to either academic or professional positions. However, very few doctoral social work programs are offered online.

Show me popular schools

Related to Online Licensed Clinical Social Worker Degree Program Info

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
LCSW: Job Description & Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Get an overview of the...

Clinical Social Worker: Job & Career Info

Read about the job duties of a clinical social worker. Explore educational and licensing requirements, in addition to salary...

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Training and Education Program Info

Learn about which education programs can prepare individuals to become licensed clinical social workers. Go over relevant...

Career Information for Becoming a Clinical Assistant

Learn how to become a clinical assistant. Find out more about what they do, the education and training required for employment,...

Clinical Sociologist: Job Description, Duties and Outlook

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
        • Community Health Services
        • Medical Social Work
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
        • Marriage and Family Counseling
        • Medical Social Work
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Osteopathic Medicine - DO
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Southern Indiana include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
        • Medical Social Work
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics