Master’s in Social Work (MSW) vs. Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Degree
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
MSW Licensing Requirement
Requirements by State
An MSW is a master’s in social work degree that is a graduate degree in social work. An LCSW is a license that stands for licensed clinical social worker. LCSWs may be able to provide direct mental health services to clients in private practice and other settings.
It may take about two years to obtain an LCSW license after earning an MSW, since the Association of Social Work Boards states that clinical social work licensure requires two years of post-MSW experience. However, this requirement may vary by jurisdiction or state.
An MSW may prepare graduates to advance a career in social work, obtain a DSW and/or become an LCSW. If you want to work in a clinical setting as a social worker or obtain a leadership position in social work, getting your MSW may be helpful in putting you on that path. Some MSW degree holders pursue careers in other fields as health educators, juvenile court liaisons, community outreach organizers and human resources professionals. If these careers interest you, then an MSW may be worth it.