Online Options for MSW Degrees in Psychology

With an online MSW degree in psychology, you can gain the skills needed to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. An online program allows you to pursue this rewarding career path on your schedule and from anywhere. In this article, you will learn how online MSW programs equip you with the clinical knowledge to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals struggling with mental health challenges.

Discover the curriculum areas covered and how you can apply the theories and techniques learned in real-world practice. As you consider your options, review the top accredited online MSW psychology programs, from course flexibility to career support services. You’ll gain insight to make an informed decision about pursuing this versatile degree online.

The Benefits of an Online MSW Degree

Convenience and Flexibility

An online MSW program provides the convenience and flexibility of studying remotely on your own schedule. You can access course materials and lectures, participate in discussions, and complete assignments when and where it suits you. This is ideal if you need to balance work, family, and your studies.

Cost Savings

Online degrees are often more affordable than traditional on-campus degrees. You save money on transportation, housing, and other costs associated with attending classes at a physical campus. Some schools offer lower tuition for online programs. You may also save time by finishing your degree faster.

Access to Resources

Although courses are completed online, you still have access to important resources to support your learning. This includes online libraries, writing centers, tutoring services, and academic advising. You can connect with professors and fellow students through email, chat, web conferencing, and online discussion forums.

Learn Valuable Digital Skills

An online MSW program helps you develop useful digital and technical skills that are increasingly important in the social work field. You get experience using online learning platforms, video conferencing software, electronic health record systems, and other tools that translate well to a professional social work role.

Career Opportunities

An MSW degree, whether earned online or on-campus, prepares you for a career as a social worker. Job prospects for social workers are projected to grow over the coming years. An online program provides the flexibility to pursue internship and work opportunities while earning your degree. Your digital literacy and ability to use online tools will also be an asset in the workplace.

Online Options for MSW Degrees in Psychology

Top Online MSW Programs Offering Specializations in Psychology

To become a licensed clinical social worker, many students pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree with a specialization in mental health and psychology. Several accredited online MSW programs offer concentrations in psychology, mental health, and counseling.

Coursework and Specializations

These programs provide coursework in human development, psychopathology, counseling theories, and mental health assessment and diagnosis. Students can specialize in areas like mental health, trauma, or substance abuse counseling. For example, the University of Southern California’s online MSW program offers a Mental Health concentration with electives in cognitive behavioral therapy, group counseling, and motivational interviewing.

Practicum and Internship

Reputable online MSW programs require students to complete supervised practicum and internship experiences. This hands-on training is essential for developing counseling and assessment skills. Students work with real clients under the guidance of licensed social workers or psychologists.

Licensure and Career Outcomes

An MSW in psychology or mental health prepares graduates to become licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs). LCSWs can diagnose and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for social workers is positive. LCSWs have a median pay of $60,000 per year in the United States.

Earning an MSW with a specialization in psychology or mental health online provides a path to an in-demand career as an LCSW. With the right program, students can gain the knowledge and experience to help improve clients’ well-being and mental health.

Earning Your MSW in Psychology Online: FAQs

Pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in Psychology online allows you to advance your career while balancing work and life responsibilities. However, you likely have some questions about how online programs work.

What courses will I take?

Typically, MSW programs require both core social work courses as well as psychology electives. Core courses usually include Human Development, Policy, Research Methods, and Field Work. Psychology electives may cover topics such as Abnormal Psychology, Behavioral Interventions, Counseling Theories, and Group Dynamics. Most schools allow you to choose electives based on your interests.

How much does an online MSW cost?

The cost of an online MSW depends on several factors, including the school, program length, and residency requirements. According to the Council on Social Work Education, annual MSW tuition ranges from $30,000 to $60,000. Many schools offer scholarships, grants and student loan programs to help make a degree more affordable. It is best to check with individual schools about their tuition and financial aid options.

How long will it take me to complete the degree?

Most online MSW programs take 2 to 3 years of full-time study to complete. The exact time depends on program requirements like the number of credit hours, field work, and research activities. Some schools offer accelerated programs that can be finished in under 2 years, while part-time programs usually take 3 to 4 years. It is best to choose a program structure that fits your needs and work or life schedule.

Will I have to do field work or internships?

Yes, field work or internships are required for MSW degrees. Online students typically complete internships in their local community under the supervision of a field instructor. The number of hours required, usually between 900 to 1500, depends on program and state standards. Field work provides valuable real-world experience applying your coursework. Working with your school, you will choose an appropriate internship site based on your interests and career goals.

READ ALSO: Advance your Career with an Online MBA program


So you see, there are many good options for earning your MSW degree in psychology online. With the flexibility and accessibility of quality online programs from respected institutions, you can advance your education and career while balancing your other commitments. An online MSW opens doors to rewarding psychology careers in social work, counseling, research, teaching and more.

Do your research to find the right accredited program for you, develop strategies for online learning success, and take advantage of available resources. With hard work and perseverance, you will reap immense rewards from earning this powerful degree. An online MSW can empower you to make a real difference in people’s lives.

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