Prospective Students

Why the MSW degree?

A commonly asked question is "How is a graduate degree in social work different from a graduate degree in counseling?" The masters of social work degree offers graduates with the opportunity to become clinical social workers in their own private practice and so much more! MSW practitioners have unlimited career possibilities! Review the chart below for additional comparisons:

Degree

Skills

Coursework

Career Options

Professional Clinical Counseling Credential

Master’s in Social Work (MSW)

Advocate for clients, provide education and resources, manage caseloads, and obtain supervisory role

Clinical Practice, Social Administration, Public Policy, Research, Ethics, Group work and Community Organizing, Supervision, Cultural and Ethical Considerations, Trauma, School Social Work, Military Social Work, Forensic Social Work, Child Welfare

Social Worker in: Medical, Child Welfare, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Child and Family, Police/ Department of Corrections, Veterinarian, Non-profit management; Grant writing; Community Based Organization and Planning; Military/ Veterans’ Administration (VA); Social Justice Work; Local, State, National, and Global Policy Initiatives

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

May own a private counseling practice; Offers diagnostic and therapy services using research and strength based social work, assessments and clinical evaluations, creates and implements treatment plans; provides therapy to children, adults, couples, and families; Preferred credential to provide therapy in the military/ Veterans’ Administration (VA)*; Eligible to bill numerous insurances, including Medicare; May provide clinical supervision to others seeking licensure as clinical social workers or professional counselors 

Master’s in Clinical Mental Health (Counseling)

Provide clinical counseling to individuals, families, and communities. Focuses on mental health symptoms

Counseling theories and techniques, Trauma Therapy, Ethics, Research, Cultural Perspectives, Psychological Development 

Counselor in: Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Marriage and Family, Rehabilitation. Outpatient Clinician (Therapist), and Vocational Rehabilitation

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

May own a private counseling practice; Offers diagnostic and counseling services, creates and implements treatment plans; provides counseling to children, adults, couples, and families; Limited opportunities to provide services in the military/ Veterans’ Administration*; Cannot bill Medicare; Cannot provide clinical supervision to other professions, such as those seeking licensure as clinical social workers

MSW Degree Pathways
All pathways offer a part-time option. Students may not change degree pathways once enrolled and beginning courses. For any questions about which pathway to apply for, please email the program director: Dr. Summer Woodside, summer.woodside@uncp.edu
 

Helpful Information

Click below to learn more about our admissions requirements and application procedures!

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Ready to start your new career? Apply to the Graduate School today!

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