Social Work License Requirements By State
The Master of Social Work from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota prepares you for advanced social work roles so you can work with a wider client base and provide deeper care to those you serve.
States issue different social work licenses through their state licensing boards. Requirements for the program you participate in and names for social work licenses, roles, and responsibilities can all vary from state to state.
For instance, certifications that refer to “clinical,” “independent,” or “independent clinical” generally equate to the highest level of certification in clinical practice — you’ll see them abbreviated as LCSW, LISW, or LICSW. While most states have a process for reciprocity and transferring licenses, some require you to apply as a new applicant.
Students should also be aware that applicants for social work licensure must meet additional requirements in every state and U.S. territory, including but not limited to additional training, coursework, and supervised clinical experiences. Requirements vary by state. It is the student’s responsibility to verify licensing requirements with their state social work board.
Please note that Saint Mary’s online MSW is a clinically based program with a clinical practicum, which is required for licensure in some states.
Saint Mary's CSWE Accreditation
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories require students to graduate from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to be eligible to pursue clinical social work licensure.
Saint Mary’s MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.
Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds the criteria for assessing program quality evaluated through a peer-review process. An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals. The Commission on Accreditation has verified that it complies with all Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards sections.
Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.
Here are the benchmarks in Saint Mary’s accreditation schedule:
March 2022: CSWE Accreditation achieved
- The Master of Social Work program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.
Feb. 2020: Officially entered into candidacy status by CSWE
- Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is typically a three-year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation. Candidacy applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.
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