Social Work Licensure

Licensure Requirements

  • If practicing social work in the state of Massachusetts, licensure is required.
  • A Master of Social Work (MSW) degree earned from a CSWE-accredited school is required for LCSW (Licensed Certified Social Worker) and LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker).

What exams do I take?

  • LCSW → ASWB Masters
  • LICSW → ASWB Clinical

The Process

  • First, visit the Association of Social Work Boards to download the application
  • Reference forms are required by 3 different people, including placement supervisor and two other professionals, including an LCSW or LICSW
  • For your records, make copies of each reference
  • Submit 3 references and  official transcript in addition to application
  • After 2 weeks of a submitted application, approval will be given to take the license exam
  • Dates and test sites can be chosen by candidate
  • If planning to move out of the state of Massachusetts, refer to other states' licensing boards for requirements on obtaining licensure

What to Expect on the Exam

  • The ASWB exams are computer-based and must be taken at a designated testing location
    • Special accommodations are available for candidates with a disability or ESL candidates
  • 170 multiple choice questions
  • 4-hour testing window
  • A passing score of a 75
  • 10 content areas covered
  • Exams can be retaken after 90 days, for cost of exam only

2016 Exam Fees

  • $173.00 Application fee
  • $230.00 Examination Cost LCSW; $260.00 Examination Cost LICSW
  • $68.00 Initial license fee

Preparing for the Exam

Helpful Resources

Instructions for Social Work Licensure Application

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