New York State Licensing Information for Students
If you are planning to get licensed in a state other than New York you can get information online from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). This information is also available online on the Social Work Licensure State guide. Additionally the Syracuse University Library also provides License Exam Study Guides. Also refer to the New York State Clinical Course Chart (PDF) for required course work.
New York State LMSW Licensing Information
Step 1. Download the necessary NYS forms.
Step 2. Submit an Application (Form1) and fee ($294) to the New York State Education Department.
Step 3. Complete the Certification of Professional Education Form (Form 2) and mail it to Lisa Dievendorf, 300 MacNaughton Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244. It takes the University 4-6 weeks post-graduation to certify your degree. The registrar will notify NYS directly. The New York State Education Department will notify ASWB when you have satisfied the examination eligibility requirements.
Step 4. Register directly with ASWB. You may register by phone, fax, mail or email. Exam fee is $230. You will receive an authorization letter which will contain your Authorization Number, the exam category for which you are registered, the jurisdiction your score will be sent to, and information on how to make an appointment to take the examination.
Step 5. Take the test. The test contains 170 items (150 scored; 20 questions that are being pre-tested as possible future exam questions.) It is a computer based examination for which you will have a 4-hour test window. Notification of pass/fail & equated score is provided to you at the end of the exam. There is a 90-day waiting period to retake the exam.
New York State LCSW Licensing Information
If you are seeking the New York State LCSW, please follow these steps:
Step 1. Download the necessary NYS Forms.
Step 2. Obtain a copy of your transcript from Syracuse University by visiting the Registers Office. The School of Social Work cannot provide you with a transcript.
Step 3. Use the clinical course chart to determine which courses on your MSW transcript fulfill the clinical coursework requirements. Over the years, the number of credits for some courses has changed, so be careful to note the credits your course carried.
Step 4. Mail the following to Lisa Dievendorf, 300 MacNaughton Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244:
- a completed Licensed Clinical Social Work Form Certification of Professional Education (Form 2);
- your transcript;
- your contact information on a separate sheet of paper.
Step 5. Complete all the other required application forms and send to New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions. The New York State Education Department will notify ASWB when you have satisfied the examination eligibility requirements.
Step 6. Register directly with ASWB to take the exam. You may register by phone, fax, mail or email. Exam fee is $230. You will receive an authorization letter which will contain your Authorization Number, the exam category for which you are registered, the jurisdiction your score will be sent to, and information on how to make an appointment to take the examination.
Licensure Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Social Work Licensing regulatory body in New York State?
The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions.
Who qualifies as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)?
The licensure requirements for the LMSW are:
- Have a masters of social work degree from an accredited school of social work,
- Complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse in accordance with Section 6507(3)(a) of the Education Law,
- Have good moral character, and
- Pass the ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) Masters (Advanced) examination.
When can I take the LMSW exam?
You must wait until after you complete your Social Work program. The University must certify your degree before it can verify your education for New York State. Generally, this takes at least 4 weeks after graduation.
How do I qualify for the LMSW exam?
To qualify to take the ASWB LMSW examination:
- Download the necessary NYS forms
- Submit an Application (Form1) and fee ($294) to the New York State Education Department.
- Send the New York State Education Department LMSW Form 2 to Syracuse University and request that it verify your education. Syracuse University will send the completed form directly to the New York State Education Department.
- The New York State Education Department must approve your education and all application materials. They then notify Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) when you have satisfied the examination eligibility requirements.
How do I register for the LMSW exam?
Get an ASWB booklet by calling 1-800-225-6880 or going online. You may register by phone, fax, mail or email. Once all required material has been received by ASWB you will receive an authorization letter which will contain your Authorization Number, the exam category for which you are registered, the jurisdiction your score will be sent to, and information on how to make an appointment to take the examination. The fee to take the Masters Exam is $230.
When and where should I take the exam?
You register for the exam in advance and then go to a local testing center to take it by you on a computer. In Syracuse, there is a testing center in the Marshall Square Mall. A complete list of test sites is available from ACT.
When am I notified of my score?
Because the exam is computerized, your score will be available immediately upon finishing the exam.
What resources are available to help me prepare to take the exam?
Test study guide materials are available in Bird Library. These materials include a booklet located at the Reserve Desk, and a CD-ROM with sample exam questions available in Media Services (lower level of the library). Several companies also sell test preparation kits. The brochure for one of these products is available in the School of Social Work Main Office. The test preparation companies also regularly advertise in such social work publications as NASW News. ASWB also has resourced available via their website.
What is the certification process if I do not plan to live in New York State?
In this case, you do not need to submit materials to the New York State Education Department. Instead, you should review the requirements in the state where you wish to work. This information is available online from the ASWB. You can still take the social work licensing examination in New York State. The ASWB exam is accepted in any state that is part of the ASWB system, and virtually all states are. The most notable exception is California. You should speak directly with the particular state to be sure what exam system it is using.
Who qualifies as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)?
The licensure requirements for the LCSW are the same requirements for the LMSW, plus the following:
- Have a masters of social work degree from an accredited school of social work with at least 12 semester hours of coursework that prepares you to practice as a clinical social worker,
- Post-degree experience in psychotherapy under the supervision of an LCSW, licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. For no less than three years and no more than 6 years with a total of 2,000 client contact hours.
- Post-degree experience must be in a setting approved by the State Board for Social Work.
- Pass the ASWB Clinical examination.
How do I meet the experience requirement for the LCSW?
To meet the experience requirement for licensure as an LCSW, you must have complete supervised experience in clinical social work. Only experience in diagnosis, psychotherapy and assessment-based treatment plans, as defined in Section 7704 of the Education Law, is acceptable for LCSW licensure. And you must document that the experience meets the following conditions:
- Supervision by a qualified supervisor (see next question: What are the requirements for supervisors?)
- Experience is completed in a legally authorized setting to provide psychotherapy and clinical social work services.
- Completion of 2,000 client contact hours over the course of no less than three years and no more than six years.
What are the requirements for supervisors?
Supervision of applicants for the LCSW must be provided by a:
- Physician who must be licensed by the state in which the supervision occurred and must be Board Certified in psychiatry or has completed an approved residency in psychiatry; or
- Licensed psychologist who, while supervising the applicant, was licensed as a psychologist, as determined by the Department, or who is a graduate of an American Psychological Association approved program in psychology or an equivalent program as determined by the Department; or
- LCSW in New York State, or a social worker licensed in the jurisdiction where supervision occurred, who is a graduate of a Council on Social Work Education accredited graduate program, or the equivalent as determined by the Department, and who has at least three years of post-MSW degree supervised experience providing psychotherapy or who was qualified for the three-year or six-year psychotherapy privilege in New York State at the time of supervising the applicant.
- A supervisor who is not licensed in New York State must submit an Form 4Q – Approval of Qualifications to Supervise Psychotherapy
What types of supervisions are acceptable?
Several types of supervision are considered acceptable:
- Individual, facility-based: The facility assigns an appropriate, qualified employee to supervise the applicant in-person with one-to-one or group sessions. The supervisor should have more experience than the applicant, superior expertise or training in a relevant practice area, or both.
- Individual, consultant: The applicant (or facility) hires an appropriately qualified individual to supervise the applicant’s clinical work in. If hired to supervise facility-based work, an appropriate agreement or contract should be reached between the facility, the consultant and the applicant. If hired to supervise a private practice, the supervisor should have experience (a minimum of three years) or documentable clinical expertise superior to that of the applicant. Note: currently NYS OP does not recognize hours accrued in private practice settings. In addition, it recommends that an outside supervisor be hired by the facility rather than the individual.
How many hours of supervision sessions are required?
Supervision must consist of at least 100 hours of in-person individual or group clinical supervision distributed over the period of the supervised experience.
What settings are legally authorized to provide psychotherapy and clinical social work services?
An acceptable setting is:
- A professional corporation, professional limited liability partnership or liability corporation that is authorized to provide psychotherapy services or provide services within the scope of practice of a LCSW.
- A sole proprietorship owned by a licensee who provides services within the scope of his or her profession and services that are within the scope of LCSW.
- A hospital or clinic authorized under Article 28 of the Public Health Law and authorized to provide health services, including psychotherapy;
- A facility authorized under Mental Hygiene law to provide appropriate health services, including psychotherapy;
- A facility authorized under federal law, such as the Veterans’ Administration, to provide health services, including psychotherapy;
- A public elementary, middle, or high school authorized by the Education Department to provide school social work services as defined in Part 809-2.3 of the Commissioners Regulations, including clinical social work;
- An entity defined as exempt from the licensing requirement under New York State Law or authorized under New York Law to provide psychotherapy services
How can I make sure my setting is an approved setting?
You can complete LCSW Form 6 – Plan for Supervision (PDF) and submit it to the New York State Education Department and you will be notified if your setting and supervision plan is appropriate for LCSW licensure.
What is the School Social Worker credential?
New York State requires an additional credential to work as a school social worker. For provisional certification, valid for five years, you must have an accredited BSW and have completed 30 graduate social work credits, including, a supervised social work internship. For permanent certification, you must have the MSW and the (NYS) LMSW and have had two years of school experience in the field of pupil personnel services. For an application and further information contact the Office of Teaching, NYS Education Department (PDF).
NYS NASW Licensure Presentation
NYS NASW Licensure Presentation
The National Association of Social Workers New York State Chapter provides a presentation giving an overview of licensing within New York State.
School of Social Work ASWB Licensure Exam Pass Rates
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) owns and maintains the social work licensing examinations that are used to test a social worker’s competence to practice ethically and safely. Below are the results of licensure pass rates for first-time test-takers of both the ASWB Master’s and Clinical examinations.
|All NY Schools||79%||81%||80%||82%|
|All NY Schools||78%||81%||80%||77%|
*Entry to Master’s exam in NY requires application for licensure and an MSW degree (macro or clinical).
**Entry to Clinical exam in NY requires application for licensure, clinical MSW or sufficient clinical coursework as part of the MSW, and completion of 36 months of supervised experience, acceptable to SED.