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 (A.S.W.B.). 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 below for required course work.

NYS LMSW

New York State L.M.S.W. Licensing Information

Step 1. Download the necessary New York State 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 A.S.W.B. when you have satisfied the examination eligibility requirements.

Step 4. Register directly with A.S.W.B. 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.

NYS LCSW

New York State L.C.S.W. Licensing Information

If you are seeking the New York State L.C.S.W., please follow these steps:

Step 1. Download the necessary New York State 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 M.S.W. 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:

  1. a completed Licensed Clinical Social Work Form Certification of Professional Education (Form 2);
  2. your transcript;
  3. 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 A.S.W.B. when you have satisfied the examination eligibility requirements.

Step 6. Register directly with A.S.W.B. 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 FAQ

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 (L.M.S.W.)?

The licensure requirements for the L.M.S.W. 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 A.S.W.B. (Association of Social Work Boards) Masters (Advanced) examination.

When can I take the L.M.S.W. 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 L.M.S.W. exam?

To qualify to take the A.S.W.B. L.M.S.W. examination:

  • Download the necessary New York State forms
  • Submit an Application (Form1) and fee ($294) to the New York State Education Department.
  • Send the New York State Education Department L.M.S.W. 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 (A.S.W.B.) when you have satisfied the examination eligibility requirements.

How do I register for the L.M.S.W. exam?

Get an A.S.W.B. 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 A.S.W.B. 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 N.A.S.W. News. A.S.W.B. 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 A.S.W.B.. You can still take the social work licensing examination in New York State. The A.S.W.B. exam is accepted in any state that is part of the A.S.W.B. 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 (L.C.S.W.)?

The licensure requirements for the L.C.S.W. are the same requirements for the L.M.S.W., 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 L.C.S.W., 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 A.S.W.B. Clinical examination.

How do I meet the experience requirement for the L.C.S.W.?

To meet the experience requirement for licensure as an L.C.S.W., 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 L.C.S.W. 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 L.C.S.W. 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
  • L.C.S.W. 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-M.S.W. 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 New York State Office of the Professions 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 L.C.S.W.
  • 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 L.C.S.W.
  • 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 L.C.S.W. 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 L.C.S.W. 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 B.S.W. and have completed 30 graduate social work credits, including, a supervised social work internship. For permanent certification, you must have the M.S.W. and the (New York State) L.M.S.W. 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, New York State Education Department.

NYS Clinical Course Chart

New York State Clinical Course Chart for Required Coursework

Diagnosis & Assessment in Clinical Social Work Process

New York State Requires Course Content on the D.S.M. Diagnosis & Assessment Framework

2 credit hours (–to Spring 1993)
SWK 601: Fundamentals of Social Work Practice I: Individuals, Families & Groups
SWK 602: Fundamentals of Social Work Practice II: Individuals, Families & Groups

4 credit hours (Fall 1993-Spring 1997)
SWK 601: Fundamentals of Social Work Practice I
SWK 602: Fundamentals of Social Work Practice II

3 credit hours (Fall 1997-present)
SWK 601: Fundamentals of Social Work Practice I

3 credit hours
SWK 724: Psychopathology*
SWK 730: Family Systems Theory
SWK 705: SWK Practice in Health

1 credit hour
SWK 740: Family Systems Concepts
SWK 740: Psychodynamic Concepts*
SWK 750: Mental Health Issues in Late Life
SWK 760: Clinical Assessment Using the SWMIII-R*

* Has DSM content

Clinical Social Work Treatment

3 credit hours
SWK 730: Family Systems Theory
SWK 732: Advance Practice with Individuals, Families & Groups
SWK 712: Clinical Social Work with Groups
SWK 701: Social Work Practice in Family Mental Health I
SWK 705: Social Work Practice in Health I
SWK 707: Short Term Intervention in Social Work
SWK 708: Social Work Practice with Children & Families I
SWK 648: Seminar on Mental Health
SWK 725: Group Behavior
SWK 733: Social Work Practice in Mental Health
SWK 743: Advanced Integrated Social Work Practice

1 credit hour
SWK 740: Child Therapy
SWK 740: Crisis Intervention
SWK 740: Psychotherapy
SWK 760: Crisis Intervention in Health Care

Clinical Social Work Practice with General & Special Populations

3 credit hours
SWK 701: Social Work Practice in Family Mental Health I
SWK 702: Social Work Practice in Family Mental Health II
SWK 703: Direct Practice with the Elderly
SWK 705: Social Work Practice in Health I
SWK 706: Social Work Practice in Health II
SWK 707: Short Term Intervention in Social Work
SWK 708: Social Work Practice with Children & Families I
SWK 709: Social Work Practice with Children & Families II
SWK 781: Social Work Practice and Substance Abuse
SWK 700: Principles and Methods of Social Work Practice with Black Families
SWK 734: Feminist Social Work Practice
SWK 735: Principles and Methods of Social Work Practice with Black Families
SWK 736: Evidence-Based Approaches to Mental Health Treatment
SWK 738: Core Concepts in Trauma Treatment in Children & Adolescents
SWK 740: Treatment of Complex Trauma with Individuals
SWK 784: Genetic Disorders and Social Support

3 credit – 1988 or earlier
SWK 620: Human Sexuality
SWK 701: Family Therapy Practice
SWK 702: Family Therapy
SWK 702: Family Therapy Practice
SWK 703: Direct Service with the Elderly

1 credit courses
SWK 740: Alcoholism & Substance Abuse
SWK 740: Alternate Family Styles
SWK 740: Death & Dying
SWK 740: Human Sexuality
SWK 740: Topics in Family Mental Health: Alcoholism & Substance Abuse
SWK 740: Topics in Family Mental Health: Perspectives on Human Sexuality
SWK 750: Topics in Gerontology: Mental Health Issues in Late Life
SWK 750: Aging – Direct Service Skills
SWK 760: Infertility and Reproductive Technologies

ASWB Pass Rates

A.S.W.B. Licensure Exam Pass Rates

The Association of Social Work Boards (A.S.W.B.) owns, maintains and administers 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 A.S.W.B. Master’s and Clinical examinations.

Master’s examination

(required for licensure as an L.M.S.W. in New York)*

School 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Syracuse University 97% 80% 87% 87% 88% 88%
All NY Schools 78% 80% 79% 81% 80% 82%
National Rate 81% 81% 81% 82% 82% 84%

Clinical examination

(required for licensure as an L.C.S.W. in New York)**

School 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Syracuse University 86% 85% 87% 89% 88% 82%
All NY Schools 80% 82% 78% 81% 80% 77%
National Rate 78% 78% 76% 78% 78% 77%

*Entry to Master’s exam in New York requires application for licensure and an M.S.W. degree (macro or clinical).
**Entry to Clinical exam in New York requires application for licensure, clinical M.S.W. or sufficient clinical coursework as part of the M.S.W., and completion of 36 months of supervised experience, acceptable to S.E.D.