Licensing Requirements & Preparation
The Graduate MSW degree is the foundation of Social Work as a profession. Licensure is the national standard for practicing Social Workers.
Building on the foundation laid by the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, licensure enhances social workers’ professional opportunities, and affirms social work itself as a profession – an occupation that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification by a licensing body. Each state sets and governs its own rules for the Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) licensure, based on a national test administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). In general, a social worker must hold an MSW degree to apply for the LMSW license.
To become an LMSW in New York State, in addition to holding an MSW and passing the national exam, you must be at least 21 years old; be of good moral character; and complete mandated child abuse reporter training by an approved provider. More information is available from the New York State Education Department: www.op.nysed.gov/prof/sw.
The Silberman School of Social Work supports students and graduates in preparing for the licensure exam and successfully achieving the LMSW credential. The School has created Licensure Central to support each student’s LMSW journey.
Launched in 2017, Silberman Licensure Central is a digital gateway that provides students with resources, materials, information, and practical steps to help them become licensed LMSWs. It is available through the Hunter Blackboard portal:
Blackboard → SSSW Information Corner → Licensure Central
Silberman Licensure Central provides the following for students’ use:
- Instructions on the LMSW exam registration process for New York and New Jersey;
- Specifics on test prep, test simulation, study guides and outlines;
- Registration for one free LMSW test prep class, available in Summer, Fall and Winter Terms to SSSW students who complete the degree requirements;
- Additional links and resources.
Please visit the New York State Office of the Professions website: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/sw/
Courses related to licensure are also offered through the Silberman School of Social Work Department of Continuing Education. These include:
- LMSW Test Prep
- LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) Test Prep
- Mandatory Continuing Education Courses
For more information about Continuing Education courses, click here