Applying for a License

The Council issues three types of licenses for the practice of social work:

  • Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)
  • Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

In addition, the Council recognizes the following specialty recognitions for the license types:

  • Independent Practice Recognition (IPR) for LBSW and LMSW
  • Advanced Practice Recognition for LMSW (LMSW-AP)*no longer conferred as of 9/1/2017
  • Council-Approved Supervisor Status for LBSW, LMSW, and LCSW

The application packet for each type of license may be downloaded from the Board’s Forms and Publications webpage.

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker

The requirements for obtaining licensure as a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker are set forth in 22 TAC 781.401. Generally, these requirements include:

  • a baccalaureate degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited program;
  • passage of the Bachelor’s Examination administered nationally by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); and
  • passage of the Jurisprudence Examination.

Licensed Master Social Worker

The requirements for obtaining licensure as a Licensed Master Social Worker are set forth in 22 TAC 781.401.  Generally, these requirements include:

  • a master’s or doctoral degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited program and documentation in the form of a university transcript of successfully completing a field placement in social work;
  • passage of the Master’s Examination administered nationally by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); and
  • passage of the Jurisprudence Examination.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

The requirements for obtaining licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker are set forth in 22 TAC 781.401.  Generally, these requirements include:

  • a master’s or doctoral degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited program and documentation in the form of a university transcript of successfully completing a field placement in social work;
  • a minimum of 3,000 hours of Council-approved supervised professional clinical experience over a period of 24 to 48 months, or its equivalent if the experience was completed in another jurisdiction. Council-approved supervised professional experience must comply with 22 TAC 781.404;
  • a minimum of 100 hours of Council-approved supervision, over the course of the 3,000 hours of experience, with a Council-approved supervisor. Supervised experience must have occurred within the five calendar years immediately preceding the date of LCSW upgrade application;
  • passage of the Clinical Examination administered nationally by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); and
  • passage of the Jurisprudence Examination.
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Specialty Recognition

Independent Practice Recognition

The requirements for obtaining Independent Practice Recognition are set forth in 22 TAC 781.401.  Generally, these requirements include:

  • current licensure in the State of Texas as an LBSW or LMSW;
  • a minimum of 3,000 hours of Council-approved supervised social work experience over a period of 24 to 60 months, or its equivalent if the experience was completed in another jurisdiction. Council-approved supervised professional experience must comply with 22 TAC 781.404;
  • a minimum of 100 hours of Council-approved supervision, over the course of the 3,000 hours of experience, with a Council-approved supervisor. Supervised experience must have occurred within the five calendar years immediately preceding the date of independent practice recognition application; and
  • passage of the Jurisprudence Examination

Council-Approved Supervisor Recognition

The requirements for obtaining Council-Approved Supervisor Recognition are set forth in 22 TAC 781.404.  Generally, these requirements include:

  • current, active licensure in good standing in the State of Texas as an LBSW, LMSW, LCSW, or LMSW-AP, or hold the equivalent social work license in another jurisdiction for a minimum of two years; and
  • proof of completion of a supervisor’s training program acceptable to the Council.