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Licensing Information

New York State LMSW Licensing Requirements and ASWB Masters Exam Information

Updated: 1/12/2015

Becoming a Licensed Master Social Worker in NY

Questions regarding licensure can be addressed to the NY State Board of Social Work at 518.474.3817 (x592) or

  • Download Licensed Master Social Worker Application packet here.

  • Complete FORM 1 (Application for Licensure) and mail to NYS Education Department – Office of Professions (full address on application)
  • Complete Section I: Applicant Information on FORM 2 (Certification of Professional Education)
    • Mail or hand deliver to NYU Registrar – Academic Records:
      Student Services Center
      25 West Fourth Street, New York, NY 10012-1199
    • When you have graduated, NYU - Academic Records will verify your degree once it is posted and will forward FORM 2 to the NYS Education Department on your behalf free of charge.

  • After receiving an approval letter from NYS Education Department - Office of the Professions, register with the Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) for the Master’s exam (fee: $230).
  • After receiving email confirmation from ASWB, follow the instructions to choose your test site.
Limited Permits - for those with a job offer and require license immediately after graduation (if not working in an exempt agency).


If you you have met the education requirement for licensure as an LMSW, in order to practice licensed master social work prior to passing the examination, you must apply for a limited permit (Form 5) and pay the fee ($70 in addition to the application and fee for licensure).

Please note that:

  • The limited permit is valid for one year and may not be renewed.
  • You must complete the two-hour Department approved course in the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect or file an exemption using Form 1CE (available on the web) before a permit or license will be issued.
  • You must be under the general supervision of an LMSW or LCSW, who is in the same facility and accessible to you.
  • You can take the ASWB examination every 90 days if you do not pass the first time. If you are at risk of losing your job, the ASWB will waive the 90-day waiting period upon written request.
  • If you have not passed the exam when the limited permit expires you may not practice as a licensed master social worker unless you work in an exempt setting.
  • For more detailed information please see the Limited Permits section of the website.

New Jersey Requirements for Law

New Jersey

Becoming a Licensed Master Social Worker in NJ
  • You may apply to take ASWB Master's exam in last semester of the MSW program. For more information visit the NASW NJ Chapter's website. Please note: Licenses in NJ and NY are not reciprocal.

  • Download the Application for Pre-approval
    • Obtain an official transcript from the NYU Registrar to send with application. (Note: It will not be a final transcript. It confirms you are in the last semester of study).
    • Submit notarized application with $75 fee to:
      NJ State Board of Social Work Examiners (BSWE)
      PO Box 45033
      Newark, NJ 07101
  • NJ Board will send you authorization to sit for the exam.

  • If you take the exam in NY, be certain to indicate that the score should be sent to the NJ Board.

  • After you have passed the exam, download and complete the Application for Licensure as a Licensed Social Worker. The application fee of $75 that you previously paid will be applied to your formal application process.

  • After you have graduated, obtain an official final transcript from the NYU Registrar that states your MSW degree has been granted. Send this, and your fingerprint history with your formal application.

  • Your application must be approved by the NJ Board of Social Work Examiners, which meets during the 2nd week of each month.

  • You will receive a letter advising you of the next steps including payment of the licensure fee. You will receive your license after your payment has been processed. This could take 8-10 weeks. Please note: You may not practice as an LSW until you receive your paper license in the mail.

Licensing in Connecticut


Please refer to the NASW - Connecticut Chapter website for information on obtaining your LMSW in CT. 

Requirements for the LCSW in Connecticut:

  • MSW
  • 3000 hours of supervised experience
  • ASWB Clinical or Advanced Generalist Exam



Get more information and answers to frequent questions about applying for Social Work Licensure in New York State from the


Spring 2015
In addition to the in-class licensing exam preparation covered in your Practice IV class, NYU Silver School of Social Work is offering a series of Master’s Exam Prep Workshops to graduating MSW students. This workshop will be free of charge and will be conducted by Christine Fewell, Ph.D., LCSW, an experienced Exam Prep tutor and extended board member of the NY State Board for Social Work.

A thorough grounding in the NASW Code of Ethics is important for professional social work practice and is an important part of the ASWB Master's Exam. The first half of this workshop will review the Code of Ethics, including the principles of confidentiality, duty to warn and duty to protect, and dual relationships. Case scenarios will be used to illustrate ethical principles encountered in practice situations.

The second half of the workshop will be group review of questions from the ASWB Master’s online Practice Exam that relate to the overview of the Code of Ethics. This will illustrate how material is formulated into exam questions. The rationale for the answers will be discussed, together with a review of strategies for answering multiple-choice questions. Other suggestions for review will be illustrated through selected group practice questions.



If you are unable to attend one of these sessions, a video of Dr. Fewell's presentation is available on NYUClasses > Silver Student Resources > Resources > "Licensing".


ASWB develops and maintains four categories of social work licensure examinations: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical. Not every jurisdiction uses all four categories, so candidates must be sure to check with individual boards to find out which examinations are appropriate for the jurisdiction in which they are seeking licensure.

Each examination contains 170 four-option, multiple-choice questions designed to measure minimum competencies at four categories of practice. Only 150 of the 170 items are scored; the remaining 20 questions are "pretest" items included to measure their effectiveness as items on future examinations. These pretest items are scattered randomly throughout the examination. Candidates have four hours to complete the test, which is administered electronically.

Examinations are administered by appointment at ACT test centers throughout the U.S. There are no fixed administration dates; instead, registered candidates schedule a time to take the test.

Special accommodations are available for candidates with disabilities. Additionally, many jurisdictions offer arrangements for candidates whose first language is not English. New York State does not.


The study guide that the Silver School of Social Work suggests for the ASWB Exam is the ASWB Master's Examination Study Guide, which may be purchased online.

Further information about the ASWB Exam can be found at the ASWB web site.


Information about requirements for licensure in other states can be found through links on the ASWB web site.