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Licensing Information

New York State LMSW Licensing Requirements and ASWB Masters Exam Information

Updated: 09/06/2017

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

For those who are interested in applying for licensure online, you can access the electronic application here. If you prefer to complete the paper application, please follow the instructions below:

  • 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
      383 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003
    • 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).
    • Click here to register
    • After registering and paying, you may choose to purchase access to the online practice exam ($85) online or by calling 1-800-225-6880. Please note that this is the same exam you may have reviewed in your Practice IV class.
  • After receiving email confirmation from ASWB, follow the instructions to choose your test site.

NEW - Demystifying Licensing Webinar
Are you in trying to understand the paperwork required for licensing? Does the process have you a bit confused? If so, we have great news for you! Alum Anne Hoffman, MSW '15, created a webinar presentation to help you understand each step and each form that you need to get your license.

Watch Anne Hoffman's webinar

Limited Permits - for those with a job offer who require a 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, unless you are employed in an "exempt" agency).

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.
Please visit the website for additional information about Limited Permits and Corporate Practice Waivers

New Jersey Requirements for LSW

New Jersey

Becoming a Licensed 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. Check the BSWE website. When a license number is listed with your name, you are offically licensed and may begin to work within the scope of practice of a LSW

Licensing in Connecticut



Become a Licensed Master Social Worker in Connecticut (LMSW)

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

  • After receiving your MSW, apply online at the DPH website:
  • Application fee is $220.00
  • After receiving approval from CT DPH, register for ASWB Master's Exam
  • Please note that a one-time temporary license is available for those working in a clinical capacity who have not yet taken the exam. It is only available and valid for 120 days beginning with your graduation date.   



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.


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 Pearson VUE 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.


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


In addition to the in-class licensing exam preparation covered in your Practice IV class, NYU Silver School of Social Work offers a series of Master’s Exam Prep Workshops to graduating MSW students. This workshop is free of charge and conducted by Christine Fewell, PhD, 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 reviews 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 is a 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.

Dates and RSVP announcements will be sent out via NYUClasses - Practice IV sites  


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


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