Social Work Licensure in Minnesota

Social work licensure is regulated at the state level, and thus varies from state to state. In general, social workers must graduate from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program in order to be eligible to take the graduate-level licensure exam offered via the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

In Minnesota, through the state's Board of Social Work a person can be licensed at the LSW level after earning a bachelor's degree in social work from an accredited program, passing the required exam, and paying required fees set by the state. There are three levels of licensure for those who have earned a master's degree (MSW) and meet other standards and requirements of the Board. Licenses may be renewed every two-years. All documentation and requirements of the Board of Social Work (BOSW) for licensure are the responsibility of the individual seeking licensure, NOT the program from which they graduated nor their employer.

Minnesota BOSW licensure levels for those who have earned an MSW

  • Licensed graduate social worker (LGSW): MSW degree, ASWB graduate test, application, fees
  • Licensed independent social worker (LISW): Minimum 2-years post-MSW supervised practice, continuing education, ASWB advanced generalist test, application, fees  
  • Licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW): Minimum 2-years post-MSW supervised clinical practice, continuing education, ASWB clinical test, application, fees  

NOTE:This is only general, advisory information. You must contact the Minnesota Board of Social Work to learn more. Licensure in Minnesota for practice in other mental health and social service areas such as professional counseling, marriage and family therapy, psychology, and alcohol and drug counseling are governed and addressed by different statutes and other professional licensing boards.

Minnesota Social Work Legislation
The practice of professional social work is governed by the Board of Social Work under the guidance of statutes passed by the Minnesota State Legislature. While in our MSW Program we try to make students aware of changes regarding practice standards governed by these statutes. Such changes have included: provisional licensure, clinical content standards, and supervision standards among others. For the most up to date information it is best to contact the Board of Social Work directly. You may also consult the Minnesota State Statutes related to social work practice.

To read the most Current Legislation about Social Work Practice and Licensure in Minnesota go to: Minnesota Social Work Practice Statutes, Section 148E.185-148E.290

2020 Summer MSW Graduates - Clinical Content Information

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2016 Summer MSW Graduates - Clinical Content Information

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Practice of Supervision Content Information and Documentation