Human Services Guide
Illinois

Social Work Licensure in Illinois

  • Find Education Requirements in Illinois for one of the following:

The great state of Illinois is home to the phenomenal city of Chicago. Bordering the Great Lakes and part of the center of our nation, Illinois is a state with a tremendous history and culture. Becoming part of the United States in 1783, Illinois has been an integral part of the union ever since. Whether you live in the vast metropolis of Chicago or a smaller municipality, Illinois is an excellent state to begin your career as a Licensed Social Worker. It is important to check in with each state’s Social Work board to get accurate and up to date information on the states licensing process. Here is the website for the State of Illinois:

First-time applicants for the Licensed Social Worker or Licensed Master Social Worker titles will be issued a provisional license once their application has been received and approved by the Illinois Social Work Licensing Board. This provisional license is good for one year during which a licensing exam must be taken.

The following programs require a Bachelors Degree. If you are seeking a Bachelors Degree or a tailored Graduate Degree use the green button to exact match a program in social work or related education fields.

* USC: Complete the advanced standing program available to earn an MSW degree in as little as 1 year, GRE Not Required. Learn more about the MSW from University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Request Information Here!

* SocialWork@Simmons: Complete the Online Masters of Social Work in as Little as 15 Months. GRE Not Required. Apply Today!

Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

  • If you wish to attain the title Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Illinois, you must first get a Master of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • You must apply for your license and pass a criminal background check. You then need to receive a passing score on an Association of Social Workers ASWB Master's Level / Intermediate Exam.
  • You can also apply to become a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) with just a Bachelor of Social Work. However, you must also provide proof of at least 3 years of supervised professional experience after you have received your B.S.W. degree. You will need to pass the same test as those with a Master’s degree.
  • Congratulations, you are now a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Illinois.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

  • If you wish to hold the title of Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) in Illinois, you must first get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • For persons with a Master of Social Work degree you must provide proof of 3,000 hours of satisfactory supervised clinical professional experience. All hours must have been performed after received your Master’s degree. For those with a Doctorate in Social Work, 2,000 hours of satisfactory supervised clinical professional experience after receiving your degree will need to be verified.
  • You must then apply for your license and pass a criminal background check. You then need to receive a passing grade on the Association of Social Workers ASWB Clinical Exam for Licensed Clinical Social Workers.
  • If you follow the above steps you are eligible to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Illinois.