Human Services Guide
Massachusetts

Social Work Licensure in Massachusetts

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

Site of the historical Boston Tea Party and one of the original 13 colonies that revolted against England, Massachusetts has one of the oldest histories of any state in the US. With some of the best schools in the country and a rich history, Massachusetts is a great state to start your licensed Social Work career in. It is important to remember that there can always be updates or changes to a state’s rules and regulations. Remember, that the best way to stay informed with current regulations is the state’s website on licensure. Here is the website for the State of Massachusetts:

There are four different kinds of social work licenses in Massachusetts: Licensed Social Worker Assistant (LSWA), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).

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 Work Assistant (LSWA)

  • If you wish to attain the title Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Massachusetts, you must first get an Associate’s degree in a human services field. Alternately you may hold a High School diploma but are required to have four years of documented experience in a human services field.
  • If you do not have an associate’s degree you must also provide three professional references. You must then apply for the title providing proof of education to the Massachusetts State Board of Social Work Examiners.
  • Finally, you must pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Associate Level Exam.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 10 contact hours of continuing education.

Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

  • If you wish to attain the title Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Massachusetts, you must first get a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • If you have an unrelated bachelor’s degree you will need a minimum of 3,500 hours of supervised practice. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree but have at least 2.5 years of college you will need 5 full years of supervised practice, if you have one year of collegiate experience you will need eight years of supervised practice. If you only have a high school diploma you will need a full ten years of supervised practice to apply.
  • You must also provide one (BSW applicants) to three professional references (all other candidates). You must then apply for the title providing proof of education to the Massachusetts State Board of Social Work Examiners.
  • Finally, you must pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Exam.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 15 contact hours of continuing education.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

  • To become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Massachusetts, you must first get your Master of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • You must also provide three professional recommendations including one second year field placement supervisory reference. Then you will need to receive a passing score on an Association of Social Workers ASWB Master Level Exam.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 20 contact hours of continuing education.

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)

  • If you wish to hold the title of Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Massachusetts, you must first get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • You must also provide proof of at least 3,500 hours of post-graduate clinical social work experience. The supervision must be by that of an LICSW or a professional with equivalent licensure in another state. You must log all 3,500 hours within a two year period that begins after graduation. The 3,500 hours must include 100 hours of face-to-face clinical supervision by the LICSW.
  • Once you have completed and sent in your application you may apply with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) for their Clinical Level exam. Once you pass the test you will be eligible to receive your new title of Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the state of Massachusetts.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 40 contact hours of continuing education.