Human Services Guide
Wisconsin

Social Work Licensure in Wisconsin

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

Wisconsin 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. It is critically important to stay informed with regards to current regulations around licensure, here is the website for the State of Wisconsin:

In addition to licenses that require Social Work degrees, there is a limited license known as the Social Worker Training Certificate. This certificate allows certain amounts of limited social work. This certificate is a stepping stone towards more advanced licensure. This certificate is valid for 24 months. More information can be found here:

There are four different kinds of social work licenses in Wisconsin: Certified Social Worker (CSW), Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker (CAPSW), Certified Independent Social Worker (CISW) and the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

* Earn a Master of Social Work degree online from the top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. This CSWE-accredited program features live, online classes and hands-on field experiences near your community. GRE scores are not required to apply, and you can complete your degree in two years or less. Bachelor's degree required. Learn more and request information!

* SocialWork@Simmons is an innovative, online Master of Social Work program offered through the Simmons School of Social Work, the nation’s oldest school of social work. Complete your MSW in as little as 15 months with this CSWE-accredited program. No GRE required. Request information.

* Capella University offers several programs that may fit your education needs for a career in Social Work. An MSW and DSW are offered with CSWE Candidacy. If you do not yet possess a Bachelors Degree a variety of programs including BS in Psychology are available. Request Information Here.

Certified Social Worker (CSW)

  • If you wish to attain the Certified Social Worker (CSW) in Wisconsin, you must first get a Bachelor’s, Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • Wisconsin is one of the few states to offer reciprocity in regards to credentialing of social work in other states. You must still pay the required fee for licensure, but if you can prove you hold a “substantially equivalent” license in another state or US Territory, you may be able to earn a reciprocal license.
  • There is no field experience requirement for this position.
  • You will need to pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Exam along with the Wisconsin state exam.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 30 contact hours of continuing education.

Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker (CAPSW)

  • If you wish to hold the title of Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker (CAPSW) in Wisconsin, you must first get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • There is no field experience requirement for this license.
  • Once you have completed and sent in your application you may apply with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) for their Master’s Level exam. You must also pass the Wisconsin state exam.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 30 contact hours of continuing education.

Certified Independent Social Worker (CISW)

  • To become a Certified Independent Social Worker (CISW) in Wisconsin, you must first get your Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • Wisconsin is one of the few states to offer reciprocity in regards to credentialing of social work in other states. You must still pay the required fee for licensure, but if you can prove you hold a “substantially equivalent” license in another state or US Territory, you may be able to earn a reciprocal license.
  • When applying for this license you will need to provide verification of at least 3,000 hours of experience in a supervised Social Work setting.
  • You must then receive a passing score on an Association of Social Workers ASWB Clinical Level Exam and the Wisconsin state exam.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 36 contact hours of continuing education.
  • Learn about The Bachelors Degree in Social Work (BSW)
  • Learn about The Doctorate Degree is Social Work (DSW)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

  • If you wish to attain the title Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Wisconsin, you must first get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or College. Your degree must include supervised clinical field training, a clinical focus in pre-master’s level course work and field placement that includes a psychopathology in social work course and a concentration in clinical social work.
  • Wisconsin is one of the few states to offer reciprocity in regards to credentialing of social work in other states. You must still pay the required fee for licensure, but if you can prove you hold a “substantially equivalent” license in another state or US Territory, you may be able to earn a reciprocal license.
  • To apply you must have accrued at least 3,000 hours of focused practice in clinical social work. This must include a minimum of 1,000 hours of face-to-face client contact. You must also have experience in DSM diagnosis and related treatments of individuals during a span of time of at least 2 years. You must complete this work under a board approved supervisor. If you did not meet the clinical field placement requirement for education from your MSW or DSW programs, you may still qualify for a license if you have completed a minimum of 4,500 hours of supervised clinical social work experience.
  • Finally, you will need to pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical Level Exam along with the Wisconsin state exam. Once you pass the test you will be eligible to receive your new title Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Wisconsin.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 30 contact hours of continuing education.
MSW@USC
University of Southern California