Human Services Guide

Social Work Licensure in California

  • Find Education Requirements in California for the following:

California is one of the legendary states in the union. With Hollywood and Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Southern California, no other state is as glamorous as California. With beautiful pacific beaches, great weather and the mighty red woods there is so much to do and see in the state. California is a great state to get your social work license and start your career. 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 California:

There is only one type of license in California and that is the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Although, one needs to be registered as an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW) with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to gain the required experience to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

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.


Featured CSWE Accredited Social Work Programs- Request Information Below

* USC University of Southern California – School of Social Work - (MSW) Master of Social Work Online

* Simmons School of Social Work - (MSW) Master of Social Work Online

* University of Denver's top-20 school of Social Work - (MSW) Master of Social Work Online

* Fordham University - Graduate School of Social Services

The Green Button Leads to Our Direct Response Guide. Request Information From a Variety of School & Degree Programs!

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

If you wish to hold the title of Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) in California, you must first get a Master of Social Work or Doctorate 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 will then need to complete the following additional requirements and pre-examination coursework:

  • Human Sexuality (10 hours)
  • Substance Abuse and Dependency (15 hours)
  • Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting (7 hours)
  • Spousal Abuse Assessment and Reporting (15 hours for those who entered degree program after 1/1/2004; Course canbe any length for those who entered a degree program from 1/1/1995 to 12/31/2003)
  • Aging and Long Term Care (10 Hours only for those who entered a degree program on or after 1/1/2004; For all others this is not a pre-licensure requirement)

Finally, as a registered Associate Clinical Social Worker you must gain 3200 hours of supervised work experience in 104 weeks (2 years). You can find a breakdown of the required 3200 hours of experience here:

Once you have completed the above pre-examination requirements you will need to apply for the LCSW exam. You will need to pass the LCSW Standard Written Examination and the LCSW Written Clinical Vignette examination. Once you have completed these steps, you can now get your official Licensed Clinical Social Worker title and license in the state of California.