District of Columbia Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) Guide - 2024

AKA: District of Columbia LGSW License

Social Worker License

by Social Worker License Staff

Updated: April 24th, 2023

District of Columbia Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) Licensure Process

Attaining the Licensed Graduate Social Worker or LGSW license allows you to practice clinical and non-clinical work while under supervision. You can start your application for this license as early as the final semester of your graduate program.

Educational Requirement

You are required to hold a master’s degree in social work coming from an accredited program by the CSWE to attain an LGSW license. Several programs are available in DC, and they share similar core curriculums. The main difference between institutions is their offering of electives or specializations in specific areas. Here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in DC.

The MSW program typically takes two years to complete. Students who enter with a BSW, though, can get an advanced standing that allows them to complete it in a year.

Upon completing the MSW, you will have a terminal degree in practicing social work. That means you have the highest level of education possible to perform social work jobs in the district.

Application Requirement

The process starts with completing the new license application form from the HRLA. It needs to come with the following supporting documents:

  • Character references
  • Name change documents
  • Work experience form
  • Social Security Number
  • Degree transcript that comes in a sealed envelope. A written request can be made and should include your expected graduation date.
  • Application fee of $230

All applicants need to go through a criminal background check, which is paid separately. If this is your first time taking the CBC conducted by the HRLA, your fingerprints will be taken.

Examination Requirement

Your application will be assessed for eligibility by the Board of Social Work. Once approved, your next step is to register for the ASWB Master’s exam. It has 170 multiple choice questions that cover the master’s level of social work. Click here to get ready for the exam.

After completing the test, your score will be sent directly to the Board of Social Work approximately two weeks after your exam date.

If you pass the exam and have gone through all the proper application steps, the Social Work Board will give you your LGSW license. With that, you can practice non-clinical social work in the district under the supervision of a LISW or LICSW. You can also practice clinical social work with LICSW supervision.