Iowa Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) Guide - 2024

AKA: Iowa LMSW License

Social Worker License

by Social Worker License Staff

Updated: April 24th, 2023

Iowa Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) Licensure Process

The LMSW is the second level of licensure available for social workers. With this licensure, you can perform the same activities as an LBSW and additionally:

  • Provide clients with psychosocial diagnoses and treatments
  • Make assessments regarding psychosocial and behavioral strengths and weaknesses
  • Assess psychosocial therapy for individuals, families, couples, and groups

Education Requirements

You’ll need a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from a CSWE-accredited program. You can also become an LMSW with a doctoral degree in social work.

Find all schools offering social work degree programs in Iowa.

Application Process

After meeting the education requirements, your next step is to submit an application for LMSW licensure through the Department of Public Health Bureau of Professional Licensure’s Online Services page or by downloading a hard copy and mailing it to the Board via the LMSW application available online. Get in contact with your school or university to request a copy of your official transcripts be sent to the Board and pay the appropriate application fee.

Background Check

You are required to pass a criminal background check to obtain licensure as a social worker. While fingerprints are not required to request a criminal history record check, there are certain circumstances where they may be requested to confirm the applicant’s identity and the validity of the record. You are required to disclose any prior convictions on your application, but depending on the nature of the crime, you may not automatically be barred from obtaining a license. The Frequently Asked Questions About Having a Criminal Conviction page can help you determine whether or not you can get a social worker’s license in Iowa.

Examination Requirements

Now it’s time to sign up for the ASWB Master’s Examination, but first, you will need approval from the Board. Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you are eligible to take the test and submit the required exam fee. Once the 170-question exam is completed, you will be informed whether you have passed, and the Board will be sent a copy of your scores. After the Board is notified of your passing score, they will grant your LMSW license, permitting you to practice master’s-level social work.