New York Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) Guide - 2022

AKA: New York LMSW License

Last Reviewed: May 3rd, 2022

Licensor: NYSED OPSW

New York Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) Licensure Process

The first level of licensure is an LMSW. As an LMSW you are able to engage in advanced and specialist roles in healthcare and other clinical areas. You can also hold administrative positions and engage in diagnoses and psychotherapy sessions under supervision. Use the Licensed Master Social Worker checklist to ensure you send in all necessary paperwork.

Education Requirements

Once you have your bachelors in social work (BSW), you’ll need a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree to apply for LMSW licensure. Select a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to have your accomplishment acknowledged by the state. Your education will include field and classroom coursework so you are ready to effectively assist clients. The program curriculum must include:

  • Values and ethics in social work
  • Training in diversity, social justice, and dealing with at-risk populations
  • Human behavior in social environments
  • Social welfare policies and systems on social delivery
  • Foundational and advanced social work practices
  • Social work evaluation and research
  • 900 hours of social work incorporated into the coursework’s content

You must complete a minimum of 900 hours of field education with 18 of your required 60 credits completed while in the field. The other 42 credits will be spent in the classroom.

Find all schools offering social work degree programs in New York.

Experience Requirements

There is an experience requirement for those administering services for children and disabled adults residing in a residential facility. A course from a provider approved by the state on Mandated Training Related to Child Abuse must be passed. The training will allow you to identify and report child abuse according to state guidelines. You won’t need this training if you aren’t working with the specific population segment described and will have to submit a Certification of Exemption to be excluded from the prerequisite.

Background Check

All applicants are required to disclose any information regarding felony or misdemeanor convictions or professional disciplinary actions. Any documents relevant to the background check should be uploaded along with the LMSW application.

Applying for Licensure as a Master Social Worker

After completing the education and experience requirements, you can apply for LMSW licensure. Submit the application online for review. Here’s the information the Board needs to be uploaded:

There is an option for unlicensed social workers who meet the prerequisites and plan to take the Association for Social Workers Boards (ASWB) master’s exam, to apply for a limited permit. The permit is temporary and allows you to practice clinical services while supervised by an LCSW according to guidelines stipulated in the Education Law. The following is needed to receive a limited permit.

When applying for a limited permit a Certification of Supervision for Limited Permit form must be completed by you and your supervisor. A Plan for Supervised Experience is also needed if you want a limited permit. If the supervisor does not fully complete either application the licensure process will be delayed.

Unexpected circumstances will occur, and if one prevents you from moving forward with your application and you must withdraw, send an email to opunit5@nysed.gov, or call (518) 474-3817 ext. 592. You will receive a partial refund for any fees paid to the Board, but not for outside testing agencies. When you are ready to reapply for licensure you will have to do so as a new applicant and pay all associated fees.

The CSWE-accredited program you completed will send the Certification of Professional Education to the Board. If you cannot upload your information to the Board’s website, mail in the paperwork to:

New York State Education Department

Office of the Professions, Social Work Unit

89 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12234-1000

After reviewing the application and supporting documentation the board will determine whether you are approved to take the exam.

Examination Requirements

Once approved you can register for the sit-down exam which is about four hours and consists of 170 multiple-choice questions. If you receive a passing score, the Board is notified by the ASWB, and you are issued a license. The fee for the exam is $230.