North Carolina Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) Guide - 2024

AKA: North Carolina CMSW License

Social Worker License

by Social Worker License Staff

Updated: April 24th, 2023

North Carolina Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) Licensing Process

CMSWs perform many of the same duties as CSWs but practice on a more advanced level. Most CMSWs are employed as:

  • Medical social workers
  • School social workers
  • Social work supervisors

Education Requirements

A Master of Social Work (MSW) from a CSWE-approved program is required to become a CMSW. You can also hold a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) or Ph.D. in social work to apply for this certification.

Find all schools offering social work degree programs in North Carolina.

Background Check

Each social worker must pass a criminal background check. The Board will examine misdemeanors, felonies, and any disciplinary actions taken against you to determine if you qualify for certification. If you have any violations, include the court documents related to the history along with a cover letter explaining the matter and its personal and professional impact. The Board will let you know if you can proceed with applying for CMSW certification.

Applying for Certification as a Certified Master Social Worker

Now it’s time to send your application packet to the Board for review. Include three Professional Reference Forms and your official transcript from your school. These items should be sealed when the Board receives them. Don’t forget the application fee of $145.

Your packet will be reviewed by the Board, who will determine your eligibility for taking the ASWB  exam. After receiving the Board’s approval, send in the Exam Request Form with the required $40 fee to tell the Board you’re taking the Master’s exam.

Examination Requirements

Once your exam request is approved, you can pay the $230 testing fee and sign up for the ASWB Master’s Exam. There are 170 multiple choice questions to assess your social work knowledge on an advanced level.

About two weeks after taking the exam, the Board will receive your scores, and once they are notified of your passing score, you will be issued a CMSW certification.