Degrees & Programs

Licensing Requirements


States legally regulate the practice of social work to protect the public and control the use of the social work title and practice. Each state defines by law what is required for each level of social work license. Our students are exceptionally well prepared for the Bachelor’s level licensure exam. In 2011, 93% of our students passed the exam on their first attempt, as compared to the 78% national average. Baccalaureate and master’s degrees must be obtained from programs of social work that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Below are the steps to consider when applying for licensure:

  1. Identify the state in which you plan to work as a social worker. Search the database on The Association of Social Work Boards for each state’s licensing levels and licensing board websites.
  2. Review the state’s licensure requirements and application materials.
  3. Identify if an exam is required and which exam you must pass.
  4. If you are required to take an exam, consider taking the exam and applying for licensure during the term you plan to graduate.

Social Work Licensure in the State of Ohio

Below are the steps to take to become an LSW in the state of Ohio: 

  1. Complete the LSW application, online or paper version, and pay the $60.00 application fee (keep job descriptions brief): 
  2. After applying, submit the Request for Exam Pre-Approval form, via fax at (614)728-7790 with a copy of your social work transcript. 

    1. If you have not graduated, please note that the College of Social Work automatically sends letters of good standing to its current-term graduates. Students must submit this letter of good standing to the Board. These letters of good standing allow for you to proceed with exam pre-approval.
  3. You will receive an exam pre-approval letter, via email, approving you to contact the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to pay the $230 examination fee.
    1. ASWB will mail information so you can register with an ACT testing center for the exam.
  4. After you pass the exam, fax or mail your passing exam score to the board.
  5. Pass the board’s online Laws & Rules Exam.
  6. Have your school mail official transcripts, showing your degree conferred, directly to the board. Your license cannot be issued until we have received a copy directly from your school.
  7. Complete the BCII and FBI criminal records check

For more information on social work licensing in the state of Ohio, please visit:

State of Ohio Social Work Licensing Board:


Licensing Resources

Association of Social Work Boards (
Creates the social work licensing exams, provides information about each of the state requirements for licensing, offers preparation materials for the licensing exam, and has an online database with licensing information in all states (found here).

Social Work Examination Services (
Offers licensing exam preparation- books and courses.

For more information regarding licensing requirements visit (
This website features state-specific guides to issues facing social workers.

State-By-State Licensure Guide (PDF)
A state-by-state guide to licensure requirements.