Licensure Initiative

The University of Kentucky College of Social Work (CoSW) is dedicated to ensuring our students are ready for social work practice upon graduation. For most students, this will include obtaining a social work license. We, as faculty and staff, take serious the responsibility to prepare students for professional social work licensure.

Our Licensing Preparation Initiative (LPI) does just that.

LPI is a strategic CoSW initiative designed to ensure that our graduates receive the knowledge necessary to prepare for the licensing exam AND understand laws and regulations governing social work practice. This initiative has had a profound impact on our students. But, don’t take our word for it – the numbers speak for themselves: 

#1 in Kentucky in undergraduate licensing pass rates for first time test-takers.  

#1 in Kentucky in graduate licensing pass rates for first time test-takers. 

#1 in Kentucky in clinical licensing pass rates for first time test-takers. 

CoSW students and alumni score 12.6 points ABOVE the national average for all three exams. 

How do we do it? It’s the UK Difference.

LPI entails:

-Structured student orientations to licensing processes.

-Classes that include embedded activities to prepare students for taking licensing exams. 

-Preparatory workshops led by national experts on social work licensing. 

-First time test takers who pass the licensing exam before or immediately following graduation enter a drawing for the exam cost to be reimbursed.

No matter where you live or plan to practice, we will prepare you for licensing! 

Please note that licensing laws are different in each state. You will need to check regulatory requirements in your state.

Rankings above are based on most recent available data (1.3.20)

Dear Student,

A professional licensure or certification may be required to practice, advance, or specialize in social work. This program meets the educational requirements in Kentucky to pursue a certified social worker (CSW) license pending successful completion of the licensing examination and all other state requirements, and to pursue a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) license, pending successful completion of all additional practice experience, examination, and other state requirements. The program is approved by the Kentucky Council of Postsecondary Education. However, educational requirements for licensure vary by state. Please find your state in the attached list of state licensure information to determine if your program can lead to licensure or certification in your state of residence.

Although the University of Kentucky works to update educational licensure requirements for each state, it is recommended that students inquire with their state licensing board to learn about all licensure requirements in their field. Additional licensure requirements for individuals may include professional examinations, background checks, years of work experience, fingerprinting requirements, etc. Students who plan to pursue licensure should be aware that state licensure requirements are subject to change.

Important note for relocating during the course of a program: Prospective and current students should keep in mind that licensing and authorization requirements vary by state and that relocating during the course of a program to another state could impact whether that student can continue in the program and/or meet the eligibility requirements of that state. If you are considering relocating, please contact your program to check for authorization and licensure eligibility requirements.

MSW Licensure Information by State

Licensure Information by State

Masters in Social Work program Updated: 23 July 2018

Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Master Social Worker license in Alabama. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Social Work program does not meet the educational requirements for a Licensed Clinical Social Worker license in California. Out-of-state applicants must complete an 18 hour course on California law and professional ethics. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Colorado State Board of Social Work Examiners

Alaska Board of Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky has not determined whether the Masters of Social Work program meets the educational requirements for licensure in Alaska. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (Social  Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for a licensed master social worker license in Arizona. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Master Social Worker license in Arkansas. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

California Board of Behavioral Sciences (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker license in Colorado. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Connecticut Department of Public Health (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Master Social Worker in Connecticut. Please be aware that licensure in Connecticut also requires post- master’s social work experience. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Delaware Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Clinical Social Worker in Delaware. Please be aware that licensure in Delaware also requires post-master’s clinical social work experience. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

District of Columbia Department of Health (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Graduate Social Worker license in the District of Columbia. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family  Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The Masters of Social Work program meets the educational requirements, including the required 24 clinical course hours, for licensure in Florida. Depending on the type of licensure sought, different exams and requirements will be given. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors,  Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists(Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Master Social Worker license in Georgia. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker license in Hawaii. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Masters Social Worker license in Idaho. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional  Regulation (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky has not determined whether the Masters of Social Work program meets the educational requirements for licensure in Illinois. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing  Board (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker license in Indiana. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Iowa Department of Public Health (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky has not determined whether the Masters of Social Work program meets the educational requirements for licensure in Iowa. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (Social Work)

Massachusetts Board of Registration of Social Workers

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Master Social Worker license in Kansas. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Certified Social Worker license in Massachusetts. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Master’s Social Worker license in Louisiana. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Maine State Board of Social Worker Licensure The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Master’s Social Worker license in Maine. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Masters Social Worker license in Maryland. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory  Affairs (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Master’s Social Worker.

Students with an MSW can receive a limited license for a Master’s Social Worker. An additional 4,000 supervised practice is required for a fully licensed Master’s Social Worker. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Minnesota Board of Social Work

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Graduate Social Worker license in Minnesota. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Mississippi State Board of Examiners (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Master’s Social Worker license in Mississippi. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Missouri Division of Professional Regulation (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Master Social Worker in Missouri. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Montana Board of Behavioral Health (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker license. Montana requires at least 24 months of supervised post master’s degree work experience in psychotherapy, which includes 3,000 hours of social work experience, of which at least 1,500 hours in direct client contact within 5 years prior to application. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Nebraska Department of Mental Health and Social Work Practice (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Certified Social Worker license in Nebraska. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker license in Nevada. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker license in New Hampshire. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

New Jersey State Board of Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker license in New Jersey. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

New Mexico Board of Social Work Examiners The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work

Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Master Social Worker license in New Mexico. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

New York Office of the Professions (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. Licensed Master Social Worker applicants are required to have CSWSE- accredited Masters of Social Work to begin seeking licensure. Additionally, New York requires 900 hours of field education as  well as coursework in the following areas: diversity, social justice, and at-risk populations, foundation and advanced social work practice, human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policy and service delivery, social work practice evaluation and research, social work values and ethics. The University of Kentucky Masters of Social Work program can meet the licensure requirements if students complete the required coursework and field education requirements. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Certified Master Social Worker license in North Carolina. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Certified Social Worker license in North Dakota. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Ohio Board of Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and  Family Therapist Board (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker license in Ohio. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Masters Social Worker license in Oklahoma. Other  requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Masters Social Worker license in Oregon. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and  Family Therapists and Professional Counselors (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker license in Pennsylvania. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Puerto Rico Board of Professional Social Workers

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements to be licensed for the profession of Social Work in Puerto Rico. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Rhode Island Board of Social Work Examiners The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker license in Rhode Island. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

South Carolina Board of Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Masters Social Worker license in South Carolina. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Certified Social Worker license in South Dakota. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Tennessee Board of Social Workers

specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Masters Social Worker license in Texas. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Utah Division of Occupational and Professional  Licensing (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Certified Social Worker license in Utah. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Vermont Board of Social Workers

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Masters Social Work license in Vermont. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Virgin Islands Department of Licensing and Consumer  Affairs (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Masters Social Worker license in Tennessee. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for

  • The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Certified Social Worker license in the Virgin Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit

the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional  Services (Social Work)

Virginia Board of Social Work

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker license in Virginia. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Washington State Department of Health (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Social Worker- Associate license in Washington. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for a Social Work Certificate in Wisconsin. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing  Board (Social Work)

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Certified Social Worker license in Wyoming. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

West Virginia Board of Social Work

The Masters of Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work  Education. The University of Kentucky Masters in Social Work program meets the educational requirements for the Graduate Social Worker license in West Virginia. Other requirements such as background checks, fingerprinting, examination results, etc. may apply. Please visit the state board’s website for specific licensure requirements or contact Distance Learning.

For more information on our program’s SARA compliance please see here.

For more information or questions, please visit UK Online or contact Sara Green in the Masters of Social Work program.

Thank you,

Emily Woods, MSEd
Distance Learning Compliance Coordinator
University of Kentucky
ITS Academic Technologies and Faculty Engagement
518F King Library
Lexington, KY 40506
859-218-6782
eawo223@uky.edu