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.

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

MSW Program Licensure Information

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 requirementsThe 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.

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

For more information or questions, please visit UK Online or the Masters of Social Work program at