Licensure Information

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. 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. 

    • If you have not graduated, please note: the Board has changed the application procedure and now requires you to upload a letter of good standing with your application. Upon submitting an application to graduate, please e-mail us if you need a letter and we will e-mail you a letter of good standing to include when you apply for licensure.
  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.
    • 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. Order 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 BCI and FBI criminal records check


State of Ohio Social Work Licensing Board

Association of Social Work Boards

Social Work Examination Services

Licensing requirements Information