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BSW & MSW State Licensure

Information for students considering clinical social work practice

Tips for new ASU School of Social Work graduates on preparing for Arizona Social Work Licensure.

Click here for the presentation created by Josefina Ahumada for new graduates.

Arizona Social Work Licensure Tip Sheet 

If you are considering clinical social work practice you are required to apply for Baccalaureate Social Work Licensure (LBSW) or Master Social Work Licensure (LMSW). For other areas of social work practice (for example, administration, or community practice, or case management) licensure is voluntary. Please consult the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Web Site to review the specifics of the Social Work Licensure Requirements to determine whether or not licensure is applicable to your career plans.  Please consult the licensure resource links on this page for additional information on Arizona Licensure.

Tips on how to pre-prepare for your licensure application: LBSW and LMSW

  1. For complete information on the requirements and application process, please check the AzBBHE Web Site: or call  602-542-1882. Please note that this tip sheet is intended to guide ASU graduates on where to obtain information on licensure. This is not an official AzBBHE notice.
  2. Transcripts: The licensure application process requires that you submit an official copy of your university transcripts to verify your BSW or MSW degree. Prior to your actual graduation date you may request an official copy of your transcript (with your degree posted) to be mailed to you (do not mail to the AzBBHE). Once your degree is posted an official set of your transcript will be forwarded to you. You would then include the sealed official transcript with your application. You may request your transcripts online at MyASU Interactive. Be sure to indicate that you want a "hold request" to facilitate the posting of your final grades and degree.
  3. Data Reports: The application process requires that within 90 days of your application date that you acquire the following reports: National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and Health Care Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB). Information on how to obtain these reports is found at the AZBBHE website; as well at . You would submit the sealed NPDB and HIPDB reports with your application. If you intend to apply for licensure immediately upon graduation, you may time your request for these reports to coincide with the early request of your official transcripts.
  4. Fingerprint card: Applicants are required to submit a fingerprint card. See details at AzBBHE.
  5. Examination: To be licensed as a LBSW or LMSW you are required to take a licensing examination. On filing the appropriate application paperwork and on the Board’s approval you have 12 months to take the exam.  Examination information is found at the AzBBHE web site. Remember:  The examination can only be taken after you have submitted your application to the AzBBHE and received an official approval to take the exam.
  6. What if I do not pass the exam the first time?  If you fail you must wait 90 days before your second attempt.  If you don’t take the test within the time frame/or fail twice.  Your case is closed.  You must submit another application if you want to continue seeking licensure.
  7. Application Time Frame: Typically it will take up to ninety (90) days to process an application.
  8. The Board may issue a TEMPORARY LICENSE to an applicant who is applying for a regular license if the applicant submits an application within twelve months of graduation; the applicant completed all the requirements as determined by the credentialing committee; and the applicant has not previously taken the required exam. Temporary social work license expires 120 days after issuance by the Board.
  9. LCSW: The next level of licensure for Master Social Workers is the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Please consult the AzBBHE web site. The AzBBHE web page will advise you of the specific qualifications needed for LCSW licensing regarding the required number of work experience hours and clinical supervision hours needed for the LCSW license. Further, the web information will guide your search for identifying and securing a qualified clinical supervisor.
  10. ASU Accreditation Info: ASU is accredited by the North Central Association (NCA) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and has been accredited since 1931. The School of Social Work MSW Program at our Downtown Phoenix Campus (which includes our Tucson Component) was first accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in 1965. Our BSW Program was accredited by CSWE in 1974.
  11. Remember it is your responsibility to be informed on the rules and procedures for social work licensure.  Information may be found at the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners web page.
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