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Ohio Social Work Licensure

How to become a Social Worker in Ohio

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Ohio. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board at (614) 466-0912 to make sure you are on the right track.

Follow the steps to earn your Ohio Social Work License:

Step One:

Complete the education requirements for the particular licensure best fit for you:

  • Social Worker Assistant (SWA) licensure requires you to have at least an associate degree from an accredited school.
  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW) licensure requires at least a bachelor's degree in social work from an accredited school.
  • Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) licensure requires all candidates to have at least a master's degree in social work from an accredited school.

Request information from schools offering social work degree programs.

Step Two:

Work experience requirements for associated Ohio social work licensure:

  • Social Worker Assistant (SWA) - No experience is required
  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW) - No experience is required
  • A Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) candidate needs to complete two years of supervised work experience once they have completed a masters degree program and have received the LSW license.

More information about the required work experience and qualifying supervisors can be found by downloading the Laws and Rules off the following Ohio Board's webpage.

Step Three:

To be approved to take the examinations for LSW or LISW, you will need to apply online to the Ohio Board.

You can apply to sit for these examinations by completing the following online application process, click here. A SWA needs to download the application or apply online. Once the Board has reviewed and approved your application, supporting documents, and fees, you will receive licensure as no exam is necessary.

Download the SWA forms here.

Step Four:

When the Board approves your online application the LSW and LISW will be approved to sit for the appropriate examination. A LSW will need to take the Bachelor's Examination while a LISW will need to take either the Clinical or Advanced Generalist Examination.

Both exams are developed by the Association of Social Work Boards and more information can be found on their website.

Step Five:

Once the Board has received all official documents and approved your application, you will be notified of your licensure eligibility.

This process can take some time, so being aware of deadlines and keeping your Ohio Social Worker license active is important.

Ohio Social Work Schools & Colleges
Note: This list contains online and campus schools that accept students from Ohio.
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked #11 in the 2015 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
            • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
            • Has 4,000 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
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            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
            • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
            • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
            • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
            • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Online Courses
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Provides an exclusive Ashford Mobile app to keep students connected to the online classroom on the go.
            • Offers a business program in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
            • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
            • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
            • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
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            • Online Courses
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Among the top 15% of military-friendly colleges, universities, & trade schools in the nation. 
            • A Service Members Opportunities College.
            • Accepts employer tuition assistance. 
            • Recognized by The Princeton Review Guide to 311 Green Colleges as one of 311 institutions of higher education that demonstrates notable commitments to sustainability.  
            • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc. (NEASC).
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Online school designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Commited more than $60 million in tuition savings in 2015 through scholarships.
            • Active-duty military, veterans, and Veteran’s Administration employees can save 15% on tuition.
            • Offers 24/7 student services, including financial aid help, course registration, and career counseling.
            • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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            • Online Courses
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
            • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
            • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
            • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
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            • Online Courses
            2 Program(s) Found

            •        Several campuses are designated as 2015 Military Friendly Schools by Victory Media.

            •        Scholarships and other financial aid opportunities are available for students who qualify.

            •        Day, evening, and online classes are available for flexible schedule options.

            •        Regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

            •        Founded 160 years ago, it is one of America’s premier private career colleges.

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