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Pennsylvania Social Work Licensure

How to become a Social Worker in Pennsylvania

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Pennsylvania. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers at (717) 783-1389 to make sure you are on the right track.

Follow the steps to earn your Pennsylvania Social Work License:

Step One:

Complete education requirements for Pennsylvania social work licensure:

  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) licensure requires at least a masters degree in social work from an accredited school.

Request information from schools offering social work degree programs.

Step Two:

Complete professional experience requirements for the associated licensure:

  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW) - no experience is required
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) candidates are required to complete 3 years or 3000 hours of supervised work experience in a clinical setting.

More details about the hourly requirements and qualifying supervisors can be found on the Pennsylvania Code website.

Step Three:

Both levels of licensure candidates can apply to the Pennsylvania State Board by submitting the appropriate social work licensure application and including all necessary forms and fees.

  • LSW candidates need to submit the Social Worker - Application for Examination/Licensure.
  • LCSW candidates need to submit the Clinical Social Worker - Application for Examination/Licensure.

You can download the appropriate Pennsylvania SW licensure applications off the State Board's website.

Step Four:

After the Board has reviewed your application and decided that all qualifications have been met, you will be notified of your eligibility to take the examination developed by the Association of Social Work Boards.

  • A LSW applicants need to take the Masters level exam.
  • A LCSW applicants need to take the Clinical level exam.

Information about both exams can be found on the ASWB website.

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

Pennsylvania Social Work Schools & Colleges
Note: This list contains online and campus schools that accept students from Pennsylvania.
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Results:  10
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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
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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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5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Accredited
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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
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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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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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1 Program(s) Found

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.

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