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Tennessee Social Work Licensure

How to become a Social Worker in Tennessee

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Tennessee. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Tennessee Board of Social Workers at (615) 532-5088 to make sure you are on the right track.

Follow the steps to earn your Tennessee Social Work License:

Step One:

Complete educational requirements for Tennessee social work licensure:

  • Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) licensure - you will need a masters degree in social work from an accredited school.
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) licesure - you will need to have a current CMSW license and therefore at least a masters degree in social work from an accredited school.

Request information from schools offering social work degree programs.

Step Two:

Complete the necessary experience for your desired licensure:

  • For Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) licensure, you will not need any initial experience.
  • A LCSW will need 2 years of experience equaling 2000 hours of supervised clinical experience after receiving your CMSW license and after completing your masters degree degree program.

More information about these requirements and necessary supervisor qualifications can be found on the following webpage.

Step Three:

Now, you can submit the appropriate Tennessee social work licensure application to the Tennessee Board of Social Workers. Include with your application all supporting forms (a passport photo and a copy of your college diploma and transcripts, etc.) and required fees (you will also need to have official transcripts sent directly to the Board from your educational institution).

You may download the application here. There are also directions for the completion of the application on the application itself.

Step Four:

The Board will review your application and notify you of your eligibility to take the written Association of Social Work Boards exam. Both levels of licensure are required to pass the Clinical level examination.

Information about the exam can be found on the ASWB website.

Tennessee Social Work Schools & Colleges
Note: This list contains online and campus schools that accept students from Tennessee.
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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
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Now school comes to you, making earning your college degree a real possibility.
            • Experience a new way of learning through the innovative online experience at Ashford University.
            • Earn the Associate's, Bachelor's, or Master's degree you've always wanted.
            • Knowledge is everywhere, for everyone.
            • Online Courses
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            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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            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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            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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            • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
            • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
            • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
            • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
            • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities & social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
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            • 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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            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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            • 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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            3 Program(s) Found
            Argosy University , Online (campus option available)
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
            • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
            • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
            • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
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            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
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