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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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