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Wisconsin Social Work Licensure

How to become a Social Worker in Wisconsin

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Wisconsin. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing at (608) 266-2112 to make sure you are on the right track.

Follow the steps to earn your Wisconsin Social Work License:

Step One:

Complete educational requirements for Wisconsin social work licensure:

  • Certified Social Worker (CSW) licensure - you will need a bachelor's degree in social work from an accredited school.
  • Advanced practice social worker (CAPSW), Certified independent social worker (CISW), and Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) licensures all require a masters degree in social work from an accredited school.

Request information from schools offering social work degree programs.

Step Two:

Complete the required work experience for your desired social work licensure:

  • Certified Social Worker (CSW) licensure and Advanced practice social worker (CAPSW) licensure do not require any previously documented work experience.
  • Both CISW and LCSW licensure candidates need to hold a current CAPSW license and then obtain 3000 hours of supervised social work practice in a time period of at least 2 years time.

More details about hourly requirements and supervisor qualifications can be found by clicking on the "Wisconsin Administrative Code" link on the following webpage. Next, you will want to click on the "more" link located under career links listed on the left-hand navigation. You will then need to click on the "Marriage & Family Therapists, Professional Counselors and Social Workers" link to access the necessary information.

Step Three:

Now, you can complete the appropriate Wisconsin social work application for licensure and submit the application to the Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing. You will need to include all supporting forms and required fees.

You can download the application here.

Step Four:

The Department will review your application and once approved you will be notified of your eligibility to sit for the appropriate level national exam and a state administered law exam.

  • CSW needs to pass the basic level exam.
  • CAPSW needs to pass the intermediate level exam.
  • CISW needs to pass the advanced level exam.
  • LCSW needs to pass the clinical level exam.

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

Wisconsin Social Work Schools & Colleges
Note: This list contains online and campus schools that accept students from Wisconsin.
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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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            • 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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            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.
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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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            • 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
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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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            • 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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            • 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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            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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