Seeking Social Work Licensure

The MSW program at Northcentral University is designed to prepare you to be an effective and knowledgeable social work professional. Many career options require licensure. We have staff and resources help you understand how to achieve licensure, but it is your responsibility to be familiar with, and understand, your state’s social work regulatory standards.

NCU MSW Program anticipates (but cannot guarantee) that it will be fully accredited sometime in 2021. Most state licensing boards allow graduates from “Candidacy for Accreditation” programs to pursue state licensure. Students are encouraged to contact their state licensing board to confirm what is allowed. Some states require additional approval by the state for out-of-state programs, which encompasses online universities such as NCU. Until full accreditation is achieved, we are not enrolling students from Washington State. At this time, NCU is currently not accepting students from the following states: District of Columbia, Iowa, Montana, and Pennsylvania. 

State Profiles

The US Constitution extends the right and responsibility to each state to protect its citizenry from the unethical, incompetent, and illegal practice of professions that can conceivably cause harm. Social work is such a profession, since social workers deal with people’s private, emotional business. Consequently, licensing regulations vary from state to state. Each state has rules and regulations outlining the types of licenses offered, requirements for licensure, including specific educational components, post-graduation clinical experience and supervision, and examination requirements. These requirements can be unclear, confusing and sometimes contradictory. With the goal of assisting you in the licensure process, the MSW program at NCU has developed a profile for each of the states where most of our students reside. These profiles include summaries of that state's education requirements and post graduate requirements for licensure and state board contact information.

Licensure requirements are subject to change so you must keep up with the current licensure legislation in your state. Please review your local MSW license requirements to make sure you will meet local requirements for licensure.

Ask a Licensure Question

While each state board is the ultimate authority on their own rules and regulations governing the practice of social work in their state, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start or what to ask. If you are an applicant, student, or alumni and you have a question about licensure in your state, send your question to the MSW Director of Field Education. You will receive a response via email. The Association of Social Work Boards ( also provides specific information on each state’s licensing regulations.