Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)*
Prospective social workers in Texas may also pursue the licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) designation, which is the field's highest credential. LCSW candidates must hold an MSW from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). LCSWs in Texas can practice independently and do not need to apply for IPR. Below are the steps for becoming an LCSW in Texas.
Accrue the supervised clinical experience needed to gain licensure as an LCSW*
Before becoming an LCSW in Texas, candidates must gain relevant professional experience by working in a clinical setting with a supervisor who is a Board-approved LCSW. Prospective LCSWs DO NOT not have to submit a supervision plan to the board (Effective 02/04/2021- see Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council website). In accordance with TSBSWE regulations, this position must include key clinical duties ,such as assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, including clinical therapy or psychotherapy. Candidates must complete at least 3,000 hours of clinical work and 100 supervised hours over 24-40 months.
If your supervisor changes during this period, you should submit a clinical supervision verification form documenting any work completed under the previous supervisor. You must also provide the board with a new supervision plan.
Submit an application for upgrade of licensure*
After completing the required supervised experience, applicants must submit the Application for Licensure/Upgrade/Specialty Recognition, along with a fees, to the TSBSWE. Other application materials include:
- Official transcripts from the school where you earned your MSW
- Social work employment history
- Clinical Supervision Verification for LCSW
- Examination security information acknowledgement
- Proof of completion of the online jurisprudence exam
- Verification of licensure in other jurisdiction (only if you are already licensed in another state)
- A copy of a photo ID with your full name
Take and pass the ASWB Clinical exam*
Once the Board approves an applicant's clinical supervision documentation, the candidate may sit for the ASWB Clinical exam. Test-takers may make up to three attempts at achieving a minimum passing score of 70. A 90-day waiting period is enforced between each attempt and applicants must make a written petition to the Board to retake the exam. After three failed attempts, applicants must wait one year to reapply for licensure.
Receive LCSW license from the Board*
The TSBSWE receives test scores within two weeks of the exam date. Individuals who pass the exam receive their LCSW licenses by mail within seven days of the Board receiving the test scores.
*Please note that Social Work License has transitioned to Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council.