What You Need to Know About Social Work Licensure in New York

New York State has a number of different certifications for Social Workers. This is what aspiring Social Workers need to know.

1 min. read

New York State recognizes two different Master of Social Work (MSW) practice degrees. The clinical degree, which is offered at Keuka College, and the generalist degree.

Keuka College's MSW program will prepare you to sit for the New York State licensing exam to become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) — the first step in your career as a psychotherapist. Many agencies and organizations require their practitioners to have the LMSW certification. 

After passing the exam and becoming an LMSW, you can now begin to count your client contact and supervision hours toward the State's requirements for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) license. Once you have met those requirements, you can sit for the second state exam. Successfully passing the exam provides you with the LCSW designation, which is required in New York to engage in any independent psychotherapy practice.

Finally, LCSWs may earn the "R" designation, which requires insurance companies to reimburse an in-network practitioner for services provided, by meeting additional New York State client contact and supervision hours.

Additional information, including current New York State requirements, is available through the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions.