Becoming a Social Worker in Indiana

You will need a master's degree to become a clinical social worker in Indiana. You can become a nonclinical social worker with either a bachelor's or a master's; with the lower degree, there will be additional post-degree requirements.

Here is a guide to getting a social worker education in Indiana and earning your desired license.

social work students

If You Are in High School

Step 1:

Concentrate on preparing for university admission by taking a college prep curriculum and earning solid SAT scores. There are no special courses you need at this stage, but you can opt for classes like human development or advanced placement psychology.

Step 2:

Meanwhile, begin career exploration or volunteer work. There are many options. The American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis has service projects for high school students.

Step 3:

Select a school with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program that has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. BSW programs prepare generalists and cover most of the same concepts. However, some do offer special programs, for example, child welfare.

Step 4:

Enroll in the university and prepare for admission to the social work program. Some schools let you apply as early as the second semester of your freshman year; others have you wait until your fourth semester.

Step 5:

Excel in social work courses and internship experiences. Seek out additional professional opportunities. Your school may have its own social work student association.

Step 6:

Become familiar with the state licensing agency. In order to become a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Indiana with just a baccalaureate degree, you need to work under supervision for at least two years. You also need to pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) examination at the master's level.

Step 7:

Your other option is to continue for your master's. If your grades are high enough, you may be allowed to skip all foundations coursework and begin clinical studies or other advanced coursework soon after you enroll. You may opt to spend some time in the field first, but most schools place a limit on how old the degree can be.

Find more detailed Indiana Social Work Licensure information here.

If You Have a College Degree

Step 1:

Decide if you're ready to apply or if you need additional coursework or experience. Your degree does not have to be in social work, but your school may set a minimum number of courses in the social or behavioral sciences. There may be a statistics requirement. Spending some time as a volunteer can confirm your career choice and give you material for your personal statement or resume.

Step 2:

Choose a program carefully. At the master's level, there are many CSWE-accredited options. The second 30 semester hours are devoted to work in a concentration; you may opt for an advanced generalist or clinical track or for a more specialized one.

If you will be pursuing clinical licensure (and the option to work as a mental health practitioner), you will need at least 24 semester hours of clinical coursework. A clinical social work education in Indiana must include clinical fieldwork.

The Simmons College School of Social Work ([email protected]) is the nation’s oldest school of social work and is offering an innovative Online Master of Social Work program. You can complete this CSWE-accredited Master's in Social Work program in as little as 15 months. There is no GRE required for acceptance to this program. Request information.

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers a CSWE-accredited online Master's in Social Work. The GRE is not required to apply to the [email protected] program. A Bachelor's degree is required. Learn more about this program.

Fordham University's top-ranked School of Social Work offers an online MSW program that prepares students for relevant, integrated practice with all populations. GRE scores not required. Request information today.

Capella University is now offering an online Master of Social Work that is in CSWE candidacy status. The MSW program helps prepare students to enter the general or clinical practice role (in most states). Capella also offers an online Doctor of Social Work. Click Here to contact Capella University about their Master of Social Work program or Doctor of Social Work program.

Step 3:

Complete foundations and concentration coursework. Expect to do 900 hours of fieldwork; most of this will take place toward the end of the program.

Step 4:

Take steps toward licensure as an LSW. You will have a background check. You will take the ASWB exam at the master’s level.

Step 5:

You will need to work under supervision for two more years in order to earn clinical licensing. You will take the ASWB clinical exam. At this point, you will be eligible for the highest license: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Find more detailed Indiana Social Work Licensure information here.