Becoming a Social Worker in New York

New York social workers practice at the bachelor’s and master’s levels although only those at the highest level of practice are licensed. As a prospective social worker, you have a lot of options about when you enter the field and what you pursue. The following is a guide to getting your social worker education in New York.

social work learning tree

If You Are a High School Student

Step 1:

Prepare for university admission by earning good grades in college preparatory classes and taking any admission or subject area tests that are required. Meanwhile, begin to seek out volunteer experiences in social services.

Step 2:

Choose a university. There are advantages to selecting a school with a CSWE-accredited program even though New York does not license at this level.

Step 3:

Enroll in the university and begin liberal arts coursework. Declare a social work major; by doing so, you will have access to appropriate advising.

Apply to the social work program following the timeline set by your school. Often this occurs toward the end of your sophomore year.

Step 4:

Complete major requirements.

Step 5:

Take a position in a human service organization or continue on for your master's. You will not seek licensure at this time. New York law states that an individual with a bachelor's degree in social work can practice under the allowable scope of duty.

Step 6:

In order to take on some advanced roles, you will need to enroll in an MSW program. If you do so within a specified time period, your BSW may allow you to skip most foundation level coursework. Some advanced placement students are able to earn dual graduate degrees in the time it takes a nonsocial work major to earn one.

Find more detailed New York Social Work Licensure information here.

If You Have a College Degree

Step 1:

Select the most appropriate master’s program. You must enroll in a program that has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or been deemed license qualifying by New York.

There are several types of MSW program in the state. If you have a human services background, for example, you will find programs that are organized to meet your needs. You do not need a BSW unless you seek advanced placement. New York MSW programs typically look for 60 semester hours of liberal arts coursework on your transcript.

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 2:

Begin social work coursework and choose a concentration at the appropriate time. At the broadest level, your concentration may be advanced generalist or clinical. Some New York social work schools offer specialized programs like administration or gerontology. If you wish to be licensed as a clinical social worker, your studies must include at least twelve semester hours of clinical courses.

Step 3:

Complete coursework and practicum in your concentration. (If your program does not include the required content in child abuse identification and reporting, you will need to take that separately.)

Step 4:

Apply to become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). You will take a national board examination offered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) at the master's level.

Step 5:

If you are seeking licensure as an independent clinical social worker, you will need to work under supervision for at least three years post-master.

Step 6:

Take the clinical examination through the ASWB. At this point, you can be licensed as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Step 7:

As a clinical social worker, you may want to pursue ‘R privilege’ to make it easier to receive insurance reimbursement for patient services. In order to receive this privilege, you will need to work under consultation for another three years. You may work in private practice. However, you will need to arrange for two hours of professional consultation each month or enroll in an acceptable institute or program.

Find more detailed New York Social Work Licensure information here.