Becoming a Social Worker in Texas
You can begin your social worker education in Texas at either the bachelor’s or master’s level and continue until you reach your desired level of practice. The following guide will let you know what to expect.
If You Are a High School Student
In high school, concentrate on the courses you need for university admission. There are no pre-social work courses you need at this stage, but you can opt for classes in sociology or psychology; AP psychology could give you a head start on prerequisites, depending on the school you select.
Meanwhile, do some career exploration. Some Texas organizations can arrange for job shadowing.
Research college programs. You will apply to the university before you apply to the school of social work. However, if you will be seeking licensure at the bachelor’s level, you will need to select a school that has a CSWE-accredited social work program.
Baccalaureate social work programs prepare generalists, but some offer special training in child welfare -- and financial incentives to those who pursue the career.
Complete general studies and supportive coursework. You may be required to complete two introductory social work courses and several social science courses before admission to the major. Some social work schools require applicants to have at least a little volunteer experience; this may be completed formally as part of an academic class.
Complete degree requirements. Performance in field placement is crucial. If you decide to seek advanced standing in a master's program, you may be required to submit performance evaluations and/ or references from your field placement.
When you are in your final semester, apply to the Texas Board to take the Association of Social Work Boards licensing examination at the bachelor's level. You will also need a criminal history check. After graduation, you will be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW).
You may opt instead to continue seamlessly into a master's program. You may receive advanced standing that is equivalent to as much as 30 semester hours of graduate coursework.
If You Have a College Degree
Research Master of Social Work programs and take steps toward admission. If you do not have social service experience, you may want to spend time in the field as a volunteer. Some Texas schools require candidates to take the GRE. Statistics is a common prerequisite.
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.
Allow plenty of time for the application process. The application packet typically includes references, resume, personal statement, and essays. If you are seeking advanced standing as a BSW graduate, you may have additional requirements: for example, case studies.
Complete degree requirements. Your program will take the equivalent of two academic years if you do not have advanced standing. The second year will prepare you as a specialist in your chosen concentration (for example, clinical social work).
Apply to the Texas Board to take the ASWB master's level examination and become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). You may do this when you are in the final semester of your program.
Take a position in your intended practice area (clinical or nonclinical). You will submit a job description to the Texas Board.
Work under an approved supervision plan until you have accrued 3,000 hours of experience. This will take at least two years.
Take the required examination. If you are seeking credentialing as a Licensed Master Social Worker-Advanced Practice (LMSW-AP), take the advanced generalist examination. If you are seeking credentialing as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), take the clinical examination.