Applying for License
To be eligible to take the Master’s licensing exam, the applicant must be in their final semester of a master’s or doctoral degree program, or hold a master’s or doctoral degree in social work. Please refer to our Career Services webpage for more on the application process as well as license exam resources to aid you in demystifying the license process.
Application/Exam Costs as of 2020 (fees are payable during the licensure process)
Application Fee for LSW - $25
Licensing Exam Fee for LSW - $230
Application Fee for LCSW - $45
Licensing Exam Fee for LCSW - $260
License Cycle, Renewal and CE Requirements
Current Licensure Cycle - March 1, 2021 - February 28, 2023
Next License Cycle: March 1, 2023 - February 28, 2025
Renewal Costs as of 2020
Biennial Licensing Renewal Fee - $95
The renewal link from the PA State Board will be open in January 2023. It takes at least 3 days for licensure to go through, plan accordingly.
First Time Renewal: (Do NOT wait til the last day to renew your license. There may be technical issues that can not be resolved in one day.)
- An individual applying for licensure in the PA Commonwealth for the first time shall be exempted from the continuing education requirement for the biennial renewal period following initial licensure. Ref PA Code Title 49 47.39 Exemption and Waiver
Continuing Education Credits (CE credits)
All credits must be complete within the license cycle dates. (No carry-over of CE credits.)
To renew your license, you will need 30 continuing education hours which include:
- Ethics 3 credits
- Act 31 Child Abuse Credits (first time renewal you will need 3 credits, after the first renewal only 2 credits are needed-this course may be done online or in person). (Approved providers for the Act 31 Child Abuse Training)Ref NASW-PA
- Act 74 Suicide Prevention 1 credit: If the word "Suicide" or a derivative of the word "suicide" is contained in the title of a suicide prevention course/program taken through an approved provider, the continuing education earned can be used towards satisfying the suicide prevention continuing education requirement. If the course and program pertains to suicide prevention and the title of the course/program doesn't not contain the word "suicide", the approved provider of the course/program must indicated in the certification of attendance/completion the number of hours of suicide prevention continuing education earned.
- Note: the 1 hour of continuing education in suicide prevention may NOT be used towards satisfying the 3 hours of continuing education in ethics.
Keep records of your continuing education credits for at least 4 years. You can not take a course with the same name more than once in a cycle period. See NASW-PA for additional information.
License Organization Contact Information:
PA State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors
PO Box 2649
Harrisburg, Pa 17105
National Association Social Workers-PA (NASW-PA)
1000 Bent Creek Blvd. Suite 40
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
Candidate Services: 888-579-3926
400 Southridge Parkway, Suite B
Culpeper, VA 22701