In the state of Wisconsin people with a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) or a Master of Social Work (MSW) are able to pursue certification and/or licensure. While certification/licensure is not a requirement for certain types of jobs, it is required for any position titled ‘Social Worker’ and to refer to yourself as a Social Worker in professional settings. This page is intended to provide you with information about how to pursue each type of certification and/or licensure available in the state. Students interested in pursuing licensure in Minnesota should refer to the Minnesota Licensure Requirement tab. If you’re trying to figure out the licensing requirements for any other state a good place to start is ASWB’s Getting licensed in another state or province. If you are an MSW who needs additional coursework prior to certification or licensure, please see our Post-MSW Opportunities page.
- Certified Social Worker (CSW)
- Advanced Practice Social Worker (APSW)
- Certified Independent Social Worker
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- School Social Worker
- Substance Abuse Counselor In-Training (SAC-IT)
- Minnesota Licensure
- Out of State Licensure/Certification
To be licensed as a Substance Abuse Counselor – In Training (SAC-IT) in the state of Wisconsin you must have completed 100 hours of substance use disorder specialized education, be currently employed, or have an offer of employment, internship/practicum, or an agreement authorizing volunteer hours at an agency providing substance use disorder treatment, successfully pass the jurisprudence examination, complete the application and pay the fee. For students who have pending criminal charges or have been convicted of a crime, all related information necessary for the department to determine whether the circumstances of the pending criminal charge or conviction are substantially related to the practice of substance abuse counseling should be included using the necessary form.
How to Apply
Follow the steps below to learn more about becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor – In Training (SAC-IT) in the state of Wisconsin:
- Complete the Application for Substance Abuse Counselor In-Training (Form #2743), the Employment Verification (Form #2770), the Completion of 100 Hours of Specialized Education (Form #2832), Conviction and Pending Charges (Form #2252, if applicable) and the Malpractice Suits and Claims (Form #2829, if applicable).
- Once your completed application is received and processed at DSPS, you will be assigned a test name, password, instructor name, and a six digit ID. You will need this to take the Wisconsin State Law Jurisprudence “Open Book” Exam and check the status of your application online. Please view your on-line application status query page to obtain this information.
- Take and successfully pass the Wisconsin State Law Jurisprudence “Open Book” Exam, an open book examination relating to the practice of social workers.
- Complete and submit the Fax Payment Form (3071) along with the other application forms listed above by fax to (608) 251-3036. Fees paid by credit card.
- For all credit and debit card transactions, a 2% convenience fee will be assessed and will appear as a separate charge on your statement. This fee is non-refundable. Allow 7-10 business days for processing.
The Minnesota Board of Social Work (Board) is the body responsible for granting the Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW), a master’s level social work licensure. For applicants who do not currently possess a current social work license in another state or jurisdiction, you will be required to apply for a license by examination. You should be aware that the entire process can take anywhere between four to six months, so the Board recommends that current social work students apply for a license six months before graduation for the best application process (MN Board of Social Work, 2020).
NOTE: Students needing their Certification of 360 Clock Hours Forms completed may do so by completing the form at the bottom of this tab.
How to Apply
Follow the steps below to learn more about becoming a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) in the state of Minnesota:
- Submit application and fee either
- Criminal Background Check. All applicants are required to complete a fingerprint-based criminal background check (CBC), UNLESS they hold a current permanent or temporary Minnesota social work license. The CBC fee is bundled with the application fee when you apply online or by mail. Once the Board has received your application and fee, the CBC Program Office will email instructions and forms to you:
- Provide a current email address on your application to avoid delays
- Wait to receive the email from the CBC Program Office to schedule fingerprinting–this email includes important information and forms required for fingerprinting
- Submit fingerprints to the CBC Program Office, not the Board of Social Work
- Review the Criminal Background Check page for additional information (MN Board of Social Work, 2020)
NOTE: If fingerprints are not submitted to the Criminal Background Check Program Office within 90 days of the application received date, the CBC fee is void and a new CBC fee is required.
- Submit required supporting documentation. Your application will not be processed unless you also submit supporting documents as required. These may include (1) Official Transcripts, (2)
Optional—ASWB Exam Accommodations: to request the Board and the ASWB testing site make reasonable accommodations, (3) Supervision Verification form (LISW and LICSW applicants only), (4) Certification of 360 Clock Hours (LICSW applicants by examination only), (5) Verification of Licensure form (endorsement applicants only), (6) ASWB exam score transfer (endorsement applicants only), (7) ADA Examination Accommodation or ESL Examination Accommodation forms (if applicable)
NOTE: Current social work students should wait until AFTER they have graduated to submit your official transcripts. Once your degree has been posted and appears in your Student Center (Student Center > Academics > My Academics > View My Degrees) you must submit your official transcript the Board. Go to https://ordertranscript.wisc.edu/ for more information. Go to Student Center to order your transcripts. Please be aware that it can take anywhere from four to six weeks for your degree to appear in your Student Center.
- Register for and take the masters-level (i.e. ASWB Masters). The Board will send you a letter by mail if you are approved for the ASWB exam. To be eligible for taking the exam, you must have submitted all required supporting document and have had your application reviewed. You are encouraged to scheduled your exam as soon as possible after receiving Board approval – ASWB to register and schedule an exam.
- Pay initial license fee. Once your application is completed and approved for a license, the Board will send you a letter including the amount of your prorated license fee.
NOTE: Your license is not effective until the Board receives your initial license fee online or by mail (MN Board of Social Work, 2020)
MN Clock Hour Form Completion Requests
This form should be completed by UW-Madison students seeking MN licensure and needing an MN Clock Hours Form completed. Please note that completion of your form can take any between 2-3 business days depending on the volume of requests and other work depends.
If you’re trying to figure out the licensing requirements for any other state a good place to start is ASWB’s Getting licensed in another state or province.
If you are seeking licensure or certification outside of Wisconsin and need verification of your degree or education, please send forms to:
Student Services – Office of the Registrar
University of Wisconsin-Madison
333 East Campus Mall #10101
Madison, WI 53715
M-F 8:00am – 4:30pm
If you have questions, please contact Russ Portier (firstname.lastname@example.org).