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Apply for LISW


License Requirements

Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) is a masters's license type. Apply for a license by examination if you do not have a current social work license in another state or jurisdiction, or apply by endorsement if you have a current social work license in another state or jurisdiction. License requirements for LISW under Minnesota Statutes section 148E.055 are as follows:

  • Academic Degree: Master's degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work
  • Supervised Practice: Documentation of 4,000 hours of nonclinical supervised practice is required (review complete requirements under Application Process by examination or endorsement below)
  • Ethical Standards: Must not have engaged in conduct in violation of the Board's ethical standards of practice

Processing Time, Deadlines, and Important Information

Plan ahead!
  • Getting your permanent license involves multiple steps and generally takes at least three months—in many cases it takes longer
  • Applications are reviewed in order of date received and initial application review typically takes between 30 and 60 days from the date an application is received by the Board
  • Review application requirements and submit required documentation to avoid delays in processing your application
  • Find out when a license is required
  • If you are eligible, a temporary license allows you to begin authorized social work practice for a time-limited period and can typically be issued more quickly than a permanent license
One-year application deadline:
  • Applications remain open for one year from the date your application and fee are received by the Board
  • If you do not complete all application requirements by the one-year deadline, your application will close and you will need to reapply, pay another fee, and may need to complete another CBC
Check your application status online:
  • Log in to check your application status
  • Review your online application checklist regularly and look at the comments added by Board staff on each item for details
Update your mailing address:
  • The Board will contact you about your application via mail
  • If your address changes, log in to update your mailing address

Application Process

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