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LCSW Out of State Applicant Information

Notice to out-of-state ASW and LCSW Applicants

Effective January 1, 2014, all out-of-state applicants for a LCSW license must complete an 18-hour course in California law and professional ethics.  See Business and Professions Code (BPC) Section 4996.17 for further information about course content requirements.


The Board of Behavioral Sciences does not have reciprocity with any other state licensing board. Any person seeking a license from another state will need to prove completion of all California licensing requirements, apply for Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) licensure, and pass a Standard Written Examination and a Written Clinical Vignette Examination.

Depending on an out-of-state applicant's experience and education, the process of completing or providing proof of completion of the California licensing requirements will differ. Please refer to the LCSW Application for Licensure and Examination for more information.

Education

Any out of state LCSW applicant must prove completion of all of California's education requirements, including:

  • A master's degree from an accredited school of social work.
  • Additional coursework:
    • Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting
      • 7 hours - Must be based on California law
      • See Title 16, California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 1807.2 for specific content required
    • Human Sexuality
      • 10 hours - see Title 16, CCR section 1807 for specific content required
    • Alcoholism and Other Chemical Substance Dependency
      • 15 hours - see Title 16, CCR section 1810 for specific content required
    • Spousal or Partner Abuse Assessment, Detection, and Intervention
      • 15-hours – see BPC section 4996.2(f) for specific content required
    • Aging, Long Term Care, and Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse
      • 10 Hours ONLY for those who entered a degree program on or after 1/1/2004
      • For all others this is not a requirement
    • California Law and Professional Ethics new graphic
      • 18 hours - see BPC section 4996.17 for specific content required

The above coursework may be completed through a college or university that is either regionally accredited or approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, a continuing education provider approved by the Board, or a governmental entity. Coursework does not ever “expire” and may be gained at the undergraduate level.

If you have an out-of-country degree, you must have your education evaluated to determine equivalency of a master's degree in social work in California. You must provide the Board with a comprehensive evaluation of the degree and any other documentation the Board deems necessary. The Board has the authority to make the final determination as to whether a degree meets all requirements, including, but not limited to, course requirements regardless of evaluation or accreditation.

Experience

The Board's statutes (Business and Professions Code Section 4996.17) set forth different requirements depending on how long you have held a clinical social worker license in another state.

If you have been licensed as a clinical social worker in another state for at least four years, you have met the Board's experience requirements for licensure. You will document this with the Clinical Social Worker Verification of Licensure/Registration/Certification in another state form. This form is available in the LCSW application.

If you have been licensed as a clinical social worker in another state for less than four years, you must provide verification that you completed 3,200 hours of supervised work experience and 104 weeks of supervision.

If the licensing body in your state does not have equivalent requirements, time actively licensed as a clinical social worker in your state shall be accepted at a rate of 100 hours per month up to a maximum of 1,200 hours. You will document this with the Clinical Social Worker Verification of Licensure/Registration/Certification in another state form. This form is available in the LCSW application.

Please refer to the Board's Statutes and Regulations (Business and Professions Code Section 4996.17) for more information regarding licensing requirements for applicants with out-of-state licenses.