Introduction to Licensure
Anyone who wishes to work as a social worker in the United States must secure a license and standards vary by state. Licensing can require the completion of a master’s degree, passing an exam, and completing a specific number of hours of work while being supervised by an experienced, licensed social worker.
The Illinois statute specifically requires “that any person engaged as a social worker must be licensed.”1
Below is reference information for:
- First-Year Crown Family School Students
- Second-Year Crown Family School Students
- Students and Alumni
- Anyone Interested in Becoming a Social Worker
First-year Crown Family School Students
If you are in the Clinical Concentration and plan to sit for your state board’s exam after graduation, you must make sure to take Adult Psychopathology during the Spring Quarter of your First Year. The Crown Family School does not require this course, however, most states do require it for licensure.
Second-year Crown Family School Students
You should peruse the information and links on this page during your second year, but you will need to wait until your degree is conferred before you take the next steps. The NASW-IL website is also an excellent resource to familiarize yourself with the steps that you will need to take, post-graduation.
Licensing is a state function, but all exams are developed by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and cover content that is national in scope. There are four levels of exams: Bachelor's, Master's, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical. You need to check with the state in which you intend to practice to determine specific requirements. To get started, review your state’s social work licensure requirements and links to its social work board.
Crown Family School students should contact the Dean of Students' Office to complete any certification of education forms. All states require verification of education. Please see the “To request verification of your education” section below for instructions.
To apply to become an LSW:
Students who will be working as social workers are encouraged to apply for their LSW (Licensed Social Worker).
If you decide to stay in Illinois after graduating from the Crown Family School, you may apply for a license to become an LSW in Illinois. Contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) by accessing their the IDFPR social work page or click directly to the licensure instructions and application. Follow the instructions for “Non-Examination—Social Worker” on page two of the document. The Dean of Students office at Crown Family School is responsible for completing the Certification of Education form. As of January 1, 2022, the ASWB examination is no longer required for LSW licensure in Illinois.
If you move out of Illinois, please review your state’s social work licensure requirements for the LSW.
Becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)**
The Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW) license allows social workers to practice independently. Only experience supervised by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker will meet the professional experience requirement.
Preparing for Your LCSW Exam:
Crown Family School graduates will have the necessary knowledge to pass the LCSW exam if they took our 301 courses, and we recommend courses that address the structure and application of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Students concerned about test taking may find it helpful to take a review course. The Crown Family School’s Professional Development Program offers a review session two to three times per year.
To register for the exam:
If you stay in Illinois after graduating from Crown Family School, and are supervised in clinical social work for 3,000 hours (approximately 2 years), you can take the exam to become a LCSW in Illinois. Contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) by accessing their the IDFPR social work page or click directly to the licensure instructions and application. Follow the instructions for “Examination—Social Worker” on page two of the document. The Dean of Students office at Crown Family School is responsible for completing the Certification of Education form.
Once you have your board’s approval, you can move forward with registering to take the test. There is a fee, and the exam is scheduled for multiple dates at testing sites across the United States. For complete instructions on how to register, please reference the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Examination Guidebook. Each state may have its own fees for processing applications and issuing licenses. Please check with your social work board for these fees.
Applying for Licensure as an LCSW:
After passing the exam, your next step is to apply for licensure through your jurisdiction’s social work board.
Students remaining in Illinois should contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
Students who move out of Illinois should contact the department of professional regulation in their state. Again, a listing of social work boards by state can be found here.
For Students and Alumni
To request verification of your education:
- Fill out the top portion of the ED Form and email it the University of Chicago's Registrar's Office.
- You can also submit the printed paperwork to:
University Registrar, 1427 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
*Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope to have the form returned to you.
- If your state requires a different form than the ED form above, please send it directly to email@example.com.
- You can also submit the printed paperwork to:
- This document does not have to have an original signature but the applicant must explicitly indicate that they authorize the Crown Family School to release their information to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
- After the form is completed, it will be sent back to the applicant for their licensing application.
- Please allow at least 7-10 business days for processing, and potentially longer during busier seasons (graduation, orientation, etc.)
- You may also request transcripts here.
For Students and Alumni or Anyone Interested in Becoming a Social Worker
If you need review materials for your LCSW exam:
If you would like to familiarize yourself with the exam the Crown Family School’s Professional Development Office offers a test prep course two to three times a year. Recent Crown Family School graduates can take the course at a discounted rate.
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) also has a practice exam online available for a fee. If you need to request special accommodations, you should arrange them directly with the ASWB after you have been approved by your state to take the exam.
If you are not a recent graduate and are concerned about your ability to take the LCSW Exam:
If you have been in the workforce for many years and now wish to take the exam, consider taking the Crown Family School’s Professional Development Office’s test prep course. We offer the course two to three times a year and it will cover, over two days all of what you will need to know on the exam.
If you need Continuing Education Credits (CEUs):
View the current schedule of Workshops administered by the Professional Development Program (PDP) at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. The PDP is a licensed State of Illinois provider of Continuing Education for social workers (LSW/LCSW), clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors (LPC/LCPC). License #s 159.000140, 168.000115, and 268.000004.
Most states have reciprocity with Illinois. It is recommended that professionals outside of Illinois review rules for their licensing board prior to participating to ensure that the content meets their renewal, and/or reciprocity, requirements.
Please contact the Professional Development Program (PDP) if you have any questions.
Any other questions? Contact:
** Note that states outside of Illinois may use different acronyms than “LCSW.”