MSW Licensure Information and Resources

Graduating MSW students are eligible to register and take the LSW exam during their final (graduating) semester in Pennsylvania. The LSW is a national exam. If a student passes the exam in Pennsylvania, they are able to apply for reciprocity in another state.

Please note that the LCSW (clinical) exam can be taken a minimum of three years in Pennsylvania (two years in New Jersey) post-LSW exam with the approval of a clinical supervisor. The LCSW exam is an exam separate from the LSW exam.

Licensure in Pennsylvania

The application no longer requires two recommendations from professional social workers. A Criminal Background Check is now required as part of the application for PA licensure. Also, there is a new requirement indicating that each applicant must complete the Self-Query form from the National Database of Clinicians within 6 months of the application. Details are contained in the application on the website.

State Boards must have official, final transcripts on file. Even if students pass the exam before graduation, they must send their official transcript to the State Board after graduation once degrees have been conferred. SP2 does not send the transcript on students’ behalf; students are responsible for ordering transcripts from the University Registrar. To ensure that a transcript is sent properly, students should check their unofficial transcripts in Path@Penn to ensure:

  1. that the degree has been conferred; and
  2. that all information is correct

Additionally, the SP2 Registrar will reach out directly with a degree conferral confirmation. Questions about the information displayed on a transcript should be addressed to the SP2 Registrar.

Please note that criminal history checks must be no older than 90 days from the date of Application for Licensure by examination.

Licensure in Other States

Exam Preparation

The MSW Program offers a licensure information session for students in their final semester. Please find the materials from the most recent session below.

Additional Resources

News

A red banner with the SP2 logo appears outdoors in the foreground, with a gathering in the courtyard in the background

SP2 congratulates 2024 award winners

Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) is pleased to announce the 2024 SP2 Award Winners. Recipients will be recognized for their outstanding achievements by Dean Sara S. Bachman at the School’s 2024 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18.

News

Five awardees and Dean Bachman stand smiling in a group in front of a screen that says

SP2 honors five accomplished social change agents at 2024 Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony

Five distinguished alumni were celebrated at the 2024 SP2 Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday, May 17. The event marked the sixth year that the School has honored alumni through the SP2 Hall of Fame.

News

Two people speak on either side of the screen in Caster lobby, where black-and-white photos of disability rights protests appear. People sit at tables in the lobby listening.

Disability rights photography by Harvey Finkle, SW’61, featured for second annual Art @ SP2 exhibit

In the black-and-white still photographs displayed in SP2’s Caster building, members of ADAPT/Disabled in Action advocate for equal access to the components of an independent life. The images are the work of celebrated social justice photographer and SP2 alumnus Harvey Finkle, SW’61, who visited on April 3.


Contact Us

Career Services Office

Suite 20, McNeil Building

3718 Locust Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19014-6209

Office Hours
Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm

Walk-in Hours for SP2 Students
Wednesdays, 2:30pm to 3:30pm

Sharon Fleshman
Senior Associate Director

215-898-4381

215-898-2687 (fax)

fleshman@upenn.edu

Esther Ra
Career Advisor

Available by appointment on Mondays and Thursdays.

estherra@upenn.edu

Patty Greenfield
Associate Director

pgreenf@upenn.edu