• NASW-IL Staff

Graduate Students Can Now Take LSW Exam Before Graduation

NASW-Illinois Chapter

Thanks to an amendment to The Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act (Senate Bill 1888), beginning January 1, 2020, Illinois social work students currently enrolled in their last semester of a master’s level social work program no longer need pre-approval to sit for the ASWB Masters exam (for LSW). This means you can begin the process of sitting for the ASWB exam while you’re in your last semester of school—no need waiting until after graduation to sign up for the exam!


The amendment states:

(6) Applicants for a license as a licensed social worker enrolled in an approved program for a master’s degree in social work may sit for the authorized examination for licensed social workers in the final semester of the program for a master’s degree in social work without prior approval of the Department.”

How do I apply for licensure?

  1. Sit for the exam. If you are currently enrolled in your last semester of an master’s level social work program, you may now sit for the exam. Schedule your exam date with the ASWB Candidate Registration Center, sit for the exam, and pass the test.

  2. Get your degree. Get your certification of graduation from a master’s level social work program.

  3. Apply for licensure. Go to the IDFPR website and download the LSW licensee application forms for “Social Worker – Examination” with (“Clinical Social Worker – Examination” is for those applying for the LCSW). Complete the forms with ALL supplementary documentation, including the application fee, and mail to IDFPR. Partial applications will not be processed.

IDFPR will send you your license in the mail. Remember that just passing the exam does NOT mean you are licensed. You may not declare yourself as licensed or as a social worker until you have received your license from IDFPR.


Need to brush up before the exam?

The NASW-Illinois Chapter has got you covered! We’re offering numerous bookings of our popular one-day LSW/LCSW Review Course around the state. Get ready to take the exam and register for one of our courses here:


Upcoming LSW/LCSW Review Course Dates

  • January 10, 2020 – DePaul Center, Chicago, IL

  • March 9, 2020 – DePaul Center, Chicago, IL

  • March 13, 2020 – Carle Hospital, Urbana, IL (*)

  • April 3, 2020 – Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL (*)

  • April 20, 2020 – DePaul Center, Chicago, IL

  • June 8, 2020 – DePaul Center, Chicago, IL

  • July 13, 2020 – DePaul Center, Chicago, IL

(*) – minimum number of registrants required

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