State Licensure

The Master of Social Work at the Mandel School is required to abide by states' licensing requirements. This includes the licensing requirements of states participating in NC-SARA.

Below are the steps to consider when pursuing a social work license:

  • Identify the state in which you plan to work as a social worker. 
  • Review the state’s licensure requirements and application materials. For more information, check out the State Licensure information and contacts document.
  • Identify if an exam is required and which exam you must pass.
  • If you are required to take an exam, determine if you can start the application process while still in school and consider taking the exam during the semester you plan to graduate. 

Letter of Good Standing

For the state of Ohio, if you are currently enrolled in the FINAL semester of your Social Work program, then a Letter of Good Standing would need to be submitted in your application. This letter informs the licensing board that you are in good academic standing and are on track to graduate. If you need a letter, please complete this form to receive one from the office of the registrar. Processing time is 1-3 business days. Contact with any questions.

State Licensing Exam Preparation Course

During the fall and spring semesters, the Mandel School partners with Licensing Exam Preparation Services LLC (LEAP) to provide a comprehensive licensing exam preparation course which includes the LEAP Comprehensive Study Guide with Practice Questions. The online course provides a comprehensive review of practice, policy and theory, and pre- and post-tests to sharpen test-taking skills with the objective of preparing participants for various levels of the National Association of Social Work Boards' social work licensing exam, including Masters and Clinical.

This preparation course will cover key concepts from each content area of your exam. This includes, but is not limited to, Human Behavior and Development, Diversity, Assessment, Diagnosis, Case Management, Supervision, Service Delivery, as well as Professional Relationships and Ethics. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss practice questions and related answer rationale.

Participation in one licensing prep course is included in the Mandel School student services package at no additional charge as a student, but registration is required in order to participate.

Success Driven

We believe in the success of this course in preparing you for the exam. If you attend at least 80% of the prep course, or complete at least 80% of the online module, and take the exam within one year of the date of the course and do not pass, you may take either version of the course again free of charge. The course must be retaken within one year of the original course date.

Course Registration

Spring 2024 semester registration is open until February 23, 2024 for the Mandel School’s Social Work Licensing Exam Preparation Course (presented by LEAP). This self-paced module is open to registrants for six months from March 20, 2024 to September 20, 2024 and follows the live session agenda. This course is free to Mandel School students, but registration is required in order to participate. Next registration will open in early Fall 2024.

Please note: 

  •  Alumni and Field Instructors may enroll for $200, and Community Members may enroll for $250. Payments may be made by check or money order and made payable to Case Western Reserve University. Mail payment to Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7164.
  • Course includes the printed LEAP Comprehensive Study Guide with Practice Questions, available for pick up or mailing from Mandel School. 
  • Once registered, participants will receive information from LEAP directly about course access. 
  • It is recommended that you take the Licensing Examination six to eight weeks after participating in the prep course; and plan to participate in the semester leading up to graduation. 
  • Students who took a LEAP course previously are not eligible to repeat it.
  • There is no late registration.

Helpful hints when preparing for licensure

  • You can view the Mandel School Student Services team’s Licensure 101 session recording, which took place in spring 2022. It provides an overview of social work licensing and exam preparations from Mandel School faculty, staff, and alumni perspectives.
  • Review the licensure requirements carefully. Be sure that you are aware of any upcoming deadlines.
  • Check to see if there is any required additional training or education beyond your MSW degree. If there is, what is it? How do you register for it? Is there a deadline?
  • Look for FAQs or commonly asked questions on the state board website, found on the State Licensure information and contacts document. Is there anything you have questions about? Are you unsure of what the requirements are? If so, do not hesitate to contact the board by email, telephone, or both.
  • If you are planning to get an advanced license, make sure that you are aware of any supervision requirements ahead of time so that you can start planning.
  • Remember your resources! Contact your local NASW for consultation, and be sure to check out the ASWB website for more details on the exam and licensure requirements by state.
  • Want to know what to expect on the day of your exam? - Watch this video from ASWB

Disclaimer: The University does not represent or guarantee that programs which fulfill the State of Ohio's license requirements will fulfill the requirements set by professional licensure boards in other US states and territories.

If you have questions or would like to connect with a member of the student advancement team on any of the above information please contact