Key Provisions of the Licensed Master Social Worker Law

The following are the key points social workers need to know about the new Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) license that licenses social workers upon graduation with the MSW degree. Applications will be online only and information and forms can be found at the DPH website The LMSW law does NOT change the requirements for the LCSW except that your 3000 hours of post-graduate experience must be as a LMSW as of May 1, 2015. Also as of May 1, 2015 all clinical social work in Connecticut must be performed by either a LMSW or LCSW.

  • Upon graduation all MSWs seeking to practice clinical social work must pass the Master level examination of the Association of Social Work Boards. A one-time temporary license is available for those working in a clinical capacity who has not yet taken the exam. The temporary license is valid for 120 consecutive calendar days and is only available during a 120 day period starting with your graduation date.
  • LMSWs must practice under the professional supervision of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Marital and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed APRN or Licensed Physician. Supervision is at minimum monthly and must be face-to-face.
  • LMSWs can only diagnose with consultation of a licensed clinical social worker, psychologist, marital & family therapist, professional counselor, APRN or physician.
  • LMSWs cannot practice independently. As of October 1, 2013 independent practice requires the LCSW.
  • The fee for the new LMSW is $220 to apply and $195 annually for renewal.
  • Licensed social workers will need 15 hours of continuing education each license year starting when the social worker first renews their license. At least one hour every license year must be in cultural competence and effective as of January 1, 2016 two hours every six years must be on veterans and/or veteran’s families (when you renew your license in 2016 or the first time you renew your license you need to attain the veterans continuing education during the 12 months license year).
  • Social workers exempt from the new law are: those practicing non-clinical social work including administration, community organization, policy & planning, or research as long as they are not performing any clinical tasks or supervising a clinical social worker engaged in clinical practice with clients; BSWs performing non-clinical functions; nursing home social workers practicing under state and federal regulations; certified school social workers practicing within their school social work certification; and social work students practicing within their internship.


This fact sheet is for information purposes only. DPH has final say on licensure decisions.