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Social Worker Coursework


Each Student must complete ONE course in EACH of the following cognate areas and earn a minimum grade of "C".

Course TitleCredits
BSC 1005Principles of Biology for Non-majors3
BSC 1020Human Biology


BSC 2085Anatomy and Physiology


POS 2041American National Government
PSY 2012Psychological Science I3
SYG 2000Introduction to Sociology3
SYG 2010Contemporary Social Problems3
ECO 1000Basic Economics3
ECO 2013Economics Principles Macroeconomics3
ECO 2023Economics Principles Microeconomics3

II. Students must earn a 'B' grade or better in the social work foundation course; SOW 3203. A grade of 'B-' is not acceptable.

SOW 3203Introduction to Social Work3

III. BSW Core Classes

SOW 3101Human Behavior & Social Environment3
SOW 4522Multi-Cultural America in a Global Society3
SOW 4341Social Work Micro Practice3
SOW 3401Research & Statistics for Social Work3
SOW 3210The American Social Welfare System3
SOW 3102Human Behavior & the Social Environment II3
SOW 4233Social Welfare Policy & Practice3
SOW 4343Social Work Macro Practice3
SOW 4315Case Management3
SOW 4414Social Work Data Management2
SOW 4510Integrative Seminar/Field Placement9
SOW 4602Social Work Practice in Mental Health & Health Care

*In order to proceed from First semester to Second semester and from Second semester to Final Semester, a student must maintain a G.P.A. of at least 2.75 in Social Work major courses. A student may not proceed to field placement with a grade of "C-" in any SOW core courses even if his/her GPA is 2.75. No exceptions will be made.

*Students should contact the BSW advisor for course selection.

2. Complete Additional Supervised Clinical Experience

Aspiring LCSWs must complete additional hours of post-MSW supervised experience, such as clinical psychosocial diagnosis, assessment and treatment; face-to-face individual or group psychotherapy/counseling; client-centered advocacy, consultation and evaluation; and research. As with all LCSW requirements, these clinical hours vary by state.

3. Pass the Required Licensing Exams

States have different requirements to become an LCSW, so it's important to verify which examinations you must pass to earn your license.

After earning their master's degree, students who want to become an LCSW may have to complete pre-licensure coursework on a variety of topics that may include aging and long-term care, child abuse assessment and spousal and partner abuse. Often, this coursework is delivered in the form of brief classes; however, this may vary according to each state's requirements. Please check with your state licensing board for more information.

Many states require those interested in becoming an LCSW to apply for, take and pass the following exams:

  • Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) national clinical exam
  • A law and ethics exam (varies from state to state)

4. Renew Your License

Once you become an LCSW, you must renew your license within the registration period for your state by completing continuing education units (CEUs). This ongoing education ensures that you are continually meeting the high standards represented by your license.

Additional Online Licensing Resources

When researching how to become a licensed clinical social worker in your state, we recommend that you consult the following websites for information.

  • Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB): The ASWB is a nonprofit organization that comprises social work regulatory boards within the United States and Canada. LCSW examinations are owned and maintained by this organization.
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW): The NASW has more members than any other professional social work membership organization in the Currently used by most social work licensing boards, the NASW Code of Ethics sets forth the values, principles and standards that guide social workers' conduct in all practice areas.

How To Become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Your State

Because each state has its own regulations and requirements that are always evolving, it is vital to contact your state's licensing board for current information on how to become an LCSW.

Below, we have compiled links to LCSW requirements in states where many MSW@USC students reside.

How To Become an LCSW in Other States

After becoming an LCSW, you may decide to practice in a different state than where you earned your license. The new state will require you to provide examination scores, transcripts and other documentation that you used to get your current license. It is possible that your ASWB examination scores can be transferred to your new area; joining the ASWB Social Work Registry may simplify the process.

Check with the licensing board in your new state or province to verify what you need to do before you can practice as an LCSW.

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