How to Become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Colorado
What Is an LCSW?
Social Work Settings and Salary
Steps to Become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Colorado
- Hold a master’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited school.
- Hold a current and unrestricted license as an LSW or equivalent in another jurisdiction.
- Submit a completed application to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). The application must be accompanied by the following items:
- Official transcript: Provide official MSW transcript from a CSWE-accredited school.
- Documented post-degree supervised experience: You must use the Post-Degree Experience and Supervision Form to upload documentation of 3,360 hours of social work experience over a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years including 96 hours of supervision, 48 hours of which must be face-to-face individual supervision.
- Healthcare Professions Profile Program (HPPP): You must complete a profile, which is an ongoing responsibility and required for healthcare professionals in Colorado.
- Passing Results Report for Colorado’s Mental Health Professions Jurisprudence Examination: You must take and pass this open-book examination online and upload a copy of your signed and dated Passing Results Report. You can pay for and take the exam as many times as necessary, every 10 days.
- Application fee
- Submit an exam pre-approval application to the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to review and determine whether you are eligible to take the ASWB exam. This generally takes 24–48 hours. Once ASWB verifies an application, you must register for, schedule and pass the ASWB clinical social work exam. If you fail the ASWB examination, you must wait 90 days to re-register, repay and retest.
- Apply for a license through DORA. The license approval time varies. Generally, it takes up to two weeks for DORA to receive exam scores from ASWB and another six weeks or more for DORA to issue a license.
Other Social Work Licenses Available in Colorado
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
Provisional Licensed Social Worker (SWP)
Social Work Post-Licensure
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program
(Many social work schools offer continuing professional development opportunities. Learn more about the GSSW’s CPD workshops.)
- Deem Status
- Military Exemption
Social Work License Reciprocity
Resources for Becoming a Social Worker in Colorado
- Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is responsible for professional licensing and consumer protection. If you are interested in licensure in another state, you should refer to your state’s social work licensing board to determine specific requirements.
- Social work licensing application review and exam pre-approval services are processed by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) sets and maintains the national accreditation standards for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work. University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work is CSWE-accredited.
- The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a resource for a wide range of social work information at both state and national levels, is the largest organization of professional social workers. NASW also provides continuing education courses and information on professional liability coverage once you obtain your license.
- The National Association of Social Workers Colorado Chapter (NASWCO) sends pertinent information to its members via email regarding membership benefits, advocacy, chapter events, educational and career development resources and licensing updates as well as the Chapter e-Newsletter Social Work Update.
- If you are interested in practicing social work in schools, visit the Colorado Department of Education for more information on school social work (SSW) services.
University of Denver’s Online MSW Grounded in Social Justice
- Learn from faculty who will push you to think critically about your worldview and development as a social work professional.
- Explore coursework in our Mental Health and Trauma concentration, which focuses on clinical and community-based interventions, advanced theory and research related to mental health, substance use and trauma.
- Complete field education where you will apply what you’ve learned in the classroom, working alongside an experienced social worker at an internship near your community.