National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Credentials

The NASW offers social workers two different types of credentials and nine different specialty credentials. NASW social work credentials indicate that individuals possess additional professional training and experience and that they follow the NASW Code of Conduct. NASW credentials cannot take the place of state licenses, which register and authorize individuals to work as professional social workers.

Fees and information for the NASW Credentials below have been updated as of January 2020. For most up-to-date fees, be sure to check with the appropriate NASW page.

Depending on where a social worker is at in their careers, NASW membership begins at $74 for retired members to $236 for master’s in social work (MSW), doctorate in social work (MSW) and PhD full membership annual dues.

Learn more about the following type of social worker credentials and certifications offered by the NASW:

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Howard University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The online Master of Social Work program from Howard University School of Social Work prepares students for advanced direct or macro practice in culturally diverse communities. Two concentrations available: Direct Practice and Community, Administration, and Policy Practice. No GRE. Complete in as few as 12 months.

  • Concentrations: Direct Practice and Community, Administration, and Policy Practice
  • Complete at least 777-1,000 hours of agency-based field education
  • Earn your degree in as few as 12 months

University of Denver

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The University of Denver’s Online MSW Program is delivered by its top-ranked school of social work and offers two programs. Students can earn their degree in as few as 12 months for the Online Advanced-Standing MSW or 27 months for the Online MSW.

  • Complete the Online Advanced-Standing MSW in as few as 12 months if you have a BSW; if you do not have a BSW, the Online MSW Program may be completed in as few as 27 months.
  • No GRE Required
  • Mental Health and Trauma or Health, Equity and Wellness concentrations

Fordham University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Fordham’s skills-based, online MSW program integrates advanced relevant social work competencies, preparing students to serve individuals and communities while moving the profession forward. This program includes advanced standing and traditional MSW options.

  •  Traditional and advanced standing online MSW options are available.
  • There are four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy.
  • Pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time track.

Simmons University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Aspiring direct practitioners can earn their MSW online from Simmons University in as few as 16 months. GRE scores are not required, and the program offers full-time, part-time, accelerated, and advanced standing tracks.

  • Prepares students to pursue licensure, including LCSW 
  • Full-time, part-time, and accelerated tracks 
  • Minimum completion time: 16 months

University of Southern California

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The MSW@USC is the online Master of Social Work from top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. The Advanced Standing track can be completed in as little as 1 year. USC offers virtual and in-person field education, and students focus on adults, youth or social change.

  •  Minimum completion time: 12 months with a BSW 
  • Online classes taught by USC faculty 
  • Virtual field training to build skills and confidence

Syracuse University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Syracuse University’s online Master of Social Work program does not require GRE scores to apply and is focused on preparing social workers who embrace technology as an important part of the future of the profession. Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks are available. 

  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks
  • No GRE required
  • Concentrate your degree in integrated practice or clinical practice

Baylor University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Complete the Master of Social Work online program at Baylor University in as few as 12 months. Serve populations in Texas and around the world while ethically integrating faith and social work practice. No GRE required.

  • Address injustice from a strengths-based perspective
  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Serve as a trusted resource for clients, no matter their personal background
  • Complete the MSW online program in as few as 12 months

Case Western Reserve University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

In as few as a year and a half, you can prepare for social work leadership by earning your Master of Social Work online from Case Western Reserve University’s school of social work.

  • CSWE-accredited
  • No GRE requirement
  • Complete in as few as one and a half years

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Professional Social Work Credentials

  • Education Requirement: Master’s degree in social work from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and 20 hours of relevant continuing education.
  • Field Requirement: Two years of postgraduate social work employment and professional supervision by a credentialed supervisor
  • Additional Requirements: Current NASW membership, professional evaluations from an MSW supervisor and two social work colleagues
  • Fees: $140 for application
  • Benefits: Identification and recognition by the public, employers, and colleagues as having demonstrated knowledge and experience beyond the entry level into the profession, acceptance by many insurance companies as eligible for third-party reimbursement, and satisfaction of one criterion for being listed in the NASW Register of Clinical Social Workers
  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school with 20 hours of clinical coursework
  • Field Requirement: 4,500 hours and three years of additional clinical work experience occurred within the past 10 years
  • Additional Requirements: NASW Membership, current state clinical social work licensure, adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics, Standards for Continuing Professional Education, and Standards for the Practice of Clinical Social Work
  • Fees: $450
  • Benefits: Recognition for as an advanced practitioner, having met national standards of social work, possible employer incentive, and reimbursement eligibility by insurers.

Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials – Master of Social Work

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 or more continuing education units related to hospice and palliative care.
  • Field Requirement: At least 2 years of postgraduate supervised clinical experience in an agency or organized setting related to hospice and palliative care.
  • Additional Requirements: Current license as a professional social worker, adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and NASW Standards for End of Life Care.
  • Fees: $165 for NASW or National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals (NCHPP) members; $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Identification and recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers in hospice and palliative care, recognition by peers and employers
  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school and
    • CSW-G; 30 contact hours for CSW-G of continuing education on bio-psychosocial issues, interventions, or dynamics of working with the aging, their families and caregivers.
    • ASW-G; 20 contact hours for ASW-G of continuing education related to working with older adults.
  • Field Requirement:
    • CSW-G; Two years of paid supervised, post-degree employment providing mental health assessment and treatment to the aging population
    • ASW-G; Two years of experience working with older adults
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education and
    • CSW-G; Current state clinical social work license
    • ASW-G; Current state MSW-level license of ASWB MSW-level passing exam score
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers in gerontology
  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 contact hours with child, youth, and family population
  • Field Requirement: Two years of postgraduate, paid, supervised youth, children, and family social work experience in an agency or organized setting.
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, one of the following: ACSW, DCSW, and/or current state MSW-level license or an ASWB MSW-level exam passing score
  • Fees: $165 for NASWmembers; $350 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers focused on children, youth, and families
  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school
  • Field Requirement: Two years of paid supervised experience in an agency or organization in an agency or organization providing treatment to individuals and families affected by medical conditions or physical limitations
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, one of the following: ACSW, DCSW, and/or current state MSW-level license or an ASWB MSW-level exam passing score
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $350 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers in health care
  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school and 180 hours of relevant continuing education
  • Field Requirement: Two years of paid supervised, post-MSW experience in an agency or organization providing treatment to individuals and families affected by substance use disorders.
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, one of the following: current ACSW, DCSW, and/or current highest-level state clinical social work license
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers focused on ATOD
  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school
  • Field Requirement: Two years of paid supervised post-MSW case management experience
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, current state MSW-level license or certification or passing score on ASWB MSW-level exam
  • Fees:$165 for NASW members; $210 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social worker case managers
  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school
  • Field Requirement: Two years of supervised, paid, post-MSW experience as a school social worker in a school setting
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, one of the following: current ACSW or DCSW for current active-duty military personnel residing in foreign countries, current state issued, exam-based MSW-level license, passing clinical ASWB exam score, state issued school social work license or certification
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers in school settings
  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school with 20 hours of clinical social work coursework and 30 contact hours of post-graduate continuing education specific to clinical social work within the last two years
  • Field Requirement: At least three years of paid postgraduate supervised clinical experience in an agency or organization.
  • Additional Requirements: A current state clinical social work license, adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education, and three reference evaluations
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members or $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for as an advanced practitioner, having met national standards of social work, possible employer incentive, and reimbursement eligibility by insurers.

Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials – Bachelor of Social Work

  • Education Requirement: BSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 continuing education units related to hospice and palliative care
  • Field Requirement: Three years of supervised experience in hospice and palliative care
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for End of Life Care, state license to practice as a professional social worker
  • Fees: $140 for NASW or NCHPP members; $350 for non-members
  • Education Requirement: BSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 contact hours of continuing education related to working with older adults, or proof of an aging/gerontology concentration through transcript or certification
  • Field Requirement: Three years of experience working with older adults under supervision
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics, Standards for Social Work Services in Long-Term Care Facilities and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, ACBSW, current BSW-level license, ASWB BSW-level passing exam score, or one year of additional experience and 10 additional hours of continuing education
  • Fees: $140 NASW for members; $350 for non-members
  • Education Requirement: BSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 hours of post-degree continuing education on bio-psycho-social issues, interventions, or dynamics of working with children, youth, and family
  • Field Requirement: One year and 1,500 hours of paid supervised, post-BSW experience with children, youth, and families.
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from a BSW or MSW colleague, current exam-based BSW-level license or certification, passing ASWB BSW-level exam score or one additional year of experience with 20 continuing education units
  • Fees: $140 NASW for members; $350 for non-members
  • Education Requirement: BSW from a CSWE accredited school
  • Field Requirement: Three years and 4,500 hours of paid supervised, post-BSW experience in an agency or organization providing case management services
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from a BSW or MSW colleague, current BSW-level license of ASWB BSW-level exam passing score or one additional year of experience with 20 continuing education units
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $210 for non-members