Become a Social Worker in Mississippi

Start your social work career with the Gulf Coast shores, American history at Vicksburg National Park, and a statewide network of more than 5,600 social workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, all areas of social work in Mississippi are expected to grow by 7.9% by 2026. 

This guide for how to become a social worker in Mississippi explains educational and licensing requirements, social work organizations to join and more. Once you complete the steps to become a social worker in Mississippi, you can embark on a meaningful, fulfilling career helping others in the Magnolia State.

Information below was retrieved May 2022 and is only meant to be a high-level overview. Requirements may change, always check with the state licensing board for complete and up to date information.

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.

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.

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.

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 12 months. GRE scores are not required, and the program offers full-time, part-time, accelerated, and advanced standing tracks.

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. USC offers virtual and in-person field education, and students focus on adults, youth or social change.

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. 

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.

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.

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Common Steps to Become a Mississippi Social Worker

Before becoming a social worker in Mississippi you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work and a social work license, depending on what career path you choose. Mississippi offers three types of social work licenses. There may be additional requirements, such as a background check and clinical supervision, based on your goals. Below are the steps to obtain licenses in Mississippi, according to the Mississippi State Board of Examiners.

1. Earn a CSWE-Accredited Social Work Degree

To become a licensed social worker in Mississippi, you will have to complete a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program. You can pursue these degrees in Mississippi in various formats, including full time, part time and online. 

2. Fulfill your social work supervised experience requirement and pass your national/state exams

Mississippi has three levels of social workers, according to the state’s licensing board, with increasing requirements:

Licensed social worker (LSW): A person with an accredited Bachelor of Social Work who has passed the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) bachelor’s exam. Generally, LSWs can provide basic non-clinical social-work services.

Licensed master social worker (LMSW): A person with an accredited master’s or doctoral degree in social work who has passed the ASWB master’s exam. LMSWs can provide social-work services under supervision.

Licensed independent clinical social worker (LCSW): A person with an accredited master’s or doctoral degree in social work who has passed the ASWB clinical or advanced generalist exam. This person must have also completed 1,000 hours of supervised clinical social work. LCSWs may provide clinical social services independent of supervision.

3. Get Licensed

Once you’ve completed your hours and experience, you may apply to become a licensed social worker in Mississippi. 
Learn more on how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in Mississippi

There are 15 accredited BSW and MSW degree programs in Mississippi. A bachelor’s degree in social work can enable a student to enter an advanced standing program in an MSW program, where you may be able to complete an MSW degree in about one year. A BSW also prepares students for entry-level social work positions, and is the minimum requirement for licensure as an LSW in Mississippi. There are 11 CSWE-accredited BSW programs in Mississippi.

To obtain other licenses in Mississippi, however, a minimum of an MSW degree is required. Some individuals further their education and experience in social work by pursuing Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degrees. 

Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Mississippi

MSW programs in Mississippi teach students advanced social work theories and practical knowledge. MSW programs may include coursework on topics such as human development, social work policy and intervention. There are three fully accredited MSW programs in Mississippi.

Online MSW Programs in Mississippi

There is one online MSW program in Mississippi that is fully accredited. Online MSW programs offer the same curriculum and coursework as traditional on-campus Mississippi programs. Students are taught by the same professors and also complete fieldwork as part of the program. 

Social Work Licenses in Mississippi 

Mississippi has three types of licenses for social workers: licensed social worker (LSW), licensed master social worker (LMSW), and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). While you may practice entry-level social work with a minimum of a BSW degree, the Mississippi Board requires a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) or Doctor of Social Work (DSW) to practice more specialized social work. All information below on LSW, LMSW and LCSW licenses was retrieved from the Mississippi State Board of Examiners.

Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Mississippi

Becoming an LSW allows you to practice general social work under the supervision of an LMSW or LCSW.

  • Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB bachelor’s exam
  • License Renewal: 40 hours of professional development in continuing education

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in Mississippi

Becoming an LMSW allows you to practice general social work as part of an agency or organization and clinical social work under LCSW supervision.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB master’s exam
  • License Renewal: 40 hours of professional development in continuing education

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Mississippi

Becoming an LCSW allows you to practice clinical and macro/administrative social work services without supervision after licensure.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: 1,000 hours of supervised social work
  • Exams: ASWB advanced generalist or clinical exam
  • License Renewal: 40 hours of professional development in continuing education

Social Work Salaries in Mississippi

Mississippi Social Work CareersNumber of Social Workers in MississippiAnnual Mean Social Work Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers
3,110
$36,900
Healthcare Social Workers
1,250
$54,810
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
1,170
$44,060
Social Workers, All Other
390
$57,610

Information on the above social work salaries in Mississippi was retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Mississippi in May 2022.

Mississippi Social Work Scholarships 

For those just starting on their path to social work, there are statewide scholarships and programs in place to assist you. While each state has different offerings, below are some grants and loans to help you become an LSW, LMSW or LCSW in Mississippi.

Mississippi Social Worker Organizations

There are countless local and national associations and organizations that promote, develop and protect the practice of social work and social workers. Better social work means better solutions for issues such as welfare, child welfare, elderly welfare, health care reform, and other issues affecting disadvantaged people in Mississippi and beyond.

Mississippi Social Work FAQs

Does Mississippi offer social work license reciprocity?

Mississippi allows licensure by endorsement. Out-of-state applicants must have an equivalent social work license in another state, meet the educational prerequisites for the equivalent in-state social work license, provide their official ASWB exam scores, and pay application fees on the Mississippi State Board of Examiners site.

What are the social work continuing education requirements in Mississippi?

Social workers must renew their license every two years. Additionally, licensees must earn 40 hours of continuing education, including four hours of ethics and two hours of cultural diversity. To renew, complete the online renewal form and pay the associated fee.

What is the best way to look up my social work license in Mississippi? 

Search for your social work license at the Mississippi State Board of Examiners site search. You can search for your name and find your license number, license status, and details surrounding your professional information.

Last updated May 2022.