Master of Social Work

Status of Accreditation

Carroll’s MSW program is currently in the process of being accredited by the Council on Social Work Accreditation (CSWE). Accreditation is a three-year process that includes the submission of three benchmark documents and three visits from CSWE site reviewers. We anticipate being initially accredited February 2024.

Status of Licensure

Carroll’s MSW program is not required to be licensed by the State of Montana. However, individuals graduating from our program will more than likely seek Montana licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) licenses that permit them to independently practice as clinical social workers. One condition of obtaining an LCSW license is to first be licensed as an LCSW Candidate and obtain 3,000 hours of work experience, that includes 1,500 hours of direct client contact. To obtain an LCSW candidate license, applicants must have a doctorate or master’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or approved by the board. Until Carroll College's accreditation is received (anticipated February 2024), our MSW program will not meet licensure requirements in any state or territory. 

Implications of Accreditation and Licensure Status for Carroll MSW Students

As noted above, Carroll College anticipates that our MSW program will be accredited February 2024. Students in our first full-time two-year student cohort will graduate May 2023. This means our first cohort of students will graduate approximately 8 months before the program receives its initial accreditation. The program, however, is in the process of seeking approval from the State of Montana that will allow students to apply for an LCSW Candidate license and count work experience collected between graduation (May 2023) and the program being accredited (February 2024) towards their license. This approval process is allowable under State of Montana statute and the process is anticipated to be completed Fall 2021. With this approval, our first cohort of graduates can apply for an LCSW Candidate license and begin working towards their LCSW license.

For students graduating May 2023, it is also possible that graduation from a non-accredited program may impact employment opportunities until the program is accredited February 2024. This is because some employers may require graduation from a CSWE accredited program. Carroll College is confident, however, that with the program having successfully completed two of three steps of the accreditation process by May 2023, and with the program having been approved by the State of Montana, that few employers will have concerns about hiring our graduates.

And once the program receives initial accreditation February 2024, students will no longer have these concerns.

Additional considerations

Some state licensing boards require additional requirements beyond education, which may include (but are not limited to): additional post-graduation examinations or experience, application and licensing fees, criminal background checks, reference checks, fingerprint submissions, etc. Continuing education may also be required for maintenance of certification/licensure. Make sure you understand and review any additional requirements prior to enrolling in the Master of Social Work program.

State licensing requirements are always subject to change at the discretion of the state licensing board. Carroll College will routinely update this page, but we strongly recommend you inquire with the applicable state board to confirm your eligibility for licensure prior to enrolling in the Master of Social Work program. For any questions regarding licensure, please contact the state/territory agency directly.

Licensing requirements vary by state/territory and relocating could impact whether you will meet eligibility requirements for licensure. For any questions about relocation eligibility, contact the agency where you desire licensure before relocating to ensure that you will be eligible for licensure or reciprocity.

If questions remain after reviewing the information provided, contact Dr. James Petrovich, Director of the MSW program. While Carroll College can provide initial guidance, it is ultimately your responsibility to continually check with the state/territory where you intend to seek licensure to confirm all licensing/certification requirements.

Learn more

Visit the Master of Social Work website for more information about the program.