A State by State Licensure Guide

Becoming a Social Worker in North Dakota

With a bachelor's or master's degree in social work, you can be licensed to work in an agency setting in North Dakota. With a master's and additional post-degree supervised practice, you will be eligible to go into independent practice as a mental health provider.

You can start studying at any level; the only difference will be how long it takes you! The following are some guidelines to getting your social worker education in North Dakota.

social work student and professor

If You Are a High School Student

Step 1:

In high school, concentrate on the courses required for university admission. There are no prerequisites you need at this stage, but you can opt for psychology, sociology, and human development. It is a good idea to start participating in service projects.

Step 2:

Apply to a university that has a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work program.

Declare a pre-social work major and meet with an adviser to plan your college schedule. At this stage, you may take a few lower division social work classes in addition to the standard general studies courses. Some social work undergraduates minor in fields like gerontology or chemical dependence.

Click Here to find Social Work and Human Services undergraduate degrees.

Step 3:

Apply to the social work school when you are ready to begin upper level coursework. In a North Dakota BSW program, you can expect a minimum GPA requirement of about 2.75; some schools set it lower.

Step 4:

Complete upper division coursework and field placements. The social work program includes approximately 500 hours of practicum.

Step 5:

Apply to the North Dakota Board for credentialing as a Licensed Social Worker. You will take the Association of Social Work Boards examination at the bachelor’s level. You will also have a criminal history check and child abuse record check. You will need to secure references from several individuals, including a field supervisor.

Find more detailed North Dakota Social Work Licensure information here.

If You Have a College Degree

Step 1:

Prepare for admission to a Master of Social Work program. Some schools prefer experience in a related field (at least on a volunteer basis). It is important to have strong references. The GRE is not typically required at the MSW level. A GPA of 3.0 is usually expected though some schools will consider otherwise outstanding students who fall below this standard.

Step 2:

Select a CSWE-accredited program. You have more options than you may realize, even in a rural state. Some are designed specifically for mental health practitioners while others offer an advanced generalist concentration. You can complete a social work program online through an in-state or out-of-state program. (Some offer only part-time or full-time options while others offer both.)

Capella University is now offering an online Master of Social Work that is in CSWE candidacy status. The MSW program helps prepare students to enter the general or clinical practice role (in most states). Capella also offers an online Doctor of Social Work. Click Here to contact Capella University about their Master of Social Work program or Doctor of Social Work program.

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers a CSWE-accredited online Master's in Social Work. The GRE is not required to apply to the MSW@USC program. A Bachelor's degree is required. Learn more about this program.

Earn your Master of Social Work online from Simmons College School of Social Work (SocialWork@Simmons) in as little as 15 months. CSWE-accredited. No GRE required Request information about the program.

You can enroll in any prerequisite courses (for example, statistics) while going through the admission process.

Step 3:

Complete MSW requirements. If you did not earn a bachelor’s in social work, your program will be approximately 60 semester hours. The foundation year will be followed by a year of coursework in your concentration. You will do at least 900 hours of practicum. You often have some say in where you are placed. Be prepared to work up to half-time for a couple semesters. However, individual schools may have other scheduling options.

Step 4:

Apply to become a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW). You will take the ASWB national board exam at the master's (intermediate) level.

Step 5:

If you will be pursuing clinical licensure, submit a supervision plan to the North Dakota Board.

Complete additional steps required for licensure as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). You will complete 3,000 hours of supervised experience (full-time over a two year period or part-time over a period of up to four years). You will need to take the clinical examination offered by the ASWB.

Find more detailed North Dakota Social Work Licensure information here.

View Schools by State