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Online MSW Programs in Georgia

By James Holbrook | Updated 12/21/2022

Social work in Georgia provides numerous opportunities, all aiming to help a variety of populations. Whether professionals wish to practice clinical social work, or contribute to policy and administration, they have two different liscencing paths that can help them make their desired impact in Georgia. Those wishing to become a social worker in Georgia should understand the education, work experience, and examination requirements that will be expected of them prior to beginning this journey. It is also important to be mindful of the application process, and the guidelines for renewing liscences so that credentials are properly maintained. Because Georgia offers no formal reciprociy with other states, those licensed in another state may earm the credentials to practice social work in Georgia by following the same procedures as new social workers.

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CSWE Accredited Online MSW Programs in Georgia

School Annual Tuition Locations
# Albany State University $15,586 Albany
# Herzing University $11,680 Multiple Locations
# University of Georgia $27,476 Athens

Becoming a Social Worker in Georgia

The Georgia Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists provides two paths to becoming a social worker in Georgia:

1

One option is to earn a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW).

2

The second option is to earn a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

While each path demands different education and work experience requirements, both licenses require a master’s degree in social work (MSW). Additionally, all students have a set of core class requirements. Then they can choose electives based on interests and selected concentrations. This could include anything from child and family services to medical social work. Students are also likely to have a fieldwork requirement in addition to classroom learning.

Check out our Social Work Guide for more information about this field of study, and find out whether an online degree is right for you.

Common career choices in this field include mental health and clinical work, gerontology, child and public welfare, corrections, healthcare, and more. Social workers in Georgia can work in a variety of organizations, companies, and agencies. With the right combination of education and supervised work experience, students can apply for a social work license in Georgia. In this article, we will provide information on Georgia social work licensure requirements.

To learn about online MSW programs and social worker requirements in other states, explore our list of CSWE-accredited online MSW programs by state below.

CSWE-Accredited Online MSW Programs by State

How To Become an LMSW in Georgia

Social workers need a master’s degree in social work in order to apply for an LMSW license in Georgia. The graduate program must be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Within a year of completing the program, graduates must take the licensing examination from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). The exam can be taken up to three times. However, the Georgia Board must approve an individual’s completed application before the exam can be taken.

In order for your application to be approved, Georgia requires applicants to submit completed applications. For an LMSW, this includes a notarized application form, an application fee, two professional referrals, a background check consent form, proof of citizenship (or immigration documents), and a verification of licensure in another state (if applicable). Once all these documents have been compiled, they can be submitted through Georgia’s online portal

The Georgia Board typically takes 20 business days to appraise applications. Once an application has been accepted, applicants can take the Association of Social Workers Board’s master’s-level exam, which covers the practice of social work at this level, including the application of specialized knowledge and advanced practice skills. Once an applicant has been approved by the Board, they have one calendar year to take the exam. 

How To Become an LCSW in Georgia

In order to become an LCSW in Georgia, applicants must meet one of two requirements.

The first option is to earn a master’s in social work from a program accredited by the CSWE. Graduates must then complete three years of full-time work experience in clinical social work, part of which must be under supervision. Applicants must also have 3,000 hours of postgraduate social work experience acquired between 36 and 108 months after receiving their MSW. The first 2,000 hours have to be under supervision in clinical social work. Both the applicant and supervisor must keep records of completed hours, which need to match up when submitted for the social work license application.

The other way students can meet the LCSW requirement is if they have earned both a MSW and a doctoral degree in social work, professional counseling, marriage and family therapy, medicine, psychiatric nursing, applied psychology, pastoral counseling, or applied child and family development from a CSWE-accredited program. During their course of study, they must have completed a supervised clinical internship. Applicants that meet these requirements can use these credentials to substitute for one year of experience. They must also have 2,000 hours of supervised postgraduate experience, which must be completed between 24 and 72 months after earning their degree.

In order for an application to be approved, Georgia requires applicants to submit completed applications. This includes some of the same requirements as an LMSW application, but some additional paperwork is also needed:

Once all these documents have been compiled, they can be submitted through Georgia’s online portal, as cited above.

The Board typically takes 20 business days to appraise applications. Once an application has been accepted, applicants can take the ASWB's clinical-level exam, which covers the practice of clinical social work that requires the application of specialized clinical knowledge and advanced clinical skills. Once an applicant has been approved by the Board, they have one calendar year to take the exam.

Social Work License Reciprocity in Georgia

Georgia does not have reciprocity agreements with other states. This means that applicants need to submit a social work license application to become either an LMSW or an LCSW. Out-of-state social workers should review the details above to make sure they understand what is required to apply for a license.

Relevant exam results should be sent directly from the ASWB to the Georgia Board. Applicants also need to have official transcripts sent from their university that outline the relevant degree details; these must be original documents. When applying, social workers also need to provide verification of their existing social work license from their home state. Once the required information has been submitted and verified, the applicant will receive a license to practice social work in the state of Georgia.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information

The Georgia Board of Social Work provides specific rules surrounding the renewal process and continuing education requirements. Renewal occurs every two years. During that time, social workers must complete 35 hours of approved continuing education courses.

At least five of those hours must be designated in professional ethics and may not be obtained through independent study or online. For the other 30 hours, 15 must be core hours and 15 must be related hours. Core hours come from approved social work associations or academic institutions. One semester hour of graduate coursework is equal to 15 continuing education hours. Related hours are done by participating in activities organized or sponsored by approved associations; federal, state, or local governments; or licensed hospitals. 

A maximum of 10 continuing education hours can be done online through asynchronous study. Up to five hours can be completed through independent study, which includes activities like teaching a course, presenting a lecture, or conducting a workshop for the first time. All of these hours must be documented by individuals and submitted every two years during the renewal period. 

FAQs About Online MSW Programs in Georgia

Is an Online MSW Respected?


Absolutely, online degrees are just as respected as in-person degrees. Now more than ever, schools are utilizing technology to provide quality education online. Finishing an online MSW program in Georgia can give you the same knowledge and skills as a traditional, on-campus degree program, and it fulfills the same requirement, allowing graduates to earn an Indiana social work license and begin a successful career.

Is Getting an MSW Worth It?


An MSW is necessary if you’re interested in working with local, state, and federal governments; assisting nonprofits; or starting your own practice. Both the LSW and LCSW require the completion of a master's degree in social work in Georgia, so pursuing that degree can help you meet your career goals.

How Much Do Social Workers Make in Georgia?


Social workers are compensated based on their chosen industry. The following are the annual mean salaries for the various sectors of social workers in Georgia based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  • General social workers: $75,270
  • Healthcare social workers: $54,710
  • Child, family, and school social workers: $48,200
  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers: $46,720

How Do I Get My Social Work Certification in Georgia?


Getting a social work certification requires the completion of a MSW program in Georgia and/or a social work program in Georgia. Once an individual has completed their graduate program, they can apply with the Georgia Board of Social Workers and take the AWSB exam.

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