Online MSW Programs in Texas

Updated March 15, 2021

Texas social work is overseen by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, a governing body that is appointed by the state’s governor and which is part of the Texas Department of State Health Services. Social workers in the state of Texas work in a variety of communities and settings to provide critical social services. Texas social work is carried out in many different sectors, including schools, hospitals, community centers, municipal buildings, and private homes.

There are three levels of licensure that applicants can pursue in the state of Texas: Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (BSW), and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Independent Practice Recognition (IPR) is available to LMSWs and LBSWs.

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CSWE Accredited Online MSW Programs in Texas

School Annual Tuition Locations
# Baylor University $34,146 Waco
# Our Lady of the Lake University $17,142 San Antonio
# Texas State University $16,749 San Marcos
# University of Houston $18,465 Houston
# The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley $14,359 Edinburg

Becoming a Social Worker in Texas

The minimum required education that candidates must complete in order to obtain a social work license in Texas is a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). Depending on the level of licensure candidates are pursuing, some may be required to complete a Master of Social Work (MSW). Both the BSW and MSW degrees must be completed at a school that offers a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and curriculum for both degrees must cover topics like working with clients in individual and group settings, psychology, addiction, counseling and community relations. Many bachelor's and master's programs in social work require an internship or field experience as part of the curriculum.

LBSWs are licensed to practice general Texas social work and can fill roles like a case manager, community organizer, or family and youth specialist. Those who hold the credential of Master of Social Work can practice advanced, nonclinical social work. Both LBSWs and LMSWs can upgrade their licenses in order to practice without the requirement of being supervised by an agency. LCSWs can perform the full range of clinical and nonclinical social work services, including diagnosis.

Social Work License Reciprocity in Texas

Texas does not offer social work licenses by reciprocity. Candidates who hold a social work license in another state and want to practice Texas social work need to apply through the Board and meet all of the licensure requirements. Applicants will need to follow all of the steps outlined above for obtaining a social work in Texas and will need to include verification of licensure in any other jurisdiction where they practiced. There are certain circumstances where the Board may allow licensure by endorsement, but those situations are determined on a case-by-case basis. In order for candidates to be eligible for licensure by endorsement, the requirements of the state where they currently hold a social work license need to meet the minimum requirements for Texas social work.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information

Texas social workers must renew their license every two years. Social work licenses in the state expire in the month of the practitioner’s birth. Renewal forms can be submitted by mail and must be postmarked by the last day of the candidate’s birth month. Fees are associated with renewing licenses, and amounts vary depending on which type of social work license is being renewed. All Texas social work licensees must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to be eligible for license renewal. Six of the 24 hours must be completed in ethics and values related to social work.

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