MSW Accreditation

State Licensing Rules on Candidates Graduating from MSW Programs ¨In Candidacy¨ for Accreditation

The Marshall University MSW program is currently in “Candidacy” with the Council on Social Work Accreditation.  The first site visit from the Council occurred during the Fall semester 2016, and the next site visit will occur during the Fall semester 2018. The timeline for the MSW program full accreditation from CSWE is scheduled for the Spring semester 2019.

Accreditation Standards:

Accredited programs meet the extensive requirements of the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. They must demonstrate that the explicit curriculum meets core social work competencies. Graduates will know how to apply ethical principles and critical thinking to social work practice. They will be able to utilize social work research and respond to changing practice contexts. They will be able to effectively engage with members of diverse populations and carry out appropriate assessments and interventions.


Are there any instances where CSWE accreditation isn’t necessary? Technically, yes – there are brand new programs. Programs don’t have accreditation their first few years; they go through a candidacy period first. State boards sometimes note that a program must either be accredited or have candidate status.

Marshall University’s MSW Program will have the first CSWE site visit when the program begins in the fall of 2016. After the site visit, the MSW program will be reviewed for “candidacy status”.  The first full-time Specialization/Advanced Standing students will graduate in August 2017. The first full-time Generalist/Foundation level students will graduate in May 2018. After candidacy is established, the MSW graduates will graduate from a program that is “in candidacy” and will be able to apply for West Virginia and Ohio social work licensing.  Marshall University’s MSW Program is scheduled to complete full accreditation in February 2019.

West Virginia Social Work Licensing Rules

Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)

Licensed Ohio Counselor and Social Work Board MSW

To become a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) in West Virginia, you must first get your Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college or one in candidacy for accreditation. You will need to pass a criminal background check. You will need to provide proof of at least 4 hours of AIDS awareness training acceptable to the board.

The following meanings shall apply to all rules promulgated by the counselor, social worker, and marriage and family therapy board, unless in a specific paragraph under one of the counselor, social worker, and marriage and family therapist board rules, the word or term is explicitly defined or used in different manner.

A master’s degree in social work (MSW) means a degree granted from an educational institution accredited by the council on social work education or an educational institution in candidacy for accreditation by the council.