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Career & Professional Services

2020 NJ Emergency Licensure (LSW)

Emergency Graduate Licensure Program for Mental Health Professionals - Social Workers and Associate Counselors

The emergency graduate licensure program, which begins accepting applications later today, expedites licensure for graduates so that they can begin working when their skills are needed most. In addition, it ensures that limited exam availability, whether due to site closure or limited capacity at the few reopened sites, does not serve as an impediment for recent graduates who want to join the medical community’s response to COVID-19.

The emergency graduate licensure program is open until Monday, October 12, 2020 to those who graduated on or after December 1, 2019, and after October 12 2020 to individuals applying for licensure within six months of graduating,

  • with a master’s degree or doctorate in social work from an educational program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) located in the United States; and
  • with a master’s degree or doctorate in counseling from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or an institution accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Pro-grams (CACREP) located in any state.

Some important facts about the new emergency graduate licensure program:

  • Until Monday, October 12, 2020, those who graduated on or after December 1, 2019 are invited to apply; after October 12, those who graduated within six months prior to the date of application are invited to apply.
  • Applicants for a temporary license will not be required to pay application fees or complete criminal history background checks for the emergency license.
  • Individuals will not be eligible for the program if they have failed the relevant licensing examination.
  • All emergency graduate licensees will be required to work under supervision.
  • Emergency licenses granted under this program are temporary. While the program will end automatically at the conclusion of the COVID-19 state of emergency and public health emergency, it could be wound down earlier if the Division determines that it is no longer necessary. The Division will give licensees 90 days to pass their examination and 120 days to obtain standard licenses after determining that licensure exams have become readily available.
  • In order to reduce any gap in time between the expiration of the emergency graduate license and the granting of a standard license, the Division is requiring individuals to initiate the application for a standard license be-fore applying for an emergency graduate license. The Division is strongly encouraging applicants to complete that standard application process during the time that they are practicing in an emergency capacity.

Graduates can apply for an emergency graduate license from the Division’s website. More information may be found at:

*Please note: Licensing is facilitated by the State, not the School, so it is best to address your questions directly to the Board.  If you are pursuing licensing in another state other than NJ, you may want to go the website of that state’s NASW chapter for relevant information.

*Information summary originally released by NASW-NJ

Social worker sitting with client
Social worker sitting with client

Social Work Job Search Engines

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