Counseling Licensure

In order to achieve licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) counselors typically need to fulfill requirements in three areas: academic, national examination, and counseling hours.

Requirements for Licensure:

  • Academic - Usually at least a 48-hour master's degree in counseling or a counseling-related field is required, plus additional courses. For example, in Pennsylvania counselors need at least 60 academic credits (See PA Academic Requirements). Requirements in other states vary (see below for links to surrounding states).
  • Exam - You will need to pass the National Counselor Exam (NCE) for licensure.
  • Counseling Hours - Usually 3000 or more post-graduation counseling hours are required. In Pennsylvania the requirement is 3000 post-graduation hours.
NOTE: Please review the specific code requirements for the state in which you wish to obtain licensure. The information on this page is a helpful overview, but it cannot replace written state information. Go to your state's website for complete information.
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Links to Surrounding States:



New York:

New Jersey:


CACREP Update from New Jersey - On December 5th 2011 it was printed in the New Jersey Register that there will be an alternative to the CACREP requirement which was to go into effect October 2012. This means that you will not need to have graduated from a CACREP school to be eligible to apply for LPC in NJ. Please see this PDF for more info.

For Students Applying for Licensure in New York:

The NY State Education Department does not register as licensure-qualifying any programs that are offered by institutions outside of New York. Each individual who graduates from a program outside of New York must apply for licensure and then be individually evaluated to determine if the applicant has satisfied education requirements equivalent to a New York licensure-qualifying program. The Bureau of Comparative Education will review the Form 2, transcript, course syllabi and other information that is submitted directly by the college or university. The applicant will be notified if additional information is required or if additional education or an internship must be completed to meet the education requirements for licensure in New York.


How can the Graduate School of Counseling help?

Our 52-hour Master of Arts in Counseling degree is designed for students who wish to pursue licensure in the Commonwealth of PA. In addition, many of the courses assist students and alumni in other states to also pursue licensure. But a master's degree doesn't always fulfill the academic requirements. That is why BTS also has a Certificate in Advanced Professional Counseling (CAPC). The CAPC is a 10-credit/ five-course certificate with courses in the five specific areas usually required by the states and tested on the licensing exam. Acceptance into the CAPC program is by application after completion of a master's degree. Click here for more information on our CAPC program.


"The past two years in the cohort have been very challenging and very rewarding. I have gained great knowledge, insight, friendship, and experience."

Lindsay Nolan, MA in Counseling

Our admissions department is always available to assist you and answer any question that you might have regarding our programs and the application process.

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