Thank you for your interest in contacting Counseling Degree Guide. We regret that we cannot offer personalized advising or guidance to individuals. If you have additional questions that are not addressed in our FAQs below or elsewhere on our site, the best point of contact is typically the department or board overseeing the licensure of the practice area of professional counseling in the state in which you wish to work.
If you are a representative from a school or organization and would like to submit a question or comment about our resources or work with us, you can email us (preferred method) at email@example.com or write to us at:
Counseling Degree Guide
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- Counseling Licensure Requirements by State
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Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some of our visitors’ most frequently asked questions, sorted by questions related to becoming a counselor, finding programs, and careers in counseling.
Counseling Licensure Information
What are the requirements for becoming licensed as a professional counselor?
Most states require that professional counselors have a minimum of a master’s degree in mental health counseling or the area of counseling for which a license is sought. In addition to a graduate degree, most states require candidates to gain supervised experience and take a national exam to become licensed. For more information about counseling licensure, see our How to Become a Counselor page.
Can I become licensed as a counselor with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree?
While nearly all states require licensed professional counselors to have a master’s degree in professional counseling, there may be some exceptions for other types of counseling and for entry-level licenses. For example, you may be able to obtain a substance abuse counseling credential with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in some states. Full, clinical licensure, however, is typically reserved for those with a higher degree (master’s or doctorate).
Finding Counseling Degree Programs
Can you send me a list of schools for the type of program I am looking for?
No. Unfortunately, we do not maintain lists of programs other than those that are publicly available on our site. To find a directory of schools that offer a counseling program in your state, you can visit our schools page. You can also use the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator (NCES) to sort counseling programs by multiple criteria including state and program type.
How can I enroll in your school?
Counseling Degree Guide is not a school; it is an informational resource only and we do not offer counseling courses or programs for enrollment. You can view our schools page for more information about programs available in your area.
Careers in Counseling
How do I become a mental health counselor?
Most mental health counselors (also called professional counselors) have a master’s degree in professional counseling from an accredited school. Some begin their journey to counseling with an associate or bachelor’s degree in counseling or a related field, such as human services, psychology, or sociology. Then, once the master’s degree is obtained, most prospective counselors must gain around two years of professional experience under the supervision of an experienced, licensed counselor. In addition, they will likely need to pass a national and/or state exam before receiving their license to practice as a professional counselor. For more information about licensure requirements by state, see our counseling licensing guide. You should also refer to the website of the counseling board for the state in which you wish to become licensed.
What types of counseling careers are available?
Counseling is a vast and broad field with opportunities available for candidates with a variety of backgrounds. With a master’s degree, you can pursue licensure as a professional mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, and school counselor. With an undergraduate degree like an associate’s or bachelors, you can pursue limited counseling licenses such as Certified Addiction Counselor and Alcohol and Drug Counselor (usually without the ability to practice independently). In some subspecialties, like substance abuse counseling, you can even get credentialed with a high school diploma. (Keep in mind that these entry-level positions typically require additional hours of education that may not culminate in a degree.) In addition, there are counseling careers in rehabilitation, behavioral health, gambling, and more. Read about these and other counseling careers on our careers in counseling guide.