IDP – Counselor Education – Counseling Licensure

Master of Science in Counselor Education - Counseling Licensure

The counselor education program qualifies students for different licenses depending on the requirements fulfilled. There are two licenses available with a master’s degree in counselor education. One is a license as a school counselor, which is received from the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction. Graduates of the M.S. in counselor education who have fulfilled requirements for school counselor license are eligible to apply for an “M” license.

The other license available to graduates of the counselor education program is the LCMHCA (LCMHC Associate), which is governed by the North Carolina Board of LCMHCs.

School Counselor Licensure

Students seeking school counselor license through the Counselor Education program at East Carolina University follow one of two routes depending on their individual situation:

I. Full master’s degree program for students with an undergraduate degree or with a non-counseling master’s degree. The counselor education program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate course work in prescribed areas leading to the master’s degree. Successful completion of the program, including electives appropriate for school counseling, and a passing score on the Praxis School Guidance and Counseling Specialty Exam are needed to qualify for a school counselor license.

II. Students who already possess a Masters degree in either Community/Agency Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling should contact their local office of the Regional Alternative Licensing Center (RALC – who will review their transcript. The Department of Higher Adult and Counselor Education is pleased to offer three of the courses that RALC often requires, which include the following:

  • COAD 6402 Career Counseling & Development
  • COAD 6406 Counseling in Schools
  • COAD 6409 Counseling Skills and Techniques

These courses are typically offered online once per year. Once you receive your plan of study from RALC, you would need to apply to East Carolina University Graduate School as a non-degree student.

For more information about this process, please click on the following link for a more detailed explanation:

North Carolina LCMHC (LCMHC)

A bill passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1994 created a Board of Examiners for LCMHC. The counselor education master’s program qualifies students with 54 semester hours (students beginning graduate coursework prior to June 1, 2013 must complete 60 semester hours) to sit for the licensing examination (NCE, National Counselor Examination). Application must be made to the North Carolina LCMHC Board. For information call (844) 622-3572 or (336) 217-6007 or



Counseling Profession

The counseling profession consists of practitioners who work in educational, mental health, healthcare facilities, and other settings to help people make decisions, solve problems, establish or improve relationships, and reach life goals. Although professional counselors work in different settings with seemingly dissimilar missions, they are united by an understanding and command of basic helping skills and a common knowledge of approaches to counseling, human development, measurement and assessment, and psychological, social and cultural theories.

Major professional associations include the American Counseling Association (ACA), its 17 divisions, and its state chapters. Some of the prominent divisions of the ACA are the American School Counselor Association (ASCA); American College Counseling Association; American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA); the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC); and the National Career Development Association.

The counselor education program at East Carolina University provides a foundation in counseling theory, helping skills, assessment, and developmental theories. It offers graduate students, who come from varied undergraduate backgrounds, an opportunity to study and develop their own personal style and approach to professional counseling. Students are encouraged to focus their elective study on course work that best meets their career interests. The program has three career options that include: school counseling, counseling in higher education, and clinical mental health counseling.