Arizona Counselor Licensure Requirements

The State of Arizona passed a counselor licensure law in 1988 and individuals licensed under that law are designated Licensed Professional Counselor. The Arizona law controls the title of professional counseling but unlicensed individuals in that state can also provide counseling services. A 60 semester credit hour master’s degree in counseling or rehabilitation counseling is required for licensure. For more information, visit the State of Arizona Licensure Board at

Following receipt of the master’s degree, the counselor can practice as a Licensed Associate Counselor and work under direct supervision approved by the state licensure board but cannot work in independent practice. A minimum of two years of full-time, or the equivalent part-time, work experience is required. This total of 3,200 hours in psychotherapy must include experience in assessment, diagnosis and treatment, and 1,600 of these hours must be in direct client contact. One hundred hours of clinical supervision are required. The State of Arizona requires any one of the following exams: National Counselor Exam, National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam, or the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Exam.

A number of universities in Arizona allow the completion of the NCE by graduate students. Successful completion of the exam makes the student eligible for the National Certified Counselor credential upon graduation if the academic program is nationally accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Such graduates can use their NCE results later for state licensure. Some universities also use the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) as an exit requirement. Those universities that have arranged with NBCC to allow their graduate students to take the NCE include:

Argosy University Phoenix
Arizona State University
Grand Canyon University
Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University Phoenix
Northern Arizona University Tucson
Northern Arizona University Yuma
Ottawa University Arizona
University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix/Tucson Campus