Illinois Counselor Licensure Requirements

The State of Illinois passed a counselor licensure law in 1993 and there are two levels of licensure, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). The law protects the practice of professional counseling. A 48 credit hour academic program in counseling is required for licensure. For further information, visit the State of Illinois Professional Counselor Licensing & Disciplinary Board at:

The requirements for Licensed Professional Counselor include completing an academic program nationally accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or by Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). Other academic programs may be approved. The academic program must be a minimum of two years in length. The exam required for LPC is the National Counselor Exam (NCE) or the exam of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

Requirements for the LCPC include the degree and coursework required of LPCs. Two years of counseling work experience under a qualified supervisor consisting of 3,360 hours of full-time counseling employment is required. A minimum of 1,920 counseling hours must be in direct, face-to-face service to clients. Supervision must be live and face-to-face. The LCPC candidate is required to successfully complete the NCE, and the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE). The Examination of Clinical Counselor Practice or the exam of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification may be substituted for the NCMHCE.

A large number of universities in Illinois allow for the completion of the NCE by graduate students. With successful completion of the NCE, at graduation students are eligible to become National Certified Counselors through NBCC if they are graduating from a CACREP program. They can also use those exam results later in their application for LPC in the State of Illinois. Many universities also administer the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) as an exit exam. The CPCE is structured around the same eight content areas as is the NCE so by preparing for one, one is also preparing for the other. Those universities that have arranged with NBCC to allow their graduate students to take the NCE include:

Adler School of Professional Psychology
Argosy University Chicago & Schaumburg
Benedictine University
Bradley University
Chicago State University
Concordia University Chicago
Eastern Illinois University
Governor’s State University
National-Louis University
Northeastern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University
Olivet Nazarene University
Quincy University
Roosevelt University
Saint Xavier University
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Trinity International University
University of Illinois at Springfield
Western Illinois University
Wheaton College