Maryland Counselor Licensure Requirements
The State of Maryland passed a counselor licensure law in 1985 and the law provides for the protection of both the practice and title of counseling. Under the law, a counselor becomes a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). A 60 credit hour program leading to a master’s degree is the minimum academic requirement for licensure. For more information, visit the State of Maryland Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors and Therapists at: www.dhmh.state.md.us/bopc.
Following graduation, the counselor can become a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor while accruing a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised counseling experience. One year of counseling experience and one thousand hours may be earned prior to graduation. Of the post-degree hours of work experience, 1,500 must be face-to-face direct contact and must be earned during a minimum of 100 hours of face-to-face direct clinical supervision. For licensure, in addition to the National Counselor Examination (NCE), the prospective licensed counselor must complete an exam on the Maryland licensure statute.
A number of universities in Maryland allow the completion of the NCE by graduate students. Successful completion of the exam makes the student eligible for the National Certified Counselor credential (through NBCC) upon graduation if the academic program is nationally accredited by Council for the 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:
Bowie State University
Frostburg State University
Johns Hopkins University
Loyola College in Maryland
University of Baltimore