North Carolina Counselor Licensure Requirements

The counselor licensure law in North Carolina was passed in 1983 and the individual who becomes licensed is designated Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The North Carolina State Licensure Board may be accessed at: The law in North Carolina allows for both title and practice control of the counseling profession.

A 48 credit hour graduate program is now required for licensure. Beginning July 1, 2013, licensure will require 60 credit hours. Following the degree, the individual seeking to become an LPC must have 3,000 hours of counseling experience with 2,000 in direct contact and no hours from practicum/internship may be counted. The National Counselor Exam (NCE) is used for licensure in North Carolina.

Several universities in North Carolina provide the opportunity for their graduate students to complete the NCE prior to graduation which makes them eligible for the National Certified Counselor credential at graduation if the academic program is accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Other exams which may be used for licensure as an LPC are the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam or the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Exam. Some universities use the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) for their students as an exit requirement. Individuals who completed the NCE before graduation can later use those exam results for state licensure. The universities that provide for this possibility include:

Appalachian State University
Campbell University
East Carolina University
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina State University
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Western Carolina University
Wake Forest University