Pennsylvania Counselor Licensure Requirements
The State of Pennsylvania passed its counselor licensure law in 1998 and individuals are called Licensed Professional Counselors. The law protects the title of licensed professional counselors but not the practice of counseling. A graduate degree in counseling or closely related field which included a minimum of 60 semester credit hours is required. For more information, visit: www.dos.state.pa.us/social.
The State of Pennsylvania allows individuals to become licensed professional counselors who have studied rehabilitation, music therapy, art therapy, as well as abuse and addictions. Academic requirements includes a graduate program of 60 credit hours with a minimum of 48 credits in a counseling or closely related curriculum. The post-degree clinical work experience requirement is 3600 hours at least half of which had to be supervised by someone acceptable to the state board. Because a variety of specialty trained individuals can become licensed professional counselors, a number of different national exams are used for licensure. These include the National Counselor Examination, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination, The Art Therapy Credentials Board Certification Examination, and the Board Certification Examination for Music Therapists.
A number of universities in Pennsylvania allow for 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:
California University of Pennsylvania
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Holy Family University Newton
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Lancaster Bible College
Penn State University
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Slippery Rock University
University of Scranton
West Chester University