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Mississippi Professional Counselor License

Mississippi licenses counselors as LPCs, or Licensed Professional Counselors. If you have the requisite education and experience, you can apply to the State Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors.

There’s only one level of licensing within the state, but the process may be a little different if you already have some counseling experience.

The information below is designed to be an easy to navigate resource for professional counselor licensure in Mississippi. If at any time you have a question or would like to make sure you are on the correct path, contact the Mississippi State Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors at 888-860-7001.

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Education

You will need to complete a graduate degree from an institution that holds regional or national accreditation. Your program should include at least 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours). If you graduate from a shorter master's program, you will need to complete additional coursework to make up the difference.

Your degree may be in counseling, guidance, or another closely related degree. You will need to demonstrate courses in the following areas:

  • Social and cultural foundations
  • Human growth and development
  • Groups
  • Helping relationships
  • Appraisal
  • Career and lifestyle development
  • Professional orientation
  • Research and evaluation
  • Marriage and family therapy/ counseling
  • Diagnosis and treatment

Capella University, offers three online CACREP- accredited master's programs: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and School Counseling. Click here to contact Capella University and request information about their programs.

Learn more about selecting a Master's in Counseling program here.

Marriage and family therapy and diagnosis and treatment were not required of candidates before 2003.

There are a variety of in-state programs that can qualify you for licensure. You can opt for educational counseling and counseling psychology.

Testing

Before you can be issued your LPC license, you will need to take the National Counselor Examination.

You’ll need to put your application in to the Mississippi board to get approval to test. If you are already licensed in another jurisdiction, though, or if you hold National Counselor Certification, you can have the score report sent to Mississippi. Scores should come straight from the NBCC or be included with your license file.

Here is a link to the LPC Application form as well as a number of additional materials you may find useful.

If you are taking the exam for the first time, submit your professional counselor application to the Mississippi board. The board will send you a registration form which you’ll fill out, sign in ink, and send to the NBCC along with a $185 fee. It will take the NBCC approximately a month to approve you. At that point, you will contact the organization that does the computerized testing and schedule an exam. You may visit www.goAMP.com or call the AMP at 888-519-9901.

There is one testing site in Mississippi, in Ridgeland (in the greater Jacksonville area). You can also elect to take the exam at a testing site in another state. Tests are scheduled between 9:30 and 1:30 on weekdays; some sites also schedule them on Saturdays.

Computerized testing is generally available for two full weeks of each month. However, the NBCC notes that you should schedule early as seats do fill. Your testing fee allows you to reschedule one time.

The Mississippi board stipulates that you must take the exam within a year of their approval or pay additional fees to have your file reopened. The NBCC sets tighter limits -- your application and fee give you a six month testing window.

Supervised Practice

You will need to have 3,500 hours of supervised practice before you can get your license. You cannot claim more than 40 hours in a single week.

All hours must be completed post-baccalaureate, but you may earn up to 1,750 while enrolled in your graduate program. Internships and practicums may be counted toward the total. (The board notes that it’s preferable if you were supervised by an LPC while completing graduate fieldwork.)

1,167 of your hours must be in psychotherapy service or direct counseling. Activities like case consultation and client assessment are included in this total.

Your supervisor must be board-qualified. (If you did supervised experience before July 1, 2008, however, it's not expected that they met this requirement).

You will need 100 hours of supervision that is face to face and individual. Group supervision may be counted, but is worth less – two hours will count as one hour of individual. No more than half of your requirement may be met through group supervision.

At least 50 of your supervision hours must be post-master.

The Application Process

The application process may involve several steps (See the Statutes and Rules You will need to have a criminal background check. You can apply to the Department of Public Safety to have this done. (Generally, the board disqualifies applicants with felonies or misdemeanors of “moral turpitude”, but will consider various mitigating factors including age and record since conviction.

Here is a link to the LPC Application form as well as a number of additional materials you may find useful.

You will also need to gather academic records. Generally all supplemental materials should be sent in the same packet, but the board will accept transcripts that are sent straight from your university. If you send them yourself, make sure they are official copies and that they’re in sealed envelopes.)

Your supervision verification should be included in your application packet in sealed envelopes. Supervisor(s) must sign across the seal of the envelope.

You will need to have your application notarized.

You will need to include a $100 fee, made out to "Mississippi Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors".

Out of State Applicants

The Mississippi board notes that national registry in Tier II by the American Association of State Counseling Boards can qualify you for a reciprocal license (See the Statutes and Rules.

Registry with the American Association of State Counseling Boards can also simplify the application process.

Otherwise, the board will consider out-of-state applicants on a case by case basis. It is expected that you will have met substantively similar requirements.

Other Professionals who may be Licensed as Counselors

In Mississippi, LPC licensure is open not only to mental health counselors, but to those in other counseling specialties, including school counselors (See: Information from Delta State University).

License Maintenance

As a Mississippi LPC, you'll need to renew your license biannually by June 30. During this time, you'll need to do 24 hours of continuing education. At least six must be in professional ethics or counseling-related legal issues. You'll make sure that your continuing education log, renewal form, and fee are received by the board. You should retain continuing education records for two years after the renewal deadline as 10% of renewals will be audited.

Additional Information

If you are still in High School, hold a High School Diploma/GED, or hold a bachelor's degree, check out suggested steps to take along the path to becoming a counselor in Mississippi.

The board notes that laws and regulations change periodically and it's up to candidates to stay current.

Written correspondence may be addressed to: Mississippi State Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors
P.O. Box 1497, 129 E. Jefferson Street
Yazoo City, MS 39194.

You may call the board at 1-888-860-7001.

You can find links to counseling-related professional organizations on the site of the Mississippi Counseling Association.

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*Most states require completion of a CACREP accredited master's in counseling program or a program
that covers very specific curriculum in order to be licensed as a counselor. It is recommend that you follow up
with your state licensing board to review specific educational requirements and determine whether a
program meets your state's counselor licensure requirements.