Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Connecticut

Professional counselor credentialing requirements in Connecticut are much the same as in other states. The Connecticut State Department of Health grants licenses to applicants who graduated from a program from a regionally accredited college or university with a degree in the discipline.

Most accredited counseling degree programs follow the standards put forth by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which accredits master’s and doctoral degree programs in counseling and its specialties in the United States and throughout the world. CACREP certifies all counseling specialties, including rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family counseling, and addiction counseling.

CACREP approves addiction counseling programs that require students to take a minimum of 60 semester-credit-hours (or 90 quarter-credit-hours) of coursework. Accreditation of some kind is important for students to consider when choosing a program because that is a key way to be sure that the program and school, in general, meet a broad range of requirements designed to provide a high-quality education that employers can trust.

Accreditation for marriage and family counseling programs is also provided through the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). COAMFTE accredited marriage and family counseling programs at the master’s, doctoral, and post-graduate training program levels.

In Connecticut, eligible professionals must also successfully complete the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Connecticut provides credentials for Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Marital and Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Professional Counselors.

The need for counselors, in Connecticut and in general, will grow as a growing population seeks mental health counseling. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) forecasts that careers in community and social service occupations will grow 12 percent nationally from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations during the same period (8 percent).

The BLS (2021) predicts the job outlook for substance abuse counselors to grow at an even higher rate during that same decade (23 percent). Demand for rehabilitation counselors is expected to grow at a rate of 10 percent. On the other hand, the job outlook for marriage and family therapists is expected to grow at a rate of 16 percent. Overall, students who pursue counseling degrees and licenses in Connecticut can find rewarding and stable careers.

Read on for a few of the many schools offering programs for counseling degrees and licenses in Connecticut.

Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Connecticut

Central Connecticut State University

Central Connecticut State University is a public university founded in 1849. CCSU is Connecticut’s oldest publicly funded university. The school’s Counselor Education & Family Therapy Department offers three academic programs for counselor education: a master of science in counselor education with a specialization in clinical professional counseling, an MS in counselor education with a specialization in school counseling, and an MS in counselor education with a specialization in student development in higher education. The school also offers an MS in marriage and family therapy.

Within the clinical professional counseling program, students can choose from rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation counseling with a drug and alcohol focus, or mental health counseling. All tracks prepare graduates for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor certification, licensing as a Professional Counselor, or licensing as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

The marriage and family therapy program meets academic and clinical requirements for licensure in Connecticut for marital and family therapists (LMFT) and clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

  • Location: New Britain, Connecticut
  • Duration: The higher education MS is 42 to 45 credits; MFT is 51 to 63 credits; all others are 60 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: Full time, per term; Connecticut resident $6,424; New England resident $8,343; non-resident $13,036

Fairfield University

Fairfield University is a private, Catholic university. It was founded by the Jesuits in 1942 and is part of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

The school’s master of arts in clinical mental health counseling fulfills the requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Connecticut. Fairfield’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is ranked #1 for top value counseling master’s degrees in Connecticut.

Upon completion of the MFT program, students may apply for associate membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Following additional post-degree clinical experience and supervision, they may apply for clinical membership in this organization and sit for Connecticut’s licensing examination.

Within the MFT program is a master of arts in family studies. This is not a clinical degree but is instead an advanced educational track focusing on early childhood, interpersonal relations, family studies, and human development. That program requires 33 credits and doesn’t lead to licensure.

  • Location: Fairfield, Connecticut
  • Duration: 60 credits
  • Accreditation: The clinical mental health counseling programs is CACREP-approved; the MFT program is accredited by COAMFTE
  • Tuition: $875 per credit

Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Connecticut State University is part of Connecticut’s Public State University System. It was founded in 1893. Southern Connecticut’s Department of Counseling and School Psychology prepares clinical mental health counselors, school counselors, and school psychologists to work in Connecticut.

Marriage and family therapy program graduates are eligible for Connecticut licensure and clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

The licensure track master of science in clinical mental health counseling prepares graduates to take the National Counselor Examination, the exam required by the state of Connecticut for licensure as a professional counselor. This examination is also required for national board certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors. This program meets the requirements for Connecticut State Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

The MS in school counseling program meets the State of Connecticut Certification (068) as a K-12 School Counselor. School psychology program graduates are eligible for certification as a school psychologist in the State of Connecticut as well as the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential offered by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). In Connecticut, certification as a School Psychologist requires both the master’s and the sixth-year certificate, which are offered through the SCSU school psychology program. The master of science in school psychology is completed first, during which students apply for admission to the sixth-year program.

  • Location: New Haven, Connecticut.
  • Duration: The master’s of science in clinical mental health counseling, school counseling are 60 credits
  • Accreditation: MFT is accredited by COAMFTE; others are accredited by CACREP; the school psychology program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • Tuition: Full-time Connecticut resident term total: $5,941; full-time non-resident term total: $12,643

University of Bridgeport

The University of Bridgeport is a private university founded in 1927. It began as the first junior college in Connecticut. The school’s MS degree in counseling prepares graduates to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) in Connecticut.

In addition to the master’s degree, a certificate of advanced graduate study (CAGS) is offered for those who wish to take specialized courses beyond the master’s and/or complete licensure requirements.

  • Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Duration: 60 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $780 per credit plus fees

University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut is a public research university founded in 1881. The primary 4,400-acre campus is in Storrs, Connecticut, approximately a half-hour drive from Hartford and 90 minutes from Boston.

The School’s Department of Educational Psychology offers a counselor education and counseling psychology program. The counselor education program offers a concentration in school counseling, leading to a master of arts degree in educational psychology and a sixth-year certificate in counseling.

The Department of Allied Health Sciences under the umbrella of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources and the Institute for Systems Genomics offers a master’s degree in genetic counseling.

  • Location: Storrs, Connecticut
  • Duration: 60 credits
  • Accreditation: The genetic counseling program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC); the school counseling program is accredited by CACREP
  • Tuition: Per nine credits, Connecticut residents pay $4,725, non-residents pay $12,267

The University of Saint Joseph

The University of Saint Joseph is a private Roman Catholic university founded in 1932 by the Sisters of Mercy of Connecticut. The school offers three master’s of arts in counseling-related fields: clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, and school counseling.

The MFT program Includes certification as a PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator to work with couples in therapy.

  • Location: West Hartford, Connecticut
  • Duration: 60 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP; MFT is accredited by COAMFTE
  • Tuition: $735 per credit, plus fees

Western Connecticut State University

Western Connecticut State University is a public university founded in 1903 as a teacher’s college. Graduate programs include a master of science in counseling degree with both clinical mental health counseling or school counseling options.

The clinical mental health option meets the educational requirements for both the Connecticut Department of Health for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and the New York State Office of the Professions for licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).

The Western Connecticut State University school counseling option meets all the educational requirements for certification as a school counselor in Connecticut. Candidates seeking New York State certification will require additional coursework that may be taken at WCSU to meet certification requirements.

  • Location: Danbury, Connecticut
  • Duration: School counseling is 48 hours; clinical mental health counseling is 60 hours
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: Per nine credits, Connecticut residents pay $6,626.50, non-residents pay $13,238.50

How Much Do Counselors Make in Connecticut?

These numbers represent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2020.

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors

United StatesConnecticut
Number employed292,2303,270
Average annual salary (mean)$61,000$60,010
10th percentile$34,380$35,630
50th percentile (median)$57,040$66,820
90th percentile$96,090$104,470

Marriage and Family Therapists

United StatesConnecticut
Number employed60,850400
Average annual salary (mean)$54,590$51,320
10th percentile$32,070$37,120
50th percentile (median)$49,610$48,050
90th percentile$87,700$71,660

Rehabilitation Counselors

United StatesConnecticut
Number employed100,2602,500
Average annual salary (mean)$40,160$44,030
10th percentile$23,820$25,560
50th percentile (median)$39,950$36,300
90th percentile$63,790$77,490

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

United StatesConnecticut
Number employed293,6204,110
Average annual salary (mean)$49,950$56,060
10th percentile$29,520$34,830
50th percentile (median)$46,240$51,240
90th percentile$76,080$80,900

All Other Counselors

United StatesConnecticut
Number employed27,310210
Average annual salary (mean)$48,800$49,840
10th percentile$27,030$33,510
50th percentile (median)$42,930$47,970
90th percentile$77,590$73,420

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Connecticut

Mental Health Counseling (LMHC) Licenses in Connecticut: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Connecticut State Department of Public Health

Professionals in Connecticut earn a license as a Professional Counselor Associate first, followed by earning a Professional Counselor license.

To earn a Professional Counselor Associate license, a candidate must:

  • Earn a graduate degree from a CACREP accredited program or complete a regionally accredited 60 semester hour graduate program with relevant counseling coursework, a 100 hour practicum, and a 600 hour internship
  • Submit all official transcripts
  • Complete the application
  • Pay a $200 fee

To become a licensed Professional Counselor, candidates must meet all the requirements for the associate licensure, as well as:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience in a minimum of two years.
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Send a completed online application
  • Pay the $315 fee
  • Submit official transcripts

Connecticut requires licenses to be renewed annually. Requirements include:

  • Pay $195 fee
  • Complete an online application
  • Submit 15 hours of qualifying continuing education. Approved education entities are listed on Connecticut State Department of Public Health website

School Counseling Licenses in Connecticut

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Connecticut State Department of Education

The Connecticut State Department of Education offers a Special Services Endorsement to school counselors.

The initial endorsement requirements are:

  • Complete a state-approved certification program specific to school counseling from a regionally accredited institution
  • Have a master’s degree that has at least 30 semester hours of coursework related to school counseling
  • Have a professional educator certificate or be eligible for an initial educator certificate (including paying applicable fees and passing required Praxis exams)
  • Have 30 school months of experience teaching or complete ten months of full-time supervised experience as a school counselor
  • Complete a 36-hour course on special education
  • Provide evidence of “progressing of supervised experiences,” either through laboratory or clinical practice
To progress from an initial to a provisional license, applicants must:
  • Complete ten months of work experience in public school or 30 months in a private school
  • Pay $250 application fee
  • Submit a completed application
To progress from a provisional license to a professional license, school counselors must:
  • Submit official transcripts verifying 45 semester credits of graduate coursework in counseling or a related field
  • Pay $375 application fee
  • Submit a completed application

Teaching certificates in Connecticut may be renewed or upgraded. The initial school counselor endorsement is valid for three years and may be renewed with an application and a $200 fee.

A provisional certificate is valid for eight years and may not be renewed. It must be upgraded to a professional certificate.

A professional certificate is valid for five years. There is no fee to renew and no continuing education requirements.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Connecticut

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Connecticut State Department of Public Health

The Connecticut State Department of Public Health licenses Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ADC). ADC candidates must:

  • Complete an online application including a social security number, current address, photograph, and phone numbers
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Send a verification form documenting 300 hours of supervised practice
  • Pass the ADC exam from the IC&RC
  • Submit a verification form documenting three years of supervised work
  • Send a verification form documenting completion of 360 hours of approved education
  • Submit official transcripts for a master’s degree in social work, counseling, or a related field
  • Pau $190 application fee

ADC licenses in Connecticut must be renewed annually. The renewal fee is $195.

Counselors must complete 20 hours of qualifying continuing education per renewal cycle.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Connecticut

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Connecticut State Department of Public Health

Rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut must earn a license as a Professional Counselor Associate first, followed by earning a Professional Counselor license.

To earn a Professional Counselor Associate license, a candidate must:

  • Earn a graduate degree from a CACREP accredited program or complete a regionally accredited 60 semester hour graduate program with relevant counseling coursework, a 100 hour practicum, and a 600 hour internship
  • Submit all official transcripts
  • Complete the application
  • Pay a $200 fee

To become a licensed Professional Counselor, candidates must meet all the requirements for the associate licensure, as well as:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience in a minimum of two years.
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Send a completed online application
  • Pay the $315 fee
  • Submit official transcripts

Connecticut requires licenses to be renewed annually. Requirements include:

  • Pay $195 fee
  • Complete an online application
  • Submit 15 hours of qualifying continuing education. Approved education entities are listed on Connecticut State Department of Public Health website

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Connecticut

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Connecticut State Department of Public Health

The Connecticut Department of Public Health issues behavior analyst licenses. To qualify, candidates must:

  • Hold a BCBA certification and submit verification
  • Submit a completed online application
  • Pay a $350 application fee

Behavior analyst licenses issued in Connecticut expire annually during the licensee’s birth month. Renewals cost $175.

While there are no continuing education requirements, behavior analysts are required to maintain their national BCBA certification.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Connecticut

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Connecticut State Department of Public Health

The Connecticut State Department of Public Health issues Marital and Family Therapist Associate and Marital and Family Therapist licenses.

The requirements for a Marital and Family Therapist Associate license are:

  • Earn a graduate degree from a COAMFTE-accredited program or complete a regionally accredited marriage and family therapy program comprising 45 semester hours with relevant counseling coursework and a one-year 500-hour internship
  • Submit all official transcripts
  • Complete the online application
  • Pay a $125 fee
  • Submit a Verification of Supervision form

To earn a Marital and Family Therapist license, applicants must meet the requirements for the associate license, as well as:

  • Complete one year of supervised work experience; this must include at least 1,000 hours of direct client contact and 100 hours of supervision, of which 50 must be individual
  • Pass the AMFTRB examination
  • Send a completed online application
  • Pay the $315 fee
  • Submit official transcripts

Connecticut requires MFT licenses to be renewed annually.

Requirements include:

  • Pay $320 fee
  • Complete an online application
  • Submit 15 hours of qualifying continuing education

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Connecticut

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Connecticut State Department of Public Health

Child therapists in Connecticut must earn a license as a Professional Counselor Associate first, followed by earning a Professional Counselor license.

To earn a Professional Counselor Associate license, a candidate must:

  • Earn a graduate degree from a CACREP accredited program or complete a regionally accredited 60 semester hour graduate program with relevant counseling coursework, a 100 hour practicum, and a 600 hour internship
  • Submit all official transcripts
  • Complete the application
  • Pay a $200 fee

To become a licensed Professional Counselor, candidates must meet all the requirements for the associate licensure, as well as:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience in a minimum of two years.
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Send a completed online application
  • Pay the $315 fee
  • Submit official transcripts

Connecticut requires licenses to be renewed annually. Requirements include:

  • Pay $195 fee
  • Complete an online application
  • Submit 15 hours of qualifying continuing education. Approved education entities are listed on Connecticut State Department of Public Health website
Vanessa Salvia

Vanessa Salvia

Writer

Vanessa Salvia is an Oregon-based freelance writer and editor with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. As fun as rigorous studies in math and science were, Vanessa took an independent path and developed a prolific career covering lifestyle and healthcare topics for magazines and newspapers, important industries such as concrete construction and building waterproofing, and even hard science. You can get in touch at Sage Media and Marketing.