Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Indiana

Individuals who want to practice as a counselor will find the conditions right for a rewarding and stable career. In addition to the reward of helping others become more mentally healthy, they will also experience a growing and in-demand career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are expected to grow 25 percent nationally over the years 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average rate of growth. The BLS predicts an increase of 79,000 jobs over those years.

Indiana’s Professional Licensing Agency does have some strict expectations for individuals who want to receive a counseling degree or license for an Indiana practice. They must take and pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) in order to be approved. Taking the National Counselor Examination (NCE) doesn’t count. Applicants must complete 1,000 pre-degree hours of experience rather than requesting to use post-graduate experience or supervision towards the required 1,000 hours.

In addition, Indiana requires the completion of 3,000 post-degree hours with at least 21 months of supervision and experience to qualify for licensure. They require at least 21 months of supervision and experience, and they won’t accept 2,000 hours of experience completed in less than 21 months’ time.

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

Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Indiana

Ball State University

Ball State’s master of arts (MA) in counseling program provides practicum experience for students in the school’s own practicum clinic and in clinics across east-central Indiana. The Counseling Practicum Clinic offers counseling services to people in and around the Muncie area. Mental health counseling and counseling psychology graduate students work directly with clients under the supervision of licensed counselors and psychologists.

The program offers a concentration in clinical mental health counseling and rehabilitation counseling. This concentration prepares students to be licensed mental health counselors. After completion of either program, students will be eligible for licensure as a mental health counselor or as a rehabilitation counselor. Rehabilitation program students may choose to complete additional courses to be eligible for licensing as a mental health counselor in the state of Indiana.

  • Location: Muncie, Indiana
  • Duration: 60 credits for clinical mental health counseling, 48 credits for rehabilitation counseling
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $424 per credit plus fees, Indiana resident; $1,161 per credit plus fees, non-resident

Butler University

Butler University is a private university in Indianapolis founded in 1855. Their master of science (MS) in school counseling is open to applicants who can start in the fall. Only 24 students are admitted each fall. GRE or MAT scores are required for admission if the student’s undergraduate GPA is below a 3.0.

The program provides an opportunity for students to easily fit in additional courses that qualify them for the Indiana Mental Health Counseling license. Classes are offered on the same night, one night a week for three years, at 4:30 and 7:15 p.m. Summer classes meet online twice a week for six weeks at either 4:00 or 7:00 p.m.

  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Duration: 48 credits
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $580 per hour plus fees

Grace College

Grace College & Seminary is an evangelical Christian college in Winona Lake. Grace College has been offering online master’s degrees since 1995. Their master of arts in clinical mental health counseling is delivered online with an in-person seven-day residency each summer. The majority of the courses last eight weeks, with clinical courses lasting for a 16-week semester.

  • Location: Winona Lake, Indiana
  • Duration: 60 credits, two to three years
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $34,620 total

Indiana State University

Indiana State University is a public university founded in 1865. Indiana State offers a master of science in clinical mental health counseling. Completion of the master of education—school counseling program qualifies the student for the Indiana K-12 School Counselor Initial Practitioner License. Both programs are offered at either the Terre Haute or South Bend campuses.

  • Location: Terre Haute and South Bend, Indiana
  • Duration: 60 credits for clinical mental health counseling; 48 credits minimum for school counseling
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $426 per credit plus fees, Indiana resident; $554 per credit plus fees, non-resident

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University is a private evangelical Christian university affiliated with the Wesleyan Church. It is the largest private university in Indiana. The school offers many on-campus and online options for counseling degrees including a master of arts in clinical addictions counseling, clinical mental health counseling, community care, marriage and family counseling, school counseling, and student development administration.

The clinical mental health counseling program is licensure-track to prepare students for licensure as an Indiana counselor. The 36-credit master of arts in community care degree is a non-licensure track that prepares students to provide non-clinical counseling-related services in the community. Marriage and family counseling students can meet the requirements for licensure as marriage and family therapists in the state of Indiana. The MA in student development administration prepares graduates to work in the field of student affairs (i.e., student services, student life, student development). This degree can be completed online or blended (at the Marion or Indianapolis-West campuses).

All programs are taught through a Christian worldview.

  • Location: Marion, Indiana
  • Duration: Clinical addictions counseling and school counseling are 48 credits; clinical mental health counseling and marriage and family therapy are 60 credits
  • Accreditation: The addictions program is accredited by the National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC); the mental health counseling and school counseling programs are accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $21,001 per semester, and credits over 17 cost $1,036 per credit

Purdue University Fort Wayne

Purdue University Fort Wayne was a public university in Fort Wayne, Indiana, founded in 1964 as Indiana Public University Fort Wayne. It was cooperatively managed by both Indiana University and Purdue University. In 2018, the campus split into two campuses: Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Fort Wayne.

Today, IU Fort Wayne offers health sciences programs, while Purdue University Fort Wayne offers all other programs. The College of Professional Studies offers counselor education programs in mental health counseling and school counseling. Students can graduate with a master of science degree in counseling with a specialization in either school counseling or clinical mental health counseling.

These programs are designed for working professionals, with classes held in the evenings beginning at 4:30 p.m. The third-year internship requires 15 to 20 hours a week of direct experience in a local school or agency. Students in the school counseling track must take the Indiana Licensure Exam upon graduating in order to obtain their license. Students in the clinical mental health track will need to take the LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) exam and/or the LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) exam in order to be eligible for the state associate license.

  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Duration: Three years, part-time (typically two nights per week)
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $291 per credit plus fees, Indiana resident or Ohio reciprocity; $436.50 per credit plus fees for residents in the four states contiguous to Indiana (Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky); $698.70 per credit plus fees, non-resident; $724.01 per credit plus fees, international students

Purdue University Northwest

Purdue University Northwest is a public university with two campuses in Northwest Indiana in Hammond and Westville. Purdue’s School of Education and Counseling offers two master of science in education degree programs: one in mental health counseling and the other in school counseling.

Following completion of the mental health program, students will be eligible to become licensed mental health counselors. School counseling students will be eligible for K-12 school counselor licensure in Indiana. Students must provide three professional recommendations along with their application to either of these programs.

  • Location: Hammond and Westville, Indiana
  • Duration: 60 credits, three years
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: One year full-time $5,145, Indiana resident; one year full-time $7,562, non-resident

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is a private Lutheran university with about 3,600 students from around the world. The master of arts in clinical mental health counseling program at Valparaiso University prepares students for licensure. Twelve credits of specialty electives are required. For those who wish to become substance abuse counselors, electives include courses from the Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor (LCAC) certificate program.

  • Location: Valparaiso, Indiana
  • Duration: 60 credits
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $650 per credit, plus fees

How Much Do Counselors Make in Indiana?

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

Marriage and Family Therapists

United StatesIndiana
Number employed60,850780
Average annual salary (mean)$54,590$55,120
10th percentile$32,070$36,090
50th percentile (median)$49,610$48,010
90th percentile$87,700$68,030

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

United StatesIndiana
Number employed293,6206,700
Average annual salary (mean)$49,950$46,920
10th percentile$29,520$30,620
50th percentile (median)$46,240$41,690
90th percentile$76,080$70,190

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors

United StatesIndiana
Number employed292,2304590
Average annual salary (mean)$61,000$51,530
10th percentile$34,380$33,320
50th percentile (median)$57,040$48,910
90th percentile$96,090$75,720

Rehabilitation Counselors

United StatesIndiana
Number employed100,2601,430
Average annual salary (mean)$40,160$41,370
10th percentile$23,820$25,040
50th percentile (median)$39,950$38,800
90th percentile$63,790$58,760

All Other Counselors

United StatesIndiana
Number employed27,310640
Average annual salary (mean)$48,800$59,470
10th percentile$27,030$39,510
50th percentile (median)$42,930$53,030
90th percentile$77,590$86,350

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Indiana

  • Indiana Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC)
  • Indiana Counseling Association (ICA)
  • Indiana School Counselor Association (ISCA)
  • National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
  • Keep Indiana Learning Counselor Connect
  • The Midwest Region of the American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • Indiana Counselor’s Association on Alcohol and Drug Addiction (ICAADA)
  • The Association for Addiction Professionals — Indiana
  • Indiana Department of Education — Graduation Pathways
  • Indiana Career Ready
  • Indiana Department of Education Learning Connection
  • Indiana Youth Institute
  • Learn More Indiana

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Behavioral Health And Human Service Licensing Board through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency

Both Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associates (LMHCAs) and Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs) are licensed in Indiana.

Prospective counselors must first apply to be LMHCAs. Applicants must:

  • Apply to the board to take the NCE exam, pass the exam, and submit an official score report
  • Submit criminal background check
  • Send in a 2×3 inch black-and-white photo
  • Pay a $50 application fee
  • Submit transcripts of a master’s or doctoral degree in mental health counseling of at least 60 semester credit hours
  • Complete a 700-hour practicum/internship that includes 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship work with 66 hours of face to face supervision

LHMC candidates must:

  • Apply to the board to take the NCMHCE exam, pass, and submit an official score report
  • Complete criminal background check
  • Submit a 2×3 inch black and white photo
  • Pay a $50 application fee
  • Submit transcripts of a master’s or doctoral degree in mental health counseling of at least 60 semester credit hours
  • Complete a 700-hour practicum (internship) that includes 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship work with 66 hours of face to face supervision
  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised clinical work experience over two years, including 100 hours of supervision

Renewals of counseling licenses happen every two years in Indiana. Counselors are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education, of which two of the hours must be in ethics. The fee to renew is $50.

School Counseling Licenses in Indiana

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Indiana Department of Education

The Indiana Department of Education issues School Services Licenses to School Counselors.

Candidates for an initial license must:

  • Have a master’s degree or higher from an approved school counselor program
  • Submit a completed application through the Indiana Department of Education’s Licensing Verification and Information System
  • Pay $35 application fee
  • Pass a Pearson Core Content school counselor test
  • Complete suicide prevention training
  • Complete CPR training
Initial school services licenses issued Indiana are valid for two years. In order to advance to a practitioner license, candidates must:
  • Complete the Indiana Mentor and Assessment Program (IMAP) two-year mentorship or complete Professional Growth Plan (PGP) with 40 points (points are earned through conferences, workshops, classroom responsibilities, committee work, and by completing additional coursework)
  • Have two years of full-time work experience
  • Submit an application for conversion of the license
  • Pay $35 application fee

Initial school services licenses are valid for two years and may be renewed by completing an application and paying a $35 renewal fee.

Full practitioner licenses are valid for five years. To renew, school counselors must submit an application, pay $35 application fee, and provide proof of 90 Professional Growth Plan (PGP) points.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Indiana

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Indiana Professional Licensing Agency Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board

There are four levels of substance abuse counselors licenses in Indiana: Licensed Addiction Counselor Associate (LACA), Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC), Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor Associate (LCACA), and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC).

Requirements to earn a LACA license include:

  • A completed application
  • A criminal background check
  • Pass either the ADC exam from IC&RC or NCAC II from NAADAC
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in addiction counseling or a related field
  • A supervised practicum or internship of at least 350 hours
  • $50 application fee
  • A passport photo

Requirements to earn a LAC license include:

  • A completed application
  • A criminal background check
  • Passing score on either the ADC exam from IC&RC or NCAC II from NAADAC
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in addiction counseling or in a related field
  • A supervised practicum or internship of at least 350 hours
  • Two years of addiction counseling experience, including 150 hours of supervision, of which 100 must be individual supervision hours
  • $50 application fee
  • A passport photo

Requirements to earn an LCACA license include:

  • A completed application
  • A criminal background check
  • Passing score on either the AADC exam from IC&RC or MAC from NAADAC
  • A master’s or doctorate in addiction counseling or in a related field with the requisite coursework
  • A supervised practicum or internship of at least 700 hours, including 280 hours of face-to-face client contact and 105 hours of supervision
  • $50 application fee
  • A passport photo

Requirements to earn an LCAC license include:

  • A completed application
  • A criminal background check
  • Passing score on either the AADC exam from IC&RC or MAC from NAADAC
  • A master’s or doctorate in addiction counseling or in a related field with the requisite coursework
  • Complete a supervised practicum or internship of at least 700 hours, including 280 hours of face-to-face client contact and 105 hours of supervision
  • Two years of addiction counseling experience with 200 hours of supervision, of which 100 must be individual supervision hours
  • $50 application fee
  • A passport photo

All substance abuse counselor licenses in Indiana expire on April 1st of even-numbered years.

Renewals cost $50 and must be accompanied by 40 hours of continuing education, with at least 20 hours of formal courses, of which two must be ethics.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Indiana

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Behavioral Health And Human Service Licensing Board through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency

Rehabilitation counselors in Indiana must be Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associates (LMHCAs) or Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs).

Prospective counselors must first apply to be LMHCAs. Applicants must:

  • Apply to the board to take the NCE exam, pass the exam, and submit an official score report
  • Submit criminal background check
  • Send in a 2×3 inch black-and-white photo
  • Pay a $50 application fee
  • Submit transcripts of a master’s or doctoral degree in mental health counseling of at least 60 semester credit hours
  • Complete a 700-hour practicum/internship that includes 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship work with 66 hours of face to face supervision

LHMC candidates must:

  • Apply to the board to take the NCMHCE exam, pass, and submit an official score report
  • Complete criminal background check
  • Submit a 2×3 inch black and white photo
  • Pay a $50 application fee
  • Submit transcripts of a master’s or doctoral degree in mental health counseling of at least 60 semester credit hours
  • Complete a 700-hour practicum (internship) that includes 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship work with 66 hours of face to face supervision
  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised clinical work experience over two years, including 100 hours of supervision

Renewals of counseling licenses happen every two years in Indiana. Counselors are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education, of which two of the hours must be in ethics. The fee to renew is $50.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Indiana

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) for national certification

Currently, there are no state certification or licensing requirements for applied behavior analysts in Illinois. However, it is a class B misdemeanor to use the title of Certified Behavior Analyst without a BCBA certification

To continue utilizing the title of Certified Behavior Analyst, analysts must keep their BCBA certification current.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Indiana

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Behavioral Health And Human Service Licensing Board

The Behavioral Health And Human Service Licensing Board licenses Marriage and Family Therapists and Associate Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.

Requirements for an Associate Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist credential are:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Complete a criminal background check
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam
  • Pay $50 application fee
  • Submit a color 2 x 3-inch photograph
  • Have a master’s degree or higher in marriage and family therapy or a related board-approved field

Programs must meet specific coursework requirements. Students must complete a 500-hour practicum as part of their studies with at least 100 hours of supervision

In order to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a candidate must meet the above requirements, as well as:

  • Complete two years of supervised work experience with 1,000 clinical hours and 200 hours of supervision
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $50 application fee

Renewals of marriage and family therapist licenses happen every two years in Indiana.

Counselors are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education, of which two of the hours must be in ethics. The fee to renew is $50.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Indiana

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Behavioral Health And Human Service Licensing Board through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency

Child therapists in Indiana must be Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associates (LMHCAs) or Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs).

Prospective counselors must first apply to be LMHCAs. Applicants must:

  • Apply to the board to take the NCE exam, pass the exam, and submit an official score report
  • Submit criminal background check
  • Send in a 2×3 inch black-and-white photo
  • Pay a $50 application fee
  • Submit transcripts of a master’s or doctoral degree in mental health counseling of at least 60 semester credit hours
  • Complete a 700-hour practicum/internship that includes 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship work with 66 hours of face to face supervision

LHMC candidates must:

  • Apply to the board to take the NCMHCE exam, pass, and submit an official score report
  • Complete criminal background check
  • Submit a 2×3 inch black and white photo
  • Pay a $50 application fee
  • Submit transcripts of a master’s or doctoral degree in mental health counseling of at least 60 semester credit hours
  • Complete a 700-hour practicum (internship) that includes 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship work with 66 hours of face to face supervision
  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised clinical work experience over two years, including 100 hours of supervision

Renewals of counseling licenses happen every two years in Indiana. Counselors are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education, of which two of the hours must be in ethics. The fee to renew is $50.

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.

Counseling Schools & Licensure in Nearby States