Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Massachusetts

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) is the primary license issued to counselors in Massachusetts.

The requirements are:

  • A master’s degree in counseling of at least 60 semester hours including a seven-week and 100-hour practicum, consisting of 40 hours of client contact and 25 hours of direct supervision, and a 600-hour internship, consisting of 240 hours of client contact and 45 hours of direct supervision. A Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) certificate can be substituted for education
  • 3,360 total hours of post-graduate supervised work experience, with a minimum of 960 hours of direct client contact and 130 hours of supervision.
  • A background check
  • A passing NCMHCE score
  • A photo of the applicant
  • A $117 application fee
  • Two professional references

Counseling licenses must be renewed biennially on December 31st of odd-numbered years. Renewals cost $155. Counselors must complete 30 hours of continuing education each renewal cycle.

School Counseling Licenses in Massachusetts

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issues professional support personnel licenses to school counselors.

The requirements for an initial license are:

  • Complete a master’s degree in counseling
  • Meet the Subject Matter Knowledge Guidelines
  • Complete a 450-hour practicum in an educational setting
  • Have a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test

The requirements for the professional license are:

  • Hold an initial license
  • Complete three years of work experience as a school counselor
  • Complete either 60 semester credits of graduate coursework in school counseling, mental health or psychology or earn a National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) National Board for School Counseling certificate

Professional school counselor licenses issued in Massachusetts are valid for five years. The cost to renew is $25. School counselors must complete 150 professional development points (with a minimum of 15 in ESL, sheltered English Immersion or bilingual education) and another 15 in special education or diverse learning styles.

Initial licenses are also valid for five years but may only be renewed at the discretion of the board.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Massachusetts

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification (MBSACC)

Certified Alcoholism Counselor (CAC), Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor, (CADC), and Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor – Advanced (CADC – II) are the three levels of substance abuse counselor certificates issued by the Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification (MBSACC).

CAC certification candidates must:

  • Pass the ADC exam from IC&RC
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay the $300 exam fee, $125 application fee, and $60 certificate issuance fee
  • Sign the professional code of conduct and ethics form
  • Complete 180 hours of continuing education training related to the substance abuse field (70 hours must be in counseling techniques and training, another 70 hours in alcohol and drug specific studies, and six hours must be in ethics)
  • Complete two years (4,000 hours) of work experience in alcohol and drug abuse treatment; a minimum of six months must be completed in one facility under one supervisor
  • Have 220 hours of documented supervision with a minimum of ten hours in four specific domains

CADC certification candidates must:

  • Pass the ADC exam from IC&RC
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay the $300 exam fee, $125 application fee, and $60 certificate issuance fee
  • Sign the professional code of conduct and ethics form
  • Complete 300 hours of continuing education training related to the substance abuse field (120 hours must be in counseling techniques and training, another 120 hours in alcohol and drug specific studies, and 10 hours must be in ethics)
  • Complete one year (2,000 hours) of work experience in alcohol and drug abuse treatment; a minimum of six months must be completed in one facility under one supervisor (applicants with an associate degree in behavioral sciences may waive 1,000 hours; those with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences may waive 2,000 hours; and those with a master’s degree or higher may waive 4,000 hours)
  • Have documented supervision hours with a minimum of ten hours in four specific domains (300 hours of supervision are required for candidates with a high school diploma or GED; 250 hours for those with associate’s degree in the behavioral sciences field; 200 hours of supervision for those with a bachelor’s degree in the behavioral sciences field; and 100 hours of supervision for those with a master’s or higher degree in counseling or a closely related field)

CADC- II certification candidates must:

  • Pass the AADC exam from IC&RC
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay the $300 exam fee, $125 application fee, and $60 certificate issuance fee
  • Sign the professional code of conduct and ethics form
  • Earn a master’s in behavioral health with a clinical application from an accredited institution
  • Complete 180 hours of alcohol and drug counselor specific continuing education; six hours must be specific to counselor ethics
  • Complete one year (2,000 hours) of work experience in alcohol and drug abuse treatment; a minimum of six months must be completed in one facility under one supervisor
  • Have 300 hours of documented supervision with a minimum of ten hours in four specific domains

All substance abuse certificates issued by the MBSACC expire after two years.

Renewals cost $100 and counselors must complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years. A minimum of 20 hours must be completed in formal courses, workshops, or classes.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Massachusetts

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) is the primary license issued to rehabilitation counselors in Massachusetts.

The requirements are:

  • A master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling (or a related field) of at least 60 semester hours, including a seven-week and 100-hour practicum, consisting of 40 hours of client contact and 25 hours of direct supervision, and a 600-hour internship, consisting of 240 hours of client contact and 45 hours of direct supervision. A Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) certificate can be substituted for education.
  • 3,360 total hours of post-graduate supervised work experience, with a minimum of 960 hours of direct client contact and 130 hours of supervision.
  • A background check
  • A passing NCMHCE score
  • A photo of the applicant
  • A $117 application fee
  • Two professional references

Counseling licenses must be renewed biennially on December 31st of odd-numbered years. Renewals cost $155. Counselors must complete 30 hours of continuing education each renewal cycle.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Massachusetts

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professionals

The Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professionals licenses Assistant Applied Behavior Analysts and Applied Behavior Analysts.

To qualify, Assistant Applied Behavior Analyst license applicants must:

  • Have a BCaBA certification
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $117 application fee and $155 initial licensure fee
  • Send a recent 2×2 color photograph
  • Meet coursework requirements
  • Complete 1,000 hours of fieldwork, 670 hours of a university supervised practicum, or 500 hours of a university supervised intensive practicum
  • Submit completed and notarized Criminal Offender Record Information Request form

The requirements for an Applied Behavior Analyst are:

  • Have a BCBA certification
  • Submit an online application
  • Provide official transcripts of all graduate education
  • Pay $117 application fee and $155 initial licensure fee
  • Send recent 2×2 color photograph
  • Submit a completed and notarized Criminal Offender Record Information Request form

Both Assistant Applied Behavior Analyst and Applied Behavior Analyst licenses issued in Massachusetts expire on December 31st of odd-numbered years. The cost to renew is $155.

All behavior analysts are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education per renewal cycle.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Massachusetts

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions

The Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions credentials Marriage and Family Therapists.

Candidates must:

  • Hold a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy of at least 60 semester hours, including a practicum of 300 hours of client contact and 100 hours of direct supervision (clinical membership with the AAMFT can be substituted for education)
  • Have two years and 3,360 total hours of post-graduate supervised work experience with a minimum of 200 hours of supervision
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam
  • Send a photo
  • Pay a $117 application fee
  • Provide two professional references

Marriage and family therapy licenses issued in Massachusetts must be renewed by December 31st of odd-numbered years. Renewals cost $155.

Counselors must complete 30 hours of continuing education each renewal cycle.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Massachusetts

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) is the primary license issued to child therapists in Massachusetts.

The requirements are:

  • A master’s degree in counseling of at least 60 semester hours including a seven-week and 100-hour practicum, consisting of 40 hours of client contact and 25 hours of direct supervision, and a 600-hour internship, consisting of 240 hours of client contact and 45 hours of direct supervision. A Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) certificate can be substituted for education
  • 3,360 total hours of post-graduate supervised work experience, with a minimum of 960 hours of direct client contact and 130 hours of supervision.
  • A background check
  • A passing NCMHCE score
  • A photo of the applicant
  • A $117 application fee
  • Two professional references

Counseling licenses must be renewed biennially on December 31st of odd-numbered years. Renewals cost $155. Counselors must complete 30 hours of continuing education each renewal cycle.