Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Michigan

There is always a need for skilled, compassionate counselors who can provide a support system and recovery plan for people experiencing mental illness. Counselors, no matter what their specialty, form a relationship built on trust with their patients so that their patients can receive the guidance they need to live their best life.

Counseling educations can be broad and encompass all of general mental health. Alternatively, they can be focused on working with specific populations, such as marriage and family life for military veterans and service people or youth with sexual and gender identity issues.

Whatever the focus or specialty, counselors may work with people in crisis and those who need long-term support. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental illnesses are common in the United States. In 2017, nearly half (46.6 percent) of the national population live with a mild to severe mental illness.

Across the country, women (22.3 percent) were more likely to experience any mental illness than men (15.1 percent). Adults under the age of 25 years (25.8 percent) were more likely to experience any mental illness than adults over 25. There is also a great need for counselors who are experienced in working with multicultural issues, as the prevalence of any mental illness was highest among the adults who identified as being two or more races (28.6 percent).

Michigan is the tenth most populous state in the union, and as of 2017, was continuing to increase in population. A 2019 study conducted by Altarum and funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund reported that millions of Michiganders experience mental illness, but less than two-thirds receive treatment. And only 20 percent of Michiganders with a substance use disorder receive treatment.

Each state has its own unique set of counseling licensure criteria. Michigan licenses Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). An LLPC, or Limited Licensed Professional Counselor, can be applied to someone at the beginning of the counseling career. Michigan also certifies people with a School Counselor License (SCL), a Michigan Teaching Certificate with the School Counselor (NT) endorsement, or a Marriage and Family Therapist as an MFT. Individuals can also apply for a license to work in a substance use disorder program.

In order to take the counseling license exam in Michigan, prospective licensees must submit official educational transcripts from an accredited school confirming completion of a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling. If the school is not accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the transcript must show coursework and training meeting the requirements of CACREP, which include coursework not less than 48 semester-hours or 72 quarter-hours in counseling topics. Eligible licensees with a master’s degree must complete 3,000 hours of post-degree counseling work experience within two years.

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

Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Michigan

Andrews University – College of Education

Andrews University is a private Seventh-day Adventist university in Berrien Springs, Michigan, just two hours from Chicago. They offer a master of arts in clinical mental health counseling or in school counseling through the College of Education. Both are in-person, on-campus degrees.

The clinical mental health counseling program is 60 credits and can be completed by a full-time student in two years. The school counseling program prepares students to work in elementary and secondary schools. All students in both programs complete their master’s practicum at the Andrews Community Counseling Center. Students entering either program are encouraged to engage in research beginning their first year.

  • Location: Berrien Springs, Michigan
  • Duration: Both programs are 60 credits, two years, full-time
  • Accreditation: Andrews University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges. It is also accredited by the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities. Both the clinical mental health counseling program and school counseling programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The School of Education at Andrews University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Recently, NCATE has been replaced by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as the accreditor for education programs. The School of Education is now involved in the final stages of becoming CAEP accredited.
  • Tuition: $1,164 per credit-hour, plus fees

Western Michigan University – Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

Western Michigan University has earned many accolades: Top 20 Best College town (WalletHub), Top 11 percent of universities nationwide (U.S. News & World Report), Top 80 Colleges for Diversity (Insight into Diversity), and Top 10 producer of Fulbright Scholars in 2017, among others.

WMU offers a general rehabilitation counseling master of arts and a rehabilitation counseling/teaching MA with a concentration in working with blindness and low vision individuals. They also offer a general master of arts in counselor education, which prepares students for entry-level positions in college counseling; clinical mental health counseling; marriage, couple and family counseling; school counseling; and rehabilitation counseling and teaching.

Starting in fall 2020, the school also began offering counseling psychology and school counseling graduate certificates.

  • Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Duration: Clinical mental health counseling; marriage, couple, and family counseling, and school counseling are 60 hours; rehabilitation counseling is 53 hours
  • Accreditation: All counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $681.67 per credit, Michigan resident; $1,022.50 per credit, non-resident

Eastern Michigan University – College of Education

Eastern Michigan University offers a clinical mental health counseling program, a college counseling program, a school counseling program. In addition, EMU also offers four graduate certificates in clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, Helping Interventions in a Multicultural Society (HIMS), and a planning specialist certificate for school counselors.

  • Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • Duration: The clinical mental health counseling program and college counseling programs are both 61 semester-hours; the school counseling program is 50 to 56 semester-hours for teacher-certified individuals and 53 to 55 semester-hours for individuals not possessing a valid Michigan teaching certificate
  • Accreditation: All three programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: Up to 499 level courses are $450 per credit for Michigan residents, $1,100 non-resident; 500-699 level courses are $826 and $1,469; 700 and above courses are $952.50 and $1,663, respectively.

Michigan State University – College of Education

U.S. News and World Report (2019) ranked MSU’s rehabilitation counseling programs No. 1 in the United States. Michigan State University offers a rehabilitation counseling and disability studies program. The master’s program prepares counselors to work with people who have disabilities in a variety of settings.

Each student in the rehabilitation counseling program is assigned an advisor who will help orient the student to the university as well as provide support throughout the program, including identifying opportunities for practicum and internship. The rehabilitation counseling program typically requires three years of full-time academic work including summer sessions. In addition, students must submit a program portfolio that serves as the MA Certifying Exam at the end of their coursework to be eligible for graduation.

  • Location: Lansing, Michigan
  • Duration: 60 credits, three years full-time, four to five years part-time
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $785.75 Michigan resident, $1,544, non-resident, plus fees

Oakland University – School of Education and Human Services

Oakland University is a public institution established in 1957. It is a satellite school of Michigan State University. OU offers two master’s counseling programs: a master of arts in clinical mental health counseling and a master of arts in school counseling.

For those obtaining their degree in school counseling, three courses can be added to make them eligible for LLPC licensure (Limited Licensed Professional Counselor).

  • Location: Rochester, Michigan
  • Duration: The clinical mental health counseling program is 60 credits; the school counseling program is 50 to 62 credits (for LLPC licensure); both programs can be full-time or part-time
  • Accreditation: Both programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
  • Tuition: $770.50 per credit, Michigan resident; $1,027, non-resident

Spring Arbor University

Spring Arbor University is a private Free Methodist-affiliated university in Spring Arbor, Michigan. It is the second-largest evangelical Christian university in Michigan. The Economist ranked SAU No. 1 in long-term economic value among Christian universities in the region and No. 2 among all universities (public and private) in Michigan, among other recognitions.

Spring Arbor offers a master of arts in counseling which allows students to choose between a clinical mental health, school counseling, or dual track. Dual track students will complete a 600-hour internship in both clinical mental health and school counseling settings. A master of education in trauma and resiliency is also an option, which equips students to help K-12 students who have been affected by personal trauma. That program is offered 100 percent online.

The master’s in counseling program is offered at several extension sites across Michigan and in a virtual classroom via Zoom. The virtual classroom option combines online learning with face-to-face interaction.

  • Location: Spring Arbor, Michigan
  • Duration: All programs are 60 credits; dual-track students complete 72 credits (three additional courses) for an additional year of study; the MEd in trauma is 30 credits
  • Accreditation: The counseling master of arts program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
  • Tuition: $616 per credit, on-site and virtual classroom

University of Detroit – College of Liberal Arts & Education

The University of Detroit Mercy is a private, Roman Catholic university, sponsored by both the Society of Jesus and the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Founded in 1877, it is the largest Catholic university in Michigan. They cap enrollment in the graduate counseling program at 56 students with an average class size of 14 so that each student gets individualized attention throughout their degree.

The program boasts high marks, including a 100 job placement rate within 30 days of graduation from any of the master of arts in counseling programs. The program grew from a pastoral counseling program, and today students can choose from a master of arts with a major in addiction counseling, clinical mental health counseling, or school counseling. In addition, the counseling program offers a post-graduate certificate in school counseling.

  • Location: Detroit, Michigan
  • Duration: Addiction counseling and clinical mental health counseling programs are 60 credits; the school counseling for non-teachers program is 57 credits; the school counseling for teachers program is 48 credits
  • Accreditation: Each counseling program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $1,006 per credit-hour

Wayne State University – College of Education

Located right in Detroit, Wayne State University is Michigan’s most diverse campus. Wayne State’s master of arts in counseling has four concentrations, some of which may be combined: clinical mental health, school counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and art therapy. Applicants are required to have completed 12 to 15 credits of psychology, counseling, social work, sociology, or another related human-services field prior to being admitted. Art therapy students must have a background in studio art.

  • Location: Detroit, Michigan
  • Duration: 61 credits
  • Accreditation: the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $678.55 per credit, Michigan resident; $1,469.75 non-resident, plus fees

How Much Do Counselors Make in Michigan?

These numbers represent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2019.

Marriage and Family Therapist Salaries

United StatesMichigan
Number employed59,050230
Average annual salary (mean)$54,590$44,610
10th percentile$32,070$29,450
50th percentile (median)$49,610$43,130
90th percentile$87,700$62,760

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor Salaries

United StatesMichigan
Number employed284,5407,130
Average annual salary (mean)$49,950$48,580
10th percentile$29,520$31,650
50th percentile (median)$46,240$46,390
90th percentile$76,080$65,910

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisor Salary

United StatesPennsylvania
Number employed296,4607,280
Average annual salary (mean)$61,000$57,470
10th percentile$34,380$31,950
50th percentile (median)$57,040$53,950
90th percentile$96,090$90,530

Rehabilitation Counselor Salary

United StatesPennsylvania
Number employed109,0403,590
Average annual salary (mean)$40,160$40,360
10th percentile$23,820$21,600
50th percentile (median)$39,950$36,260
90th percentile$63,790$64,350

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Michigan Board Of Counseling

Professional counselors in Michigan can earn a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) license.

To earn an LLPC, candidates must:

  • Complete a CACREP accredited master’s degree program of at least 48 semester hours and include a 600-hour internship
  • Submit a Professional Disclosure Statement
  • Pay the $91.85 application fee

To become an LPC, candidates must meet LLPC requirements in addition to:

  • Providing a passing NCE or CRCC score
  • Completing 3,000 hours of post-degree counseling experience to be completed no less than two years. 100 hours must be completed under direct physical supervision. Thirty semester credits or 45 quarter credits of graduate coursework in counseling beyond those required for a master’s may substitute for 1,500 hours of work experience.

Michigan requires counselors to renew their licenses every three years. Those holding a limited license must renew annually. Renewals may be completed online and must be accompanied by a $118.90 fee for full therapist and $59.45 for limited licenses.

There are no continuing education requirements, although professionals are expected to maintain their competency in their field.

School Counseling Licenses in Michigan

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Michigan Department of Education

The Michigan Department of Education issues School Counselor Licenses (SCL). The requirements for this license are:

  • Complete 30 graduate-level semester hours in an approved school counselor education program or a program
  • Pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) School Counselor examination
  • Complete a 600-hour school counselor internship, with at least half of the hours in a school setting
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $160 application fee
  • Pass a background check

Teachers who hold a current Michigan Teaching Certificate can apply for a School Counselor (NT) endorsement when they meet the above requirements.

The SCL license and NT endorsement are valid for five years and cost $160 to renew.

Also, 150 hours of Education-Related Professional Learning are required for renewal. Of those 150, 50 hours must be specific to college and career preparation.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Michigan

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP)

The Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP) issues Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) certifications.

CADC certificate candidates must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pass the IC&RC ADC exam
  • Sign the MCBAP Counselor Code of Ethical Standards
  • Pay $150 application fee
  • Complete 300 hours of training and education; 180 must be in substance use disorders and the remaining 120 may be related to the alcohol and drug counselor domains from the IC&RC (at least six hours must be in ethics and be face-to-face)
  • Complete 300 hours of direct supervision in substance use disorder services
  • Complete 6,000 hours of work experience in counseling substance use disorder clients

An associate degree in social science or human service field will waive 1,000 hours, and a bachelor’s will waive 2,000 hours.

CADC certificate candidates must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pass the IC&RC AADC exam
  • Sign the MCBAP Counselor Code of Ethical Standards
  • Pay $150 application fee
  • Complete 186 hours of training and education in substance use disorders; six hours must be in ethics and be face-to-face
  • Have a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing, counseling, addiction science, psychology, social work, or marriage and family therapy, with a clinical application from an accredited institution
  • Complete 100 hours of direct supervision in substance use disorder services (25 hours in each of the four domains from the IC&RC)
  • Complete 2,000 hours of post-graduate work experience counseling substance use disorder clients.

MCBAP requires CAADC and CADC certificate holders to renew every two years. Renewals cost $145.

At the time of renewal, counselors must submit proof of 40 hours of continuing education, with 20 of those hours being substance use disorder-specific.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Michigan

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Michigan Board Of Counseling

Rehabilitation counselors in Michigan can earn a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) license.

To earn an LLPC, candidates must:

  • Complete a CACREP accredited master’s degree program of at least 48 semester hours and include a 600-hour internship
  • Submit a Professional Disclosure Statement
  • Pay the $91.85 application fee

To become an LPC, candidates must meet LLPC requirements in addition to:

  • Providing a passing NCE or CRCC score
  • Completing 3,000 hours of post-degree counseling experience to be completed no less than two years. 100 hours must be completed under direct physical supervision. Thirty semester credits or 45 quarter credits of graduate coursework in counseling beyond those required for a master’s may substitute for 1,500 hours of work experience.

Michigan requires counselors to renew their licenses every three years. Those holding a limited license must renew annually. Renewals may be completed online and must be accompanied by a $118.90 fee for full therapist and $59.45 for limited licenses.

There are no continuing education requirements, although professionals are expected to maintain their competency in their field.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Michigan

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Board of Behavior Analysts

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Board of Behavior issues Assistant Behavior Analyst and Behavior Analyst license.

Requirements for an Assistant Behavior Analyst license are:

  • Complete an online application
  • Pay the $443.70 application and four-year license fee
  • Complete a criminal background check
  • Complete human trafficking continuing education that meets Board requirements
  • Answer the good moral character and sex offender questions on the application
  • Provide verification of a BCaBA certification
  • Supply verification of supervision

Requirements for a Behavior Analyst license are:

  • Complete an online application
  • Pay the $443.70 application and four-year license fee
  • Complete a criminal background check
  • Complete human trafficking continuing education that meets Board requirements
  • Answer the good moral character and sex offender questions
  • Provide verification of a BCBA certificate

All behavior analyst licenses in Michigan must be renewed every four years. Renewals cost $367.20.

While there are no continuing education requirements, applicants for renewal must maintain BACB certification which has continuing education requirements.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Michigan

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Michigan Board Of Marriage And Family Therapy

The Michigan Board Of Marriage And Family Therapy credentials Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT).

To earn an LMFT credential, candidates must:

  • Complete a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from a COAMFTE-accredited program (or a regionally accredited program, which meets coursework requirements; the program must include an eight-month practicum with at least 300 hours of direct client contact)
  • Submit a Professional Disclosure Statement
  • Pay an $86.45 application fee
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam
  • Complete 1,000 hours of post-degree counseling experience
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Complete human trafficking training

Limited licenses (LLMFT) are issued to candidates who have met all the LMFT requirements but have not completed their supervised work experience.

Michigan requires marriage and family therapists to renew their licenses every two years. Those holding a limited license must renew annually. Renewals may be completed online and must be accompanied by a $194.55 fee.

There are no continuing education requirements, although professionals are expected to maintain their competency in their field.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Michigan

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Michigan Board Of Counseling

Child therapists in Michigan can earn a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) license.

To earn an LLPC, candidates must:

  • Complete a CACREP accredited master’s degree program of at least 48 semester hours and include a 600-hour internship
  • Submit a Professional Disclosure Statement
  • Pay the $91.85 application fee
To become an LPC, candidates must meet LLPC requirements in addition to:
  • Providing a passing NCE or CRCC score
  • Completing 3,000 hours of post-degree counseling experience to be completed no less than two years. 100 hours must be completed under direct physical supervision. Thirty semester credits or 45 quarter credits of graduate coursework in counseling beyond those required for a master’s may substitute for 1,500 hours of work experience.

Michigan requires counselors to renew their licenses every three years. Those holding a limited license must renew annually. Renewals may be completed online and must be accompanied by a $118.90 fee for full therapist and $59.45 for limited licenses.

There are no continuing education requirements, although professionals are expected to maintain their competency in their field.

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Michigan

  • Michigan Counseling Association
  • Michigan Mental Health Counselors Association
  • Michigan School Counselor Association
  • West Michigan Counseling Association
  • Michigan Board of Counseling
  • Michigan Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Alcohol & Chemical Abuse Consultants – Grand Rapids
  • Ann Arbor Center for Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Ann Arbor Mediation Center – Ann Arbor
  • Barry County Community Mental Health – Hastings
  • Brighton Center for Recovery – Brighton
  • Center for Eating Disorders – Ann Arbor
  • Center for Family Psychiatry – Saline
  • Center for Human Development – Southfield
  • Center for Neuropsychology, Learning & Development – Ann Arbor
  • Center for Relationship & Sexual Health – Royal Oak
  • Community Social Services of Wayne County
  • Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Authority
  • Great Lakes Psychology Group
  • Henry Ford Behavioral Health
  • Jewish Family Service
  • Livingston County Community Mental Health
  • Macomb Community Mental Health
  • Michigan Family Institute
  • Monroe County Community Mental Health
  • National Council on Alcoholism – Detroit
  • North Central Community Mental Health
  • Oakland County Community Mental Health
  • Psychiatric Associates of West Michigan
  • Taylor Teen Health Center
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.

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