Counseling Degrees & Licenses in New Hampshire

Pursuing a counseling career in the state of New Hampshire can be a rewarding professional choice. New Hampshire features several accredited master’s-level counseling degree programs.

According to a 2022 Mental Health America ranking, New Hampshire has an overall ranking of 13th among the States. The state ranks well in terms of outcomes for youth and access to care. While less impressive, the quality of outcomes for adults is still good compared to the national average.

In January 2022, New Hampshire overhauled an aspect of its mental health care system. Before this overhaul, law enforcement and hospital emergency rooms often served as the first responders for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis in New Hampshire. The state implemented a Rapid Response Access Point available both by phone and online. Implementing this resource is designed to more immediately connect people with resources and thereby reduce resource burden and improve response times and success rates for urgent interventions. 

Those seeking to work as a licensed clinical mental health counselor in New Hampshire must complete educational, examination, and standards requirements. First, students must successfully graduate from a CACREP-accredited institution or from a school that fulfills the regulation to hold regional accreditation. Graduates must complete the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE) and 3,000 hours of post-master’s clinical work. This additional clinical training must occur within two to four years, be supervised by a licensed clinical mental health counselor, and be pre-approved by the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice (NHBMHP). 

Finally, those securing licensure must subsequently adhere to certain practice standards once they begin to practice. Students interested in learning more about the curriculum design offered by accredited programs within New Hampshire are advised to review the NHBMHP website.

Read on to discover how to join various counseling careers in New Hampshire, featuring additional detailed information about academic programs.

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Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers a 60-credit master of arts degree in clinical mental health counseling. While offered primarily online, the program also features two required face-to-face residencies. This program currently meets the educational requirements for licensure in all states except Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin. Prospective students from those states are not eligible for enrollment.

The curriculum also requires satisfactory completion of a 100-hour practicum and two 300-hour internships. In cases where students must complete additional hours to be eligible for licensure in their intended state of practice, SNHU will collaborate with students to complete additional required hours.

  • Location: Manchester, NH
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $627 per credit 

Antioch University New England

Antioch University offers both a master of arts degree in clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) and a master of arts in couple and family therapy. Students pursuing the clinical mental health counseling degree can choose from several options. They can pursue the degree online as well as with or without a concentration in addiction counseling or art therapy. 

The 60-credit CMHC degree without a concentration is offered online and in a low residency weekend format on campus. Full-time students can typically complete the degree in three and a half years or less, with part-time students requiring as much as five years to complete. Before beginning the practicum requirement, students must pass a candidacy review. Graduation requires the completion of a 100-hour practicum and 900-hour internship.

The CMHC degree with art therapy concentration is a 66-credit program students can usually finish in 3.5 years. This program features twelve credits of art therapy coursework. Students develop skills to empower clients to find healing through verbal expression and the visual arts. The curriculum uses a social justice lens to train students to effectively address issues such as race, equity, and diversity.

The 60-credit CMHC degree with an addictions counseling concentration (ACC) features coursework identical to the degree track lacking a concentration in its first two semesters. During the next three semesters, students complete coursework specific to addiction counseling. This includes a supervised placement in a setting where students will develop skills specific to this counseling type. Students who, upon graduation, have successfully passed the National Counselor Exam (NCE) become eligible to become nationally certified counselors (NCCc). Information pertinent to seeking licensure is provided in a course focused on the counseling profession and ethics.

The master of arts degree in couples and family therapy (MA-CFT) is a 61-credit, low-residency program that full-time students can complete in as little as 33 months. Graduates apply a systemic lens to provide holistic treatment for various clients, including individuals, children, couples, and entire families. After completing post-graduate clinical requirements graduates may seek clinical membership as well as licensure or certification from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

The New England campus also offers programs in school counseling and dance/movement therapy. Prospective students may find more information on the school website.

Antioch University also has a Seattle, Washington campus. Students who wish to continue their education upon relocation to Washington state should inquire directly regarding such a possibility. 

  • Location: Keene, NH
  • Duration: Two to five years
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) 
  • Tuition: $757 to $916 per credit, depending upon program

New England College

New England College (NEC) offers a 60-credit master of science degree in clinical mental health counseling (MS-CMHC). This program can be completed online or on campus in Manchester. The curriculum fulfills the requirements for licensure in every state except Kentucky and Ohio.

NEC has a strong reputation based in part on its institutional partnerships. As part of their training, students undergo an intensive field experience program in which they receive robust supervision during their field placements. Students hold responsibility for researching, applying to, interviewing, and securing a suitable placement following their career objectives. Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 700 hours in their placement to fulfill this graduation requirement.

  • Location: Manchester, NH
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $576 per credit 

Plymouth State University

Plymouth State University offers two accredited counseling degree programs. These are the master of science in clinical mental health counseling and a master of education in school counseling. An additional master of science degree in marriage and family therapy is also offered.

The master of science in clinical mental health counseling is a 60-credit program whose requirements align with those of the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice. Successful graduates must also complete a 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship. Students seeking to practice later as licensed clinical mental health counselors (LCMHC) must complete additional steps as outlined in the overview section detailing counseling degrees and licensure in New Hampshire.

The master of education in school counseling is a New Hampshire Department of Education-approved program that provides students the training to work as a licensed K-12 professional school counselor in New Hampshire. Academic coursework includes several pre-practicum experiences to prepare students for their 100-hour comprehensive public school practicum. Students also complete a 600-hour comprehensive public school internship. Practicum and internship requirements provide nine credit hours towards completion of degree requirements. 

The master of science marriage and family therapy program offers admission in spring, summer, and fall semesters. Full-time students can generally finish in two years but are permitted up to six years to finish the degree.

  • Location: Plymouth, NH
  • Duration: Two years for full-time students; three years for part-time
  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE)
  • Tuition: $560 per credit hour for residents; $770 for non-residents

Rivier University

Rivier University offers a 61-credit master of arts degree in clinical mental health counseling. Courses are of seven to fourteen weeks in duration. The curriculum consists of core courses, counseling content-specific coursework, foundational courses, electives, and 12 credits derived from the internship experience. Graduates choose from various career paths, including private practice, community treatment providers, and substance abuse treatment.

Those seeking to become licensed clinical mental health counselors (LCMHC) must meet educational, examination, and postgraduate clinical training requirements as previously noted in the state overview portion of this webpage.

  • Location: Nashua, NH
  • Duration: Two and a half years
  • Accreditation: Institutional accreditation provided by New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $629 per credit 

University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire offers a master of science degree in human development and family studies. Those seeking to become a marriage and family therapist (MFT) choose the MFT option. The program requires a 500-hour supervised internship and the preparation of an integrative paper and presentation.  

Successful graduates meet the coursework requirements to become licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) in New Hampshire. Graduates may work in various settings, including education, healthcare facilities, employee assistance programs, social services, research, and private practice.

  • Location: Durham, NH
  • Duration: Two years (including two summer terms)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
  • Tuition: The website provides net price calculator for tuition estimate

How Much Do Counselors Earn in New Hampshire?

These numbers represent the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from May 2021—the latest data available as of January 2023. 

Clinical and Counseling Psychologist Salaries

United StatesNew Hampshire
Number employed58,100160
Average annual salary (mean)$99,640$95,850
10th percentile$47,010$49,440
50th percentile (median)$82,510$94,570
90th percentile$167,460$130,720

Marriage and Family Therapist Salaries

United StatesNew Hampshire
Number employed54,80090
Average annual salary (mean)$59,660$50,370
10th percentile$37,050$36,750
50th percentile (median)$49,880$46,490
90th percentile$96,520$76,630

Rehabilitation Counselor Salaries

United StatesNew Hampshire
Number employed90,310290
Average annual salary (mean)$44,740$45,550
10th percentile$28,890$28,990
50th percentile (median)$38,560$44,560
90th percentile$65,880$64,500

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselor and Advisor Salaries

United StatesNew Hampshire
Number employed57,1103,080
Average annual salary (mean)$82,770$53,510
10th percentile$49,260$36,340
50th percentile (median)$78,780$48,680
90th percentile$124,950$76,950

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

United StatesNew Hampshire
Number employed310,8802,080
Average annual salary (mean)$53,490$47,610
10th percentile$30,870$30,720
50th percentile (median)$48,520$46,640
90th percentile$77,980$68,520

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Association
  • New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors Association
  • New Hampshire School Counselor Association
  • New Hampshire Psychological Association
  • New Hampshire Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors Association
  • New Hampshire Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice

New Hampshire issues licenses for Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (LCMHC).

To apply for licensure, candidates must:

  • Complete a master’s or doctorate in counseling from an accredited institution. The program must be at least 60 semester-credits and be at least two years or four semesters long. If the institution is not CACREP accredited, candidates must demonstrate their program is equivalent and includes a 700-hour practicum.
  • Complete two years and 3,000 hours (at least 1,500 per year) of supervised clinical work experience—100 hours must be face-to-face supervision
  • Submit a completed application
  • Submit a photograph and resume
  • Pay $178 application fee and $135 initial license fee
  • Provide three professional references
  • Complete the Criminal Offender Record Report for every state where the candidate has lived for the past five years
  • Pass the NCMHCE exam

Renewals of licensure for LCMHCs in New Hampshire are required every two years and cost $298.

In addition to completing the application for renewal, counselors are required to complete 40 continuing education units, six of which must be in ethics and three in suicide prevention.

School Counseling Licenses in New Hampshire

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Bureau of Credentialing Division of Educator Support and Higher Education

The New Hampshire Bureau of Credentialing Division of Educator Support and Higher Education issues Certified School Counselor endorsements.

For a beginner educator license with a school counselor endorsement, candidates must:

  • Complete a state board of education approved school counseling master’s (or graduate courses related to school counseling) and complete a counseling internship in a school setting or have experience as a school counselor (or a closely related profession)
  • Qualify for a teaching license through one of the available Alternative Pathways for licensure
  • Pay the application fee
  • Submit a completed application

Upon completion of three years of work experience, school counselors may apply for an experienced educator license.

Both experienced and beginner educator licenses issued in New Hampshire are valid for three years. The cost to renew is $120.

School counselors must complete 45 Professional Education continuing units and 30 continuing education units in school counseling.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in New Hampshire

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

New Hampshire Board of Licensing for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Professionals

The primary licenses issued to substance abuse counselors by the New Hampshire Board of Licensing for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Professionals are Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), and Master Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (MLADC).

LADC license candidates must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Submit a written case study to the Board
  • Submit a complete application
  • Complete a background check
  • Passed the ADC exam from the IC&RC
  • Complete at least an associate’s in substance abuse counseling or related field.
  • Complete 270 hours of education, including six hours in confidentiality, six hours in ethics, six hours in education about the 12 core functions, and six hours in HIV and AIDS; the remaining 246 must be in 18 categories of competence
  • Complete 300 hours of training in the 12 core functions, with at least 10 hours in each function
  • Complete 6,000 hours of supervised work experience if the applicant has an associate’s degree; 4,000 hours if the applicant has a bachelor’s
  • Pass the ADC exam from the IC&RC
  • Pay $128 application fee

MLADC license applicants must meet LADC requirements, as well as:

  • Have a master’s in clinical mental health, clinical psychology, substance use treatment, social work, or human services from an accredited institution
  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience
  • Pay $240 application fee

LADC and MLADC licenses in New Hampshire expire every two years.

In order to renew, counselors must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $128 renewal fee for LADC or $240 for MLADC
  • Complete 48 hours of continuing education (12 hours must be in specific drug and alcohol counseling categories of competence; no more than 12 hours may be online)

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in New Hampshire

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice

Rehabilitation counselors in New Hampshire must be Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (LCMHC).

To apply for licensure, candidates must:

  • Complete a master’s or doctorate in counseling from an accredited institution. The program must be at least 60 semester credits and be at least two years or four semesters long. If the institution is not CACREP accredited, candidates must demonstrate their program is equivalent and includes a 700-hour practicum.
  • Complete two years and 3,000 hours (at least 1,500 per year) of supervised clinical work experience—100 hours must be face to face supervision
  • Submit a completed application
  • Submit a photograph and resume
  • Pay $150 application fee
  • Provide three professional references
  • Complete the Criminal Offender Record Report for every state where the candidate has lived for the past five years
  • Pass the NCMHCE exam

Renewals of licensure for LCMHCs in New Hampshire are required every two years and cost $270.

In addition to completing the application for renewal, counselors are required to complete 40 continuing education units, six of which must be in ethics.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in New Hampshire

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 New Hampshire.

However, the 2010 Autism Insurance Reform Law stipulates that for ABA therapy to be reimbursable by insurance, it must be provided by a BCBA-certified (or BCBA-supervised) provider.

Those providing ABA therapy in New Hampshire who want to bill insurance must maintain a BCBA certification and meet those continuing education standards.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in New Hampshire

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice

New Hampshire issues licenses for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT). To apply for licensure, candidates must:

  • Complete a master’s or doctorate in counseling from a COAMFTE or regionally accredited institution; the program must include a year-long internship or practicum supervised by an AAMFT-approved supervisor
  • Complete two years and 3,000 hours (at least 1,500 per year) of supervised clinical work experience; there must be at least 1,000 hours of client contact and 200 hours of supervision at the rate of an hour of supervision per week (graduates of COAMFTE programs can use up to 100 hours of supervision and 500 hours of client contact from their internship or practicum)
  • Submit a completed application
  • Submit a photograph and resume
  • Pay $150 application fee and $135 initial license fee
  • Provide three professional references
  • Complete the Criminal Offender Record Report for every state where the candidate has lived for the past five years
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam

Renewals for LMFT licenses in New Hampshire are required every two years and cost $270.

In addition to completing the application for renewal, counselors are required to complete 40 continuing education units, six of which must be in ethics.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in New Hampshire

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice

Child therapists in New Hampshire must be Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (LCMHC).

To apply for licensure, candidates must:

  • Complete a master’s or doctorate in counseling from an accredited institution. The program must be at least 60 semester-credits and be at least two years or four semesters long. If the institution is not CACREP accredited, candidates must demonstrate their program is equivalent and includes a 700-hour practicum.
  • Complete two years and 3,000 hours (at least 1,500 per year) of supervised clinical work experience—100 hours must be face to face supervision
  • Submit a completed application
  • Submit a photograph and resume
  • Pay $166 application fee and $135 license fee
  • Provide three professional references
  • Complete the Criminal Offender Record Report for every state where the candidate has lived for the past five years
  • Pass the NCMHCE exam

Renewals of licensure for LCMHCs in New Hampshire are required every two years and cost $290.

In addition to completing the renewal application, counselors must complete 40 continuing education units, six of which must be in ethics.

Bernd Geels

Bernd Geels

Writer

Bernd Geels is a Berlin, Germany-based freelance writer and artist. He holds an undergraduate degree in atmospheric science and two graduate degrees. He completed his most recent graduate degree in international environmental studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 2011. He is interested in healthcare, climate change, marine conservation, indigenous science and refugee issues. You can reach him directly at [email protected].