Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Ohio

The state of Ohio has a unique mental health counseling system that is different from other states. In Ohio, counselors can achieve several levels of licensure which vary from supervised practice only to a high degree of specialization. The lowest level is known as the Counselor Trainee (CT) which is a required level of licensure in order to earn more advanced levels of licensure via supervised work experience.

The next level is known as a Professional Counselor (PC). There are then two advanced levels of licensure as a Professional Counselor – Clinical Resident (CR). This initial CR licensure is required for those who wish to go on to achieve the highest level of licensure, that of the Professional Clinical Counselor (PCC).

Counseling degrees and licenses will continue to be in high demand in Ohio. According to Projections Central (2023), there were 7,300 mental health and substance abuse workers in the state of Ohio in 2020. In 2030, that number is expected to grow to reach 8,370.

Throughout the entire United States, positions in substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counseling are expected to grow from 351,000 to 428,500 over a similar ten-year period (2021-2031). In the United States, that growth rate represents a 22 percent increase and 77,500 projected jobs added (BLS 2022), while in Ohio that correlates to a 14.7 percent increase and 1,070 jobs added. Notably, both percentages are much higher than the average growth among all American occupations expected in the 2021 to 2031 timeframe (5 percent).

Mental health and substance abuse counselors can work in a variety of settings, including schools, mental health centers, in-patient or out-patient substance abuse recovery centers, drug recovery halfway houses, community health centers, domestic abuse shelters, prisons, and private practice.

Specializations that are possible within the general counseling field give prospective students options of focusing on general aging along with specific populations, such as veteran or active military families or people in prisons. Rehabilitation counselors who specialized in working with the elderly or aging populations might work in hospitals, long- and short-term care facilities, retirement homes, or community senior centers.

Following is a list of just a few of the accredited programs offering counseling degrees and licenses in Ohio.

Featured Counseling Programs
Methodist University BS - Psychology: Counseling/Clinical PsychologyProgram Website
Methodist University MS - Clinical Mental Health CounselingProgram Website
New York University Online MA - Bilingual School CounselingProgram Website
New York University Online MA - Counseling for Mental Health and WellnessProgram Website
New York University Online MA - School CounselingProgram Website
Northwestern University Online MA - CounselingProgram Website
Northwestern University Online MA - Counseling: Child and Adolescent EmphasisProgram Website
Southern New Hampshire University Online BA in Psychology - AddictionsProgram Website
Southern New Hampshire University Online BA in Psychology - Mental HealthProgram Website
Grand Canyon University Graduate Certificate - Christian CounselingProgram Website
Grand Canyon University MS - Clinical Mental Health CounselingProgram Website
Grand Canyon University MS - Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Childhood and Adolescence DisordersProgram Website
×

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN Southern New Hampshire University Online MS - Construction Management

Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Ohio

Bowling Green State University – School of Counseling and Special Education

Within the School of Counseling at Bowling Green State University are a master of arts in clinical mental health counseling degree program and a master of education in school counseling program. These master’s classes are primarily held on campus during evening hours and are not available online. The clinical mental health counseling degree program is an approved program of the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board, which means that graduates of this program will have met the academic requirements for professional licensure as a counselor in Ohio.

Likewise, the Ohio Department of Education approves the school counseling program, indicating that graduates of this program have met the academic requirements for licensure as a school counselor in the state. The school counseling program prepares students to work with elementary, middle, or secondary schools. Students who complete this program will satisfy the state of Ohio’s academic requirements for K-12 school counselor licensure.

The curriculum includes common courses such as crisis counseling; assessment and testing in counseling; career and life planning approaches; theories of counseling; counseling the culturally diverse; skills and techniques of counseling; legal & ethical issues in counseling; group counseling model and procedures; and alcohol and drug abuse treatment. Both programs comprise 60 credits.

  • Location: Bowling Green, OH
  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to three years
  • Estimated Tuition: Tuition varies based on the number of credits and term; the school has a tuition calculator to calculate the cost of attendance

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University offers two counseling degree programs: school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. The master of education in clinical mental health counseling prepares students to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE). After successfully completing the NCE exam, graduates are awarded the Professional Counselor (PC) license. After that, students are expected to acquire two years of supervised experience in counseling. After that two-year period of direct supervised experience, students are eligible to take the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE). They are awarded the Professional Clinical Counselor license (PCC) upon passing that exam.

Cleveland State University’s school counseling program focuses on developmental activities to foster student growth, preventive activities centered on identifying at-risk students, and remedial activities to help struggling students. There are two paths to licensure as a school counselor in Ohio; one track is for licensed or certified teachers and the other track is for non-teachers.

Comprising 60 credits, the curriculum includes courses such as laboratory in counseling techniques; cultural & social foundations in counseling; ethical and legal issues in counseling; individual counseling: theory & process; appraisal counseling; and psychopathology and diagnosis for counselors.

  • Location: Cleveland, OH
  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to three years
  • Estimated Tuition: In-state ($590.40 per credit); non-resident ($665.40 per credit)

Franciscan University

The Franciscan University of Steubenville is a private Catholic university in Steubenville, Ohio. Majors at Franciscan include theology and Christian ministry as well as an MA in clinical mental health counseling. Programs are taught by full-time faculty members with expertise in their fields. This 60-credit program includes a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour public or private counseling agency internship.

The CMHC program offers two specialization areas, which include one required course and two electives: a Christian counseling concentration with courses in psychological and spiritual integration, human sexuality, and Christian marriage and family; or a crisis and trauma counseling concentration with training in addictions counseling, crisis & trauma counseling, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Both specializations require an additional nine credits of coursework. While the majority of the courses are held in person on campus, two of the required courses are available online. Most students complete this program in two years.

The program’s core curriculum includes courses such as research and evaluation for mental health counselors; human growth and personality development; professional, ethical, and legal issues in counseling; theories and techniques of mental health counseling; theories and techniques of marriage and family counseling; therapeutic techniques of counseling; group dynamics and mental health counseling; introduction to addictions counseling; and diagnosis for mental health counselors.

  • Location: Steubenville, OH
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years, 60 hours
  • Estimated Tuition: $720 per credit

Heidelberg University

Founded in 1850 by members of the German Reformed Church, Heidelberg University offers students a strong liberal arts education along with a curriculum taught by a theologically trained faculty. Students can earn master of arts (MA) degrees in clinical mental health counseling or school counseling. Courses are offered as a mix of online, evening face-to-face classes that last eight weeks.

Heidelberg’s curriculum prepares students to take the Ohio state licensing exam to work as a Licensed Professional School Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), and/or to qualify as both a school and clinical mental health counselor.

Both counseling concentrations include a 100-hour practicum field experience and a minimum two-semester, 600-hour internship. The state of Ohio requires a minimum of 60 semester hours of coursework to be eligible for state licensure as a counselor and at least 50 semester hours of coursework to be eligible as a school counselor. School counselors must successfully pass the Ohio Department of Education’s OAE 040 exam.

  • Location: Tiffin, OH
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Clinical mental health counseling concentration (60 credits); school counseling concentration (50 credits)
  • Estimated Tuition: $616 per credit

John Carroll University

John Carroll University is a Jesuit Catholic university located in Cleveland, Ohio. Most of the school’s graduate programs are available in full- or part-time options, including the clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) master of arts program and the master of education in school counseling. Most classes are offered as traditional, in-person classes in the evening or hybrid/online courses.

A substance use disorder concentration is available to students in the CMHC program for an additional three courses. These extra nine credits prepare students for licensure as a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC). The LICDC credential is highly valued by employers in Ohio, especially given how much Ohio has been affected by the rise in the use of opioids. Students serving their CMHC internship in underserved communities receive a $10,000 stipend.

Both programs comprise 60 credits and include courses such as orientation to counseling; counseling theories; counseling techniques and practice; diversity issues in counseling; foundations of school counseling; school counseling program design & consultation; trauma-informed counseling; expressive arts in counseling; and clinical diagnosis and psychopathology.

  • Location: Cleveland, OH
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC); the school counseling degree is also accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Ohio Department of Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years full time
  • Estimated Tuition: $690 per credit, plus fees

Kent State University

Kent State offers three counseling options: clinical mental health counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling, and school counseling. They also offer a post-master’s counseling educational specialist degree. The master of education in clinical mental health counseling prepares students to work in community service agencies such as substance abuse facilities, mental health centers, child and family service agencies, or private counseling facilities. Upon graduation, students are eligible to apply for licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Ohio.

The clinical rehabilitation counseling program prepares students for employment in settings where they will work with people with disabilities such as vocational rehabilitation settings, mental health and developmental agencies, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, public and private hospitals, comprehensive rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, community-based programs, private industry, and student disability services. The master of education degree in school counseling prepares students for employment in K-12 schools. Upon completion, students can apply for licensure as a Licensed School Counselor in Ohio.

All three programs consist of 60 credits and include courses in counseling theories; counseling skills & techniques; multicultural counseling; introduction to assessment in counseling; counseling adolescents; clinical assessment in counseling; psychopathology for counselors; and diagnosis in counseling.

  • Location: Kent, OH
  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years full-time, or part-time options
  • Estimated Tuition: Ohio resident ($9,898 annually); non-Ohio resident ($18,448 annually)

Malone University (Online Program)

Malone University, a small private, Bible-based liberal arts university, offers Ohio’s first online clinical mental health counseling program. The clinical mental health counseling track is offered either in a hybrid format or fully online with no residency requirements. Both prepare students to take the National Counselor Licensure Examination. Malone also offers a master of education in school counseling.

The clinical mental health counseling track comprises 60 credits and includes courses such as foundations of clinical mental health counseling; assessment in counseling; diagnosis of mental disorders; treatment methods in clinical mental health counseling; marriage and family counseling; addictions counseling; spirituality and religion in counseling; and trauma counseling and crisis intervention.

The 48-credit school counseling program includes courses such as school counseling and special education; foundations of school counseling; consultation and advocacy in school counseling; and program development and coordination in school counseling.

  • Location: Canton, OH
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to 3.5 years
  • Estimated Tuition: $725 per credit

Union Institute & University (Online Program)

Union Institute & University offers a flexible, online master’s degree program in clinical mental health counseling preparing graduates for certification or licensure as professional counselors or clinical mental health counselors. This CACREP-accredited degree will also equip students for future doctoral studies in counseling and related fields. The program also offers supervised practicum and internship experiences.

Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative 3.0 GPA. Application requirements include official transcripts from all previous institutions, a completed online application, a personal statement, a current resume, three professional references, an individual interview, and English proficiency for international students.

With both full and part-time options, this 60-credit online program has start dates in January, May, and August. Along with online learning, the program has face-to-face residency experiences that are held twice each calendar year. The curriculum includes courses such as counseling theory and practice; appraisal and diagnostic techniques; treatment modalities; the social basis of behavior and cultural diversity; diagnosis of disorders occurring in childhood & adolescence; family therapy; and human sexuality for counselors.

  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to three years
  • Estimated Tuition: $810 per credit

Winebrenner Theological Seminary

Winebrenner’s master of arts program in clinical counseling prepares graduates to become effective clinical mental health counselors who integrate Christian values and worldviews into their service to clients. Applicants to the program require an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and a current resume.

Comprising 69 credits, the program includes courses such as counseling theories; introduction to clinical mental health; counseling techniques; group counseling; multicultural counseling; diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders; legal and ethical issues in counseling; counseling children and adolescents; and psychopathology.

  • Location: Findlay, OH
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three years
  • Estimated Tuition: $10,800

How Much Do Counselors Make in Ohio?

These numbers represent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2022—the latest data available as of July 2023.

Marriage and Family Therapists

United StatesOhio
Number employed62,080210
Average annual salary (mean)$63,300$54,810
10th percentile$36,840$40,080
25th percentile$44,730$43,750
50th percentile (median)$56,570$50,510
75th percentile$75,220$59,520
90th percentile$98,700$65,750

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

United StatesOhio
Number employed344,97013,760
Average annual salary (mean)$56,230$53,310
10th percentile$34,580$35,040
25th percentile$39,810$39,650
50th percentile (median)$49,710$48,420
75th percentile$64,400$61,360
90th percentile$82,710$78,310

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors

United StatesOhio
Number employed308,00011,510
Average annual salary (mean)$64,200$68,720
10th percentile$38,280$38,810
25th percentile$47,380$47,730
50th percentile (median)$60,140$65,760
75th percentile$76,590$82,190
90th percentile$98,530$100,850

Rehabilitation Counselors

United StatesOhio
Number employed82,4203,410
Average annual salary (mean)$46,020$47,070
10th percentile$29,120$28,400
25th percentile$33,790$31,470
50th percentile (median)$39,990$39,440
75th percentile$53,470$63,270
90th percentile$71,270$69,310

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board

There are three mental health counselor licenses issued in Ohio:

  • Counselor Trainee (CT)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

A CT license is awarded to students who are completing a practicum or internship. To apply for this license, a candidate must:

  • Provide proof of enrolment in a master’s or doctoral level practicum or internship
  • Complete an online application
  • Complete a background check

To earn an LPC license, candidates must:

  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Submit official transcripts demonstrating graduation from a CACREP accredited master’s program
  • Complete a background check
  • Complete an online application
  • Watch the Laws and Rules online video

To earn an LPCC license, candidates must meet LPC requirements in addition to:

  • Passing the NCMHCE exam
  • Completing two full years of supervised work experience with a minimum of 1,500 hours per year. The experience must include diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders.

Ohio requires LPCs and LPCCs to renew their licenses every two years.

The requirements to renew include:

  • An online application,
  • An $83.50 fee for LPCs or $103.50 for LPCC
  • 30 hours of continuing education to an online system; three of those hours must be in ethics

School Counseling Licenses in Ohio

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Ohio Department of Education

The Ohio Department of Education issues Pupil Services Licenses to school counselors. The requirements for this license are:

  • Pass the Ohio Assessments for Educators School Counselor exam
  • Complete a BCI/FBI background check
  • Have a master’s degree (preferably from an in-state approved program) that included a 600-hour school counselor internship
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $200 application fee

Those who have completed an out-of-state degree will need to provide additional documentation, such as a recommendation from the dean.

Pupil Services Licenses for school counselors are valid for five years.

To renew, school counselors must submit an application and pay a renewal fee. Continuing education requirements for school counselors are six semester hours of coursework, or 18 continuing education units (180 hours). Other activities may be approved by the Local Professional Development Committee.

Please note that proof of current licensure from the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board waives continuing education requirements.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Ohio

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board (OCDP)

Licenses and certifications issued by the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board (OCDP) include Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant (CDCA), Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDCII, LCDCIII) and Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC).

Preliminary CDCA certificate candidates must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Sign an agreement to practice according to the ethics code set by the board
  • Complete 40 hours of approved chemical dependency coursework within the past two years
  • Complete an online application
  • Pay $50 application fee

To earn the renewable CDCA, candidates must:

  • Hold the preliminary CDCA certificate for ten months or more
  • Complete an additional 30 hours of chemical dependency coursework
  • Complete an online application
  • Pay $35 conversion fee

LCDCII license candidates must:

  • Have an associate’s degree in behavioral health, a nursing degree or a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $50 application fee
  • Complete 2,000 hours of supervised work experience
  • Provide job descriptions for positions held during the supervised work experience signed by the supervisor
  • Complete 180 hours of education and training in substance abuse in nine specific content areas
  • Complete 200 hours of practical training in the 12 core function areas, which can be part of the supervised work experience
  • Pass the ADC exam from the IC&RC

LCDCIII license applicants must meet the above requirements and must have a bachelor’s degree.

LICDC license applicants must also meet the same requirements and must have a master’s degree.

Substance abuse counselor certificate and license holders in Ohio must renew every two years. They must submit an online application and pay a $150 renewal fee.

Every renewal cycle, counselors must complete 40 hours of continuing education. Six hours must be in chemical dependency and three hours must be in ethics.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Ohio

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board

There are three mental health counselor licenses rehabilitation counselors can earn in Ohio:

  • Counselor Trainee (CT)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

A CT license is awarded to students who are completing a practicum or internship. To apply for this license, a candidate must:

  • Provide proof of enrolment in a master’s or doctoral level practicum or internship
  • Complete an online application
  • Complete a background check

To earn an LPC license, candidates must:

  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Submit official transcripts demonstrating graduation from a CACREP accredited master’s program
  • Complete a background check
  • Complete an online application
  • Watch the Laws and Rules online video

To earn an LPCC license, candidates must meet LPC requirements in addition to:

  • Passing the NCMHCE exam
  • Completing two full years of supervised work experience with a minimum of 1,500 hours per year. The experience must include diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders.

Ohio requires LPCs and LPCCs to renew their licenses every two years.

The requirements to renew include:

  • An online application,
  • An $83.50 fee for LPCs or $103.50 for LPCC
  • 30 hours of continuing education to an online system; three of those hours must be in ethics

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Ohio

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Ohio Board of Psychology

The Ohio Board of Psychology licenses Certified Ohio Behavior Analysts. The requirements include:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Hold a BCBA certification
  • Provide three recommendations
  • Complete a Pre-Certification Workshop Law and Rules course
  • Pay $125 application fee
  • Pass a criminal records check

Certified Ohio Behavior Analysts licenses must be renewed biennially. The cost to renew is $150.

Renewal applications must be accompanied by proof of continued BCBA certification. Current BCBA certification meets all Ohio continuing education requirements.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Ohio

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board

The Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board credentials Independent Marriage and Family Therapists (IMFT) and Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT).

MFT license requirements are:

  • Pass the AMFTRB exam
  • Submit official transcripts demonstrating graduation from a COAMFTE-accredited master’s program (or a regionally accredited program that meets coursework requirements)
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam
  • Pay $80 application fee
  • Complete a background check
  • Complete an online application
  • Watch the Laws and Rules online video

To earn an IMFT license, candidates must meet MFT requirements, in addition to:

  • Paying $100 application fee
  • Completing two full years of supervised work experience, with 1,000 hours of direct client contact and 200 hours of supervision (of which 100 hours must be individual supervision)

Ohio requires IMFTs and MFTs to renew their licenses every two years.

The requirements to renew include:

  • An online application
  • A $83.50 fee for MFTs or $103.50 for IMFTs
  • 30 hours of continuing education (three of those hours must be in ethics)

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Ohio

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board

There are three mental health counselor licenses child therapists can earn in Ohio:

  • Counselor Trainee (CT)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

A CT license is awarded to students who are completing a practicum or internship. To apply for this license, a candidate must:

  • Provide proof of enrolment in a master’s or doctoral level practicum or internship
  • Complete an online application
  • Complete a background check

To earn an LPC license, candidates must:

  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Submit official transcripts demonstrating graduation from a CACREP accredited master’s program
  • Complete a background check
  • Complete an online application
  • Watch the Laws and Rules online video

To earn an LPCC license, candidates must meet LPC requirements in addition to:

  • Passing the NCMHCE exam
  • Completing two full years of supervised work experience with a minimum of 1,500 hours per year. The experience must include diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders.

Ohio requires LPCs and LPCCs to renew their licenses every two years.

The requirements to renew include:

  • An online application,
  • An $83.50 fee for LPCs or $103.50 for LPCC
  • 30 hours of continuing education to an online system; three of those hours must be in ethics
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.