Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Tennessee

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board for Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marital and Family Therapists and Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapists

Tennessee credentials Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Providers (LPC/MHSPs) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPCs).

In order to receive LPC licensure, candidates must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Pass the NCE exam and the Tennessee Jurisprudence Exam
  • Complete a master’s degree in counseling from an accredited institution of at least 60 semester hours. It must include an internship of at least 500 hours, of which 300 must be direct client contact
  • Submit an online application
  • Complete a background check
  • Complete two years of supervised professional experience, which consists of at least 1,000 hours of face-to-face professional counseling work and at least 50 hours of direct supervision
  • Provide letters of recommendation
  • Pay $200 application fee
  • Pay the annual $400 Professional Privilege Tax

To be an LPC-MH, candidates must hold an LPC license as well as:

  • Pass the NCMHCE exam
  • Complete nine graduate semester hours of coursework related to the diagnosing, treatment, and assessment of mental disorders
  • Complete two years of supervised work experience. Of this, 1,500 hours must be face-to-face counseling and 1,500 must be clinically related work. There must also be 150 hours of consultation with an approved supervisor.

Renewals for LPC/HMSPs and LPCs in Tennessee are due every two years, may be completed online, and cost $115.

Counselors are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education per renewal cycle. Three of those hours must be in ethics or Tennessee rules and regulations.

School Counseling Licenses in Tennessee

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Department of Education

The Tennessee Department of Education issues school services personnel licenses with a school counselor endorsement.

There are five paths to earn a practitioner level license and endorsement. Candidates must do one of the following:

  • Have an advanced degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited institution, complete a state-approved educator preparation program in school counseling, have a recommendation by the approved educator preparation provider, and pass the Praxis Professional School Counselor exam
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution, be enrolled in a state-approved educator preparation program in school counseling (with a job embedded in clinical practice), complete all the coursework required of the educator preparation program, have a recommendation by the approved educator preparation provider, and pass the Praxis Professional School Counselor exam
  • Have an advanced degree in a counseling, be enrolled in a state-approved educator preparation program in school counseling, complete a minimum of 24 graduate semester credits in school counseling, submit a required supervision agreement, have a recommendation by the approved educator preparation provider, and pass the Praxis Professional School Counselor exam
  • Have an advanced degree in social work or school psychology, be enrolled in a state-approved educator preparation program in school counseling, submit a required supervision agreement, have a recommendation by the approved educator preparation provider, and pass the Praxis Professional School Counselor exam
  • Have an advanced degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited institution and have either a valid out-of-state school counseling license or a recommendation from the out-of-state educator preparation provider

Candidates must be 18 years old to apply. Applications are completed online and must pass a National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) screening.

To advance from a practitioner to professional licenses, school counselors must:

  • Complete three years of qualifying work experience
  • Earn 30 qualifying professional development points

A practitioner personnel license with a school counselor endorsement issued in Tennessee is valid for three years and may only be renewed once.

A professional license is valid for six.

Renewal applications must be completed online. Professional license holders must earn 60 professional development points (PDPs) per renewal cycle. There are no continuing education requirements for practitioner licenses.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Tennessee

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Tennessee’s Board of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors

Tennessee’s Board of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors issues licenses for Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors Level I and II (LADC).

LADC Level I licensure candidates must:

  • Be 21 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete three years and 6,000 hours of work experience as an alcohol and drug counselor
  • Submit a three page written philosophy of treatment
  • Send a passport-sized photo
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Pass the Tennessee jurisprudence exam
  • Complete 270 hours of drug and alcohol counseling education (six of those hours must be in ethics)
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Pass the NCAC Level I or MAC exam
  • Pay $250 application fee and $50 license fee

LADC Level II licensure candidates must:

  • Be 21 years old
  • Earn a bachelor’s or master’s in behavioral health
  • Complete two years (4,000 hours) of work experience as an alcohol and drug counselor if the applicant has a bachelor’s degree; master’s degree applicants need only one year (2,000 hours) of work experience
  • Submit a three page written philosophy of treatment
  • Send a passport-sized photo
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Pass the Tennessee jurisprudence exam
  • Complete 270 hours of drug and alcohol counseling education (six of those hours must be in ethics)
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Pass the NCAC Level II or MAC exam
  • Pay $250 application fee and $50 license fee

LACD Level I and IIs in Tennessee must renew their licenses every two years. Renewals cost $325.

Counselors must complete 15 hours of continuing education. Three of those hours must be in ethics and at least nine hours must be face to face.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Tennessee

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Board for Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marital and Family Therapists and Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapists

Rehabilitation counselors in Tennessee are either Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Providers (LPC/MHSPs) or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs).

In order to receive LPC licensure, candidates must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Pass the NCE exam and the Tennessee Jurisprudence Exam
  • Complete a master’s degree in counseling from an accredited institution of at least 60 semester hours. It must include an internship of at least 500 hours, of which 300 must be direct client contact
  • Submit an online application
  • Complete a background check
  • Complete two years of supervised professional experience, which consists of at least 1,000 hours of face-to-face professional counseling work and at least 50 hours of direct supervision
  • Provide letters of recommendation
  • Pay $200 application fee
  • Pay the annual $400 Professional Privilege Tax

To be an LPC-MH, candidates must hold an LPC license as well as:

  • Pass the NCMHCE exam
  • Complete nine graduate semester hours of coursework related to the diagnosing, treatment, and assessment of mental disorders
  • Complete two years of supervised work experience. Of this, 1,500 hours must be face-to-face counseling and 1,500 must be clinically related work. There must also be 150 hours of consultation with an approved supervisor.

Renewals for LPC/HMSPs and LPCs in Tennessee are due every two years, may be completed online, and cost $115.

Counselors are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education per renewal cycle. Three of those hours must be in ethics or Tennessee rules and regulations.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Tennessee

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Health Professional Boards Applied Behavior Analyst Licensing Committee

The Tennessee Health Professional Boards Applied Behavior Analyst Licensing Committee credentials Licensed Behavior Analysts and Licensed Assistant Behavior Analysts.

Candidates must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Have a BCBA or BCaBA certification
  • Pay a $250 application fee for a Licensed Behavior Analyst applications $150 for Licensed Assistant Behavior Analyst applications; both types of licensees must pay a $100 fee as well
  • Provide proof of supervision, if the applicant holds a BCaBA
  • Pass a fingerprint criminal records check
  • Submit a recent passport-sized photo
  • Be 21 years old or older

Behavior analyst licenses issued in Tennessee are valid for two years. Renewals cost $300 for full analyst licenses and $200 for assistant licenses.

Renewal applications must be accompanied with proof of current BACB certification.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Tennessee

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board for Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marital and Family Therapists and Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapists

The Tennessee Board for Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marital and Family Therapists, and Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapists credentials Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT).

In order to receive LMFT licensure, candidates must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam and the Tennessee Jurisprudence Exam
  • Complete a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from an accredited institution, including a 300-hour internship
  • Submit an online application
  • Complete a background check
  • Complete two years of supervised professional experience (at least 1,000 hours of face-to-face professional counseling work and at least 200 hours of direct supervision)
  • Provide two letters of recommendation
  • Pay $200 application fee
  • Pay the annual $400 Professional Privilege Tax

Renewals for LMFTs in Tennessee are due every two years, can be completed online, and cost $115.

Counselors are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education per renewal cycle. Three of those hours must be in ethics or Tennessee rules and regulations.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Tennessee

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Board for Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marital and Family Therapists and Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapists

Child therapists in Tennessee are either Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Providers (LPC/MHSPs) or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs).

In order to receive LPC licensure, candidates must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Pass the NCE exam and the Tennessee Jurisprudence Exam
  • Complete a master’s degree in counseling from an accredited institution of at least 60 semester hours. It must include an internship of at least 500 hours, of which 300 must be direct client contact
  • Submit an online application
  • Complete a background check
  • Complete two years of supervised professional experience, which consists of at least 1,000 hours of face-to-face professional counseling work and at least 50 hours of direct supervision
  • Provide letters of recommendation
  • Pay $200 application fee
  • Pay the annual $400 Professional Privilege Tax

To be an LPC-MH, candidates must hold an LPC license as well as:

  • Pass the NCMHCE exam
  • Complete nine graduate semester hours of coursework related to the diagnosing, treatment, and assessment of mental disorders
  • Complete two years of supervised work experience. Of this, 1,500 hours must be face-to-face counseling and 1,500 must be clinically related work. There must also be 150 hours of consultation with an approved supervisor.

Renewals for LPC/HMSPs and LPCs in Tennessee are due every two years, may be completed online, and cost $115.

Counselors are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education per renewal cycle. Three of those hours must be in ethics or Tennessee rules and regulations.