Human Services Guide

Counseling Licensure in Hawaii

Hawaii has requirements that are rigorous, but much simpler than many states when it comes to counseling licensure. A good first place to start as you explore the Counseling license is the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Affairs website which you can find here:

You will need to complete the following steps to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Hawaii:

  1. Meet the educational requirement of a Master’s in Counseling from an accredited program.
  2. Complete a practicum during your graduate studies.
  3. Pass a criminal background check.
  4. Complete the supervised experience element.
  5. Apply to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  6. Apply for your Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title.

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Educational Requirements

Hawaii requires that you complete the following degrees to meet their educational requirements:

  • Earn your Bachelor’s degree in a behavioral science such as Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, Human Services or Marriage and Family Therapy.
  • Complete a master’s or doctorate degree in counseling or other area related to mental health at a college or university that has received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or equivalent regional accreditation agency. For degrees in related areas, a minimum of 48 semester hours must be in Human Growth and Development, Social and Cultural Foundations, Counseling Theories and Applications, Group Theory and Practice, Career and Lifestyle Development, Appraisal of Human Development, Tests and Measurements, Research and Program Evaluation, and Professional Ethics.
  • You must complete the core coursework requirements as described on the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Affairs website which you can find here:


You are required to complete a practicum as follows:

  • Two of your semesters must include practicum work.
  • They must be equivalent to three semester hours of work or five quarter hours if on the quarter system.

Supervised Experience

After completing your practicum and securing your Graduate degree in Counseling you are ready to begin you supervised experience portion.

  • You must accumulate 3000 hours of supervised experience.
  • At least 100 hours must be direct face-to-face clinical supervision.
  • Your supervisor must be a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Advanced Practice Nurse (with a mental health specialization), Clinical Social Worker or a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Apply for and Take Your Exam

You are getting close now to having your license you now only need to pass your exams and turn in your completed application.

  • Apply with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Affairs to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  • Pass your NCE with a score acceptable to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Affairs.

Apply for Your License

All you need to do now is apply for your license.

  • Apply for your title Licensed Professional Counselor title.
    • You can find the form here:

Hawaii requires that you answer questions about disciplinary action and criminal charges to maintain your license, but it does not currently require continuing education credits. Your license must be renewed every 3 years. You will want to be sure that you are informed about any changes and the current status of Counseling licensure in Hawaii which you can read about on the state website which you can find here:

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