Counseling Licensure in Maryland
The state of Maryland has its own unique requirements for those seeking licensure as a Mental Health Counselor. Maryland has two levels of licensure the Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LGPC) and the full level of licensure known as the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. You can learn more about Maryland’s laws and regulations on licensure by visiting the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors website which you can find here:
You will need to take and complete the following steps to gain the title of Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LGPC) and eventually the full title of Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC):
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- The LGPC (Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor) credential in Maryland is the first licensing tier for professional counselors and is designed for those that hold a master’s degree in a field outside of counseling who are working toward earning a master’s or doctorate in professional counseling or a related field in preparation for the LCPC credential. The interim LGPC license requires that your existing master’s degree be from an accredited college approved by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists. Additionally, you must have completed at least 3 graduate hours toward a qualifying master’s or doctorate that covers specific course content as detailed by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.
- Complete a practicum during your Master’s degree program in Counseling.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Apply to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- Apply to the state board to receive your Licensed Professional Counselor (LGPC) title.
- You would be eligible to apply for the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) credential, the highest level of counselor licensure in Maryland, after completing a master’s or doctorate in professional counseling or a closely related field from an accredited, Board-approved school. The program must include a clinical practicum and specific course content as detailed by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.
- Apply to the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors, supply three professional letters of reference and if approved, receive your Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) title for the state of Maryland.
Maryland requires prospective Counselors to complete the following educational steps.
- The first step is to earn your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling as the best option, or a highly related Social or Behavioral Science field such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services.
- The next step is to apply to and get accepted into a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited Master of Counseling program.
- You graduate program must include a practicum that has a minimum of 125 hours of direct client contact in a Mental Health context.
Apply for and Take Your NCE and Maryland Law Exam
The next step is to take your exam for the LPC title.
- Apply with the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sit for your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- You can find the form here: http://www.nbcc.org/Assets/StateForms/MD.pdf
- Pass the NCE with a score acceptable to the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors.
- Complete and pass the Maryland Law Test.
Apply for Your LGPC License
You are now able to contact the Maryland Board of Professional Counseling and apply for your LGPC title.
- Apply with the Maryland Board of Counseling Professionals for your LPC title.
- You can find the form here:
Supervised Experience LCPC
For those who are interested in continuing onward to obtain their LCPC title, you will first need to apply to the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to obtain your conditional LCPC title and then you will need to accumulate the following amount of supervised experience:
- Apply for a conditional LCPC title the form for which you can find here:
- Your supervisor must be an LCPC (preferred) or a licensed: Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker or Psychiatric Nurse.
- If you have a Master of Counseling degree, then you must complete 3,000 hours of supervised experience over the course of three years.
- You can earn up to 1000 hours during your graduate studies as explained on the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors website.
- At least two years’ worth of experience must be completed post-graduation with Master’s degree.
- If you have your Ph.D. in Counseling you will need 2000 hours and two years of experience.
- You can earn up to 1000 hours during your graduate or doctoral studies as explained on the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors website.
- A minimum of 1000 hours and one year of experience must be post-doctoral.
Apply for Your LCPC License
You will now need to obtain three professional letters of reference and complete your application with the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to attain your LCPC title.
- You must acquire three professional letters of recommendation to present to the board.
- Apply with the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors for your LCPC title.
- You can find the form here:
Maryland law states that you must renew your license every two years. You will also be required to have completed continuing education credits.
- Maryland law states you need 40 credits of continuing education every two year period.
- This can include juried materials, workshops, symposiums and seminars which must make up at least 30 hours of these credits.
- The board has approved a number of sponsors for these CE’s.
In order to be up to date on current requirements for CE and other matters relating to licensure it is wise to take the time to visit the state board website every few months. You can find the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors website here: