ALERT: Effective January 1, 2018, the titles for Marriage and Family Therapist Interns, and Professional Clinical Counselor Interns will change. More Information

LPCC Out of State Applications Postmarked On or After January 1, 2016

Education Requirements Effective January 1, 2016

NOTE: If you applied for intern registration prior to January 1, 2016, and your registration was subsequently issued, the educational requirements in effect at the time you applied for intern registration will continue to apply.

Degrees earned outside of California will be evaluated in accordance with California's educational requirements as defined in law. To qualify, a degree must have been obtained from a regionally accredited school and must contain at least 48 semester units or 72 quarter units. Otherwise, the degree will not qualify for California licensure. Certain components must be present within your degree in order to qualify, and some components can be remediated.

See the Guide to 2016 LPCC Out-of-State Education Requirements for more information.

If you have an out-of-country degree, you must have your education evaluated to determine equivalency to a qualifying degree in California. The evaluation service must be a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.

If you have an out-of-state degree, you must submit syllabi for all coursework listed by your school on the Out-of-State Degree Program Certification form, except as specified below.

  • If your degree was conferred in 1983 or later AND at the time of conferral, the degree program was CACREP accredited, then you DO NOT have to submit syllabi EXCEPT for coursework listed as meeting the "Diagnosis" core content area. However, the Board may require submission of syllabi after evaluating your application.
  • What you can do when the Board requests Course Syllabi

(Sources: Business and Professions Code sections 4999.33, 4999.40, 4999.60, 4999.61, 4999.62 and 4999.63)

Experience Requirements Effective January 1, 2016

Unlicensed Applicants

If you gained supervised experience in another state but are not licensed, you will need to demonstrate that you have gained a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised post-degree experience earned over a minimum of 104 weeks. Your experience must be substantially equivalent to California’s requirements, which includes being less than 6 years old at the time of application. If you need to gain additional hours of supervised experience in California, you must first register as a Professional Clinical Counselor Intern.

Licensed Applicants

If you are currently licensed, and the supervised experience requirements for that state are substantially equivalent to California's requirements, then you have met the experience requirements necessary for licensure. If the licensing body in your state does not have substantially equivalent experience requirements, time actively licensed as a LPCC in your state can be credited at a rate of 100 hours per month up to a maximum of 1,200 hours. Experience gained out-of-state, as well as up to 1,200 hours credited for time licensed out of state, can be combined to meet the minimum 3,000 hours of experience.

(Sources: Business and Professions Code sections 4999.46, 4999.60, 4999.61; 4999.62 and 4999.63; California Code of Regulations, Title 16, section 1820)

Examination Requirements Effective January 1, 2016

All applicants must pass two examinations: A California Law and Ethics Exam and the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE). If you have already passed the NCMHCE, the Board may accept your passing score as follows:

  • If you do not currently hold licensure in another state, your passing score must be less than seven (7) years old
  • If you currently hold a license in another state, your passing score can be any age
  • You must obtain official proof of passing from the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)  in a sealed envelope and submit it to the Board

If you are not registered as an Intern, then you must wait until approval of your Application for Examination and Licensure before you will be eligible to take the Law and Ethics Exam. The NCMHCE may be taken after approval of your Application for Examination and Licensure and passing the Law and Ethics Exam.

(Sources: Business and Professions Code sections 4999.52 and 4999.53)

Fingerprinting Requirements Effective January 1, 2016 

There are no changes to fingerprinting requirements in 2016. All applicants must be fingerprinted with the BBS. The Applicant Fingerprinting Requirements provides specific information on the fingerprinting process.