The National Certified School Counselor

National Certified School Counselors (NCSC) are nationally certified counselors who offer the highest standards of practice for schools and students because they have met stringent education, examination, supervision, experience, and ethical requirements in school counseling.

Application Requirements

You must meet the following requirements in order to obtain certification as a NCSC.


All applicants for the NCSC must currently hold the National Certified Counselor (NCC). If you are not an NCC, please review these requirements.


All courses used to fulfill the coursework content areas, with the exception of supervised field experience, must carry at least two semester or three quarter hours of graduate-level credit. No course may be used to fulfill more than one content area. You must have taken a course in the Foundations of School Counseling and also must have taken courses covering at least three of the following five content areas:

  • Counseling Consultation and Program Development
  • Family Counseling
  • Counseling Children, Adolescents and/or At-Risk Youth
  • Addictions Counseling
  • Counseling for Trauma, Violence or Abuse

Learn more about the required coursework content areas.

In addition, you must have completed six semester or 10 quarter hours of supervised school field experience. If you have not completed six semester hours of supervised school field experience, you may make use of one of the following alternative options:

  • Three semester or five quarter hours of supervised school field experience and 10 continuous years as a fully state-licensed school counselor
  • Three semester or five quarter hours of supervised school field experience and an additional 120 hours of direct supervision


You must document at least 100 hours of post-graduate school counseling supervision. The individual verifying supervision cannot be related to the applicant and cannot be the same individual providing the professional endorsement.

Professional Endorsement

You must obtain endorsement from a professional colleague who holds a master’s degree or higher in a mental health field. The individual providing endorsement cannot be related to the applicant and cannot be the same individual verifying supervision.

Work Experience

You must document the equivalent of two academic years in a school counselor position or 3,000 hours over a period of at least 20 months.


Since you must be an NCC in order to apply for this specialty, you are required to adhere to NBCC’s ethical policies, including the NBCC Code of Ethics, the Certification Eligibility Policy - Ethics, and the Ethics Case Procedures. These important policies are available at:

Examination Requirement

You must have a passing score on the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).

Application Fees for Certification

Credential Without Exam Registration Exam Registration Included
NCC $250 $375
CCMHC $250 $375
NCSC $250 N/A

Begin Application

Examination Information

For purposes of national certification, the examinations are offered throughout the year. The NCE and NCMHCE handbooks provide specific information regarding each examination.


Once you complete the application process, you will need to meet ongoing requirements in order to maintain and recertify your NCSC.

NCSC Questions:


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