North Carolina Counselor License Exam

To get licensed in North Carolina, Professional Counselors are required to take an exam covering such subjects as assessment and diagnosis, counseling and psychotherapy and professional ethics. Whether you live in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro or another city or county, the resources below will help you get started on the path to receive your Professional Counselor’s license.
Need of a License: A license is needed to work as a counselor in North Carolina.  Licenses are granted by the North Carolina Board of licensed and professional counselors.

To qualify to become a licensed professional counselor in  North Carolina, the following must be met:How to Apply for Licensure

An application for licensure and other documentation can be obtained online. All documents can be submitted on line or must be sent to:

Board of Licensed Professional Counselors
P.O. Box 77819
Greensboro, NC 27417

1- 844-622-3572 or 336/217-6007
1- 336-217-9450 (fax)

Test Content of the NCE

The NCE measures the applicants’ knowledge of the following eight content areas:
  1. The psychology of human growth and development
  2. Socio-cultural diversity
  3. Establishing helping relationships
  4. Group dynamics and group therapy
  5. Career goals and development
  6. Assessment  of psychopathology and treatment needs
  7. Research methods and program evaluation
  8. Professional orientation and ethical practice.
The applicant’s knowledge of the following five work areas are also measured by the NCE:
  1. Fundamental issues in counseling
  2. The process of counseling
  3. Diagnostic and assessment services
  4. Professional practice issues
  5. Ongoing professional development and the need for clinical supervision and consultation.
The exam consists of 200 questions, 40 of which are not scored, but are included for purpose of research.  The actual score is based on 160 questions.  The number of questions the applicant must get correct to pass varies between test versions. Four hours are given to complete the exam.
For more information, see the NCE Candidate Handbook.

How to Apply to Take the Exam

A PDF of the NCE application is available online, along with test dates.

Test content of the NCMHCE

The NCMHCE consists of ten hypothetical clinical mental health counseling cases.  The cases are clinical simulations that use a multiple select/correct format where there are multiple options as possible correct answers.  The questions are centered on the ten cases and explore the nuances of the particular case.  The NCMHCE assesses an applicant’s ability to engage in clinical problem solving, including the identification, analysis, diagnosis and treatment of clinical issues.

Each of the ten cases is divided into five to eight sections and classified either as information gathering or decision making activities. The sections on Information gathering evaluate a candidate’s ability to gather clinical data that is needed in the decision making process.  The sections on decision making evaluate a candidate’s ability to solve clinical problems using data.

The ten cases cover three content areas:

Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Integration of client assessment and observational date
  • Identification of precipitating problems/symptoms
  • Identification of level of individual or relationship functioning
  • Identification of pertinent familial issues
Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Imparting information to the client about ethical standards and practice
  • Clarification of roles of the counselor and client
  • Apply individual counseling in accordance with the treatment plan
  • Evaluation of referral information
Administration, Consultation and Supervision
  • Maintenance of client records
  • Determine if counseling services being delivered are meeting client needs
  • Communicate orally with others to maintain professional communication
  • Assistance clients to connect with needed social services
Each of the ten cases in the NCMHCE is scored a +/- 3 which is based upon appropriate client/patient care. A passing score is above the minimum required for both the information gathering and decision making sections.

 How to Apply to Take the Exam

You can find the registration information and the NCMHCE application online, or write:

The National Board of Certified Counselors
3 Terrace Way
Greensboro, North Carolina 27403-3660
(336) 547-0607
The exam is administered by Pearson VUE.
The state of South Carolina will also accept a passing score on the CRC exam.

Test content of the CRC

The CRC exam is composed of questions measuring 10 knowledge domains of rehabilitation counseling, each of which is subdivided into subdomains:
  1. Assessment, Appraisal, and Vocational Evaluation
  2. Job Development, Job Placement, and Career/Lifestyle Development
  3. Vocational Consultation and Services for Employers
  4. Case Management, Professional Roles and Practices, and Utilizing Community Resources
  5. Fundamental Counseling principles, Professional Orientation and ethics, counseling theories, Social and Cultural Issues, and Human Growth and Development
  6. Principles of Group and Family Counseling
  7.  Principles of Mental Health Counseling
  8. Medical/ Functional/Psychosocial Aspects of Disability
  9. Management of Disability
  10. Research, Program Evaluation, and Evidence-Based Practice
CRC Exam Structure

The CRC Exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions. The applicant is allowed three hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam, within an eight day testing window. It is recommended that applicants reserve four hours for time to check in, review test instructions, and a tutorial to become familiar with using the computer test system.

CRC Exam Scoring

The CRC Exam is scored based on two components: the applicant’s knowledge of counseling, and rehabilitation and disability. Both parts must earn a passing score,

How to Apply to Take the Exam

You can find the registration information and the CRC application and other documents  online, or write:

Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
1699 E. Woodfield Road
Suite 300
Schaumburg, IL 60173

Phone: 847-944-1325
Fax: 847-944-1346
Test content of the NC Jurisprudence exam

The NC Jurisprudence exam covers the following ethical and legal topics pertinent to licensed counselors:
  1. Working with Clients in Facilities (Inpatient or Incarcerated)
  2. Code of Ethics for counselors
  3. Client Confidentiality and Disclosure, and limits thereof
  4. Continuing Education requirements
  5. Graduate Counseling Experience requirements
  6. Involuntary Commitment of clients
  7. Licensed Professional Counselor role and duties
  8. Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor role and duties
  9. Counseling Minors
  10. Professional Relationships – Professional Corporations, Direct Solicitation, Referral Fees, and Sanctions
  11. Professional Relationships – Sexual Relationships with clients
  12. Record keeping/Documentation
  13. Use of Social Media and Professional Counseling
  14. Substance Abuse specific ethics
License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

To renew a license, regulations require 40 clock hours of continuing education in acceptable courses and programs offered by approved Continuing Education providers, to be completed every two year renewal period. This must include at least three hours in professional ethics.


For more information on licensing and exam prep, go to's NCE Guide.

And take's free NCE Practice Test.

For counseling exam preparation products and services, such as study guides, practice tests, flashcards and courses, go to's 
NCE listings.