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National Counselor Exam (NCE)

This standardized test is used to assess knowledge, skills and abilities determined to be important for providing effective counseling services. The NCE is a requirement for counselor licensure in many states and for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification.

As a reminder, the NCE is an optional exam that is not needed to graduate. Passing the National Counselor Exam is a requirement for licensure in many states, including the State of Texas. See the Applying for a License page of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (LPC Board) for more information.

  • Since our counseling program is CACREP-accredited, students can choose to take the NCE before or after graduation. If you apply to take the NCE while you are still in the counseling program, you will actually be applying to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). As part of this certification application, you will be able to take the NCE.  If you choose to take the NCE after graduation, you will apply to take the NCE though the LPC Board and will not include application for the NCC. See the table below for more information about the differences between these two options.
  • Students do not have to take the NCE prior to graduation. The NCE is not the Comprehensive Exam (CPCE), which is a requirement/exit examination for graduation from the Counseling Program.

Taking the NCE During Graduate School

Taking the NCE After Graduate School

Cost: $335

Cost: $275

NCE is offered twice every year: in April and October.

NCE is offered each month.

NCE is administered as a computer-based exam.

NCE is administered as a computer-based exam.

Scores take up to eight weeks to process (after you graduate).

Scores are available right after you take the NCE.

You are applying to become a NCC and take the National Counselor Exam.

You are applying with the LPC Board to take the National Counselor Exam for licensure.

The NCC is a credential (certification), not a clinical license. Being a NCC offers several benefits such as having a professional credential and access to professional resources, products, and discounts.

You can choose if you want to pursue becoming a NCC or not.

There is a delay in working toward your LPC due to wait time for NBCC to send official NCE scores after you verify graduation through an official transcript.

There may be a delay in working toward your LPC, because you have to graduate and then take the NCE. You can register for the NCE as soon as you graduate and then apply for the license after you pass the exam.

Sign up through TAMUC and then register and pay through NBCC. NBCC sends you a link to the registration process via email.

Sign up by completing the form found on this site: www.nbcc.org/licensure/examregistration

For assistance instruction of how to, contact Dr. Edith Gonzalez (Edith.Gonzalez@tamuc.edu) (if your legal name is different than the name you are known by the department, please include, also). Registration deadlines for the NCE are usually early in the semester before the NCE administration.

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