Arizona School Counselor Certification

In the state of Arizona, school counselors must hold advanced degrees, enabling them to provide the best possible services to the nearly 1.1 million students in prekindergarten through grade 12. There are more than 7,800 guidance counselors (or school counselors) working in Arizona’s 230 school districts; all of whom need to be certified as trained and experienced enough to work with our children.

Skip down to find information relevant to your situation:

Initial Arizona School Counselor Certification

In 2019, Arizona amended the school counselor certification requirements by expanding acceptable education requirements. For more information about this recent change, designed to ensure the school safety of all students in Arizona, visit Arizona’s Department of Education website.

Step 1: Education Requirements

  • Master’s degree from an accredited college/university in one of the following areas:
    • Master’s degree in guidance and counseling (contact the following schools for more information on their programs)
    • Master’s degree in counseling, social work, or psychology
    • Master’s or other advanced degree and a behavioral health license
    • Master’s degree in academic advising
  • You must also have completed at least six (6) semester hours of graduate courses* in school counseling, college and career guidance, or academic advising.

Step 2: Experience Requirements

You will need to acquire all of the following to acquire your experience and have it documented.

  • Supervised counseling practicum in school counseling from an accredited college/university
  • Signed letter (by superintendent or HR director) on official letterhead verifying two years of full-time experience as a school counselor
  • Completed Verification of PreK-12 Teaching Experience form, located at here.

*Graduate course hours and practicum/experience are allowable deficiencies that must be completed within three (3) years of certification.

For additional detailed information about the education requirements for Arizona School Counselor License, visit the AZED website.

Step 3: Submit to a Criminal Background Check

All applicants must apply for an Arizona Department of Public Safety (ADPS) Fingerprint Clearance Card. To apply for this card, visit this webpage.

A photocopy of your clearance card is required along with your completed application.

The fee for criminal background checking is $67, payable to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. ADPS accepts cashier’s check, money order, or business check with pre-printed business address only. For detailed answers to FAQs about the criminal background checking in Arizona, visit this webpage.

Step 4: Examination Requirements

As of January 2020, there are no examination requirements for the Arizona School Counseling certification.

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Step 5: Know the Fees

License Application Fee: $60

When mailing payments to the Department of Education, please submit a check or money order. Cash is not accepted.

Visa and Mastercard are accepted for in-person applicants at the Certification customer service counter or via the online application portal, along with a $2 processing fee.

Step 6: Organize Your Application Materials

Your complete application is mailed, submitted in person, or submitted online and includes the following materials:

  • Completed Application for Certification, located here.
  • Official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended, including transfer credits toward earned degrees
  • Completed Explanation of Incident form, if applicable, located here.
  • $60 application fee in check or money order (if submitting application by mail), payable to the Arizona Department of Education. Visa and MasterCard only are accepted for applications submitted in-person or online. All application fees are nonrefundable.
  • Photocopy of the AZDPS IVP fingerprint card.

Your application for school counselor certification can be submitted via mail:

Arizona Department of Education
Teacher Certification
P.O. Box 6490
Phoenix AZ 85005-6490

You can also submit your materials in person:

Arizona Department of Education
1535 W Jefferson St
hoenix AZ 85007

Open 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM Weekdays except state holidays

To submit your application materials online, visit the AZ Department of Education website.

Additional Assistance

If you need assistance with your school counselor application, contact a specialist via email at [email protected] or call the Arizona Department of Education at 602-542-4367.

You can also receive walk-in assistance at the following location:

Phoenix Certification Office
Arizona Department of Education
1535 W Jefferson St
Phoenix AZ 85007

Arizona School Counselor Certification Renewal

To renew your Arizona School Counselor Certificate, you will submit the following materials:

  • Completed Application for Renewal, located here
  • Copy of your valid Arizona Department of Public Safety Identity Verified Prints fingerprint clearance card
  • $20 renewal fee
  • You must also submit all necessary supporting documents (e.g., verification of professional development, current professional licensure)
  • For detailed information about how to renew your Arizona School Counselor certificate, including a list of required documentation, located here

Additional Assistance

If you need additional information about your renewal application, you may call the Arizona Department of Education hotline at 602-542-4367 from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM, each weekday, except state holidays.

Arizona School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

If you hold a current, valid out-of-state school counselor certification, you may be eligible for Arizona endorsement through reciprocity. Your application materials will include the following:

  • Completed Application for Certification, download the application here
  • Completed Fingerprint Clearance Card. To obtain a completed clearance, visit this webpage
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Current, valid school counselor certificate from another state that is in good standing
  • $60 application fee

Applications can be mailed, submitted in person, or submitted online through the Arizona Department of Education website

For detailed information about requirements for the School Counselor, PreK-12 Certificate, including how to submit you application materials via mail or in person, visit this this webpage.

Additional Assistance

If you need additional assistance with you application for school counselor certification, you can call a certification specialist at 800-352-4558, or via email [email protected].

Arizona School Counseling Certification Resources

For resources to assist you with continuing education and other career development opportunities, see the following websites:

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