Massachusetts School Counselor Certification

Massachusetts school counselors hold a professional support personnel license with an endorsement in school counseling. There are two levels for certification: Prekindergarten through grade 8 or grades 5 through grades 12.

Counselors provide services to more than 948,000 students in 289 school districts across the state. For more information about the professional support personnel license in Massachusetts, visit the Massachusetts Department of Education Laws and Regulations.

Skip down the page to the certification pathway you’re interested in:

Initial Massachusetts School Counselor Certification

Applicants for a Massachusetts school counselor license, who do not have three (3) years of successful employment history as a school counselor, can apply for an initial license. The following requirements are necessary for the initial license.

Step 1: Education Requirements

Satisfy the following education requirements:

  • Complete a Master’s degree in school counseling, such as the following programs:
  • Subject matter knowledge. For detailed information on what is required, read the section entitled School Counselor, Pre-K-8; 5-12 of the Subject Matter Knowledge Guidelines.
  • 450 completed practicum hours completed in an educational setting

Step 2: Submit to a Criminal Background Check

Once you are hired as a Massachusetts school counselor, you will be required to complete fingerprint-based state and national background checks. The fee is $55 for licensed professionals, including school counselors.

For more information about the criminal background checking requirements in Massachusetts, visit the following webpage.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

Applicants for the Massachusetts professional support personnel license, with a school counselor endorsement, must earn a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test. This skills test includes two subtests:

  • Reading; 42-multiple-choice questions
  • Writing; 35-multiple choice questions, 7 short-answer sentence correction items, and 2 open response assignments
  • This test is $112, and offered at testing centers nationwide. For more information, or to register for a test date, visit the MTEL website.

Step 4: Know the Fees

License Application Fee: $100

The initial licensure fee is payable online though the ELAR portal.

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Step 5: Organize Your Application Materials

Your complete application is submitted online and includes the following materials:

  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree
  • Proof of passing scores on Communication and Literacy Skills exam
  • $100 application fee for License

Step 6: Submit Your Application

Your application for Massachusetts School Counselor license is submitted online, using the Educator Licensure and Renewal (ELAR) portal.

Application fees and all supporting documentation are submitted at this link. For detailed information about how to use the ELAR portal, visit this webpage.

Additional Information

If you need assistance with your School Counselor license application, you can contact a specialist at the Licensure Call Center between the hours of 9 AM to 1 PM, and from 2 PM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. You can also visit the Walk-In Welcome Center, located on the 1st floor of the Department of Education:

Office of Educator License
75 Pleasant Street
Malden MA 02148

Hours of operation:

Monday through Friday
8:45 AM to 4:45 PM

If you visit the Walk-In Welcome Center, you must provide a photo identification card that includes your name.

Massachusetts School Counselor Certification Renewal

An initial license may be renewed only one time before a school counselor must apply for the professional license.

To renew your Massachusetts license as a professional applicant, you must have completed three years of employment as a school counselor. You will also submit proof of one of the following:

  • 60 credit hours of graduate coursework, including credits earned in your master’s degree program that qualified you for the initial license; or
  • Certification or licensure with one of the following organizations:
    • National Board of Certified Counselors
    • National Board for School Counseling

Your renewal application, including an application fee of $100, is submitted online.

Additional Assistance

For more information about how to renew your Massachusetts School Counselor license, you can contact a specialist at the Licensure Call Center.




Monday through Friday
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST

Massachusetts School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

Massachusetts offers reciprocity for out-of-state applicants through the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement. To apply for an initial license through reciprocity, you must first create an Educator License and Renewal (ELAR) profile.

Your application materials include the following:

  • $100 application fee
  • Copy of current, valid school counselor license/certificate from another state
  • Completed Employment Verification form, located here

You may also mail a completed Verification of Completion document to the Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure in lieu of submitting the two above requirements (copy of license and Employment Verification form). The Verification of Completion form is located here and its original must be submitted via mail to:

Office of Educator License
75 Pleasant Street
Malden MA 02148

For more information about your options for reciprocity supporting documentation, and to apply as an out-of-state applicant, visit the Massachusetts Department of Education websites.

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your out-of-state application, contact the Licensure Call Center at 781-338-6600. Specialists are available to answer your questions Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST.

Massachusetts 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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