Michigan School Counselor Certification

There are close to 7,000 school counselors in Michigan who provide services to over 1.5 million public school students. Michigan’s public school counselors use the Michigan Model of Health to design comprehensive education-based services for students in kindergarten through grade 12. This model addresses student social and emotional health, nutrition and physical activity, substance abuse, and safety issues for children and adolescents.

For more information about how school counselors in Michigan implement this model for student health, visit the Michigan Department of Education website.

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

Initial Michigan School Counselor Certification

Applicants for a Michigan school counselor license, who have not yet completed a master’s degree, are potentially eligible for a preliminary authorization. For detailed information about required materials for the Preliminary Employment Authorization to Work as School Counselor, visit this webpage.

The Michigan School Counselor License is valid for five (5) years. To be eligible for this initial license, you must meet the following requirements:

Step 1: Education Requirements

  • Completion of at least 30 graduate level credits in an approved school counselor program, such as the following programs:
  • You must have also completed an internship of at least 600 clock hours, 300 of which must be within a school setting. During your internship, you must have been under the supervision of a credentialed school counselor or school counselor educator.

For more information about the educational requirements, download this PDF.

Step 2: Submit to a Criminal Background Check

Once you are offered a position for employment, you will be required to submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. For detailed answers to frequently asked questions about the Department of Education’s background check policies, download this PDF.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

Applicants for school counselor must pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification-School Counselor (051) examination. This test includes 100-multiple choice questions and is computer based. You must earn a passing score of 220 or higher.

The testing fee for this exam is $129. For more information, or to register for a test date, visit the MTTC website.

Step 4: Know the Fees

School Guidance Counselor License Application Fee: $160

For more information about Michigan Department of Education fees, see this PDF.

Step 5: Organize Your Application Materials

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

  • Completed application through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) located here
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree
  • Proof of passing scores for the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification-School Counselor (051) examination
  • If you have not earned a master’s degree or higher in school counseling, you must also submit a Work Experience Report Form for Michigan School Counselor License, located here
  • $160 School Counselor license application fee

Step 6: Submit Your Application

Your application for Michigan School Counselor license is submitted online, using the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS).

For detailed instructions of how to submit your application materials through the online portal, download this PDF.

Additional Information

If you need assistance with your School Counselor license application, you can call the Michigan educator certification support desk at 517-241-5000.

Support Desk Availability

Monday to Thursday
8:05 AM to Noon EST
1:05 PM to 4:55 PM EST

For detailed departmental contact information, visit this webpage.

Michigan School Counselor Certification Renewal

The Michigan school counselor license is valid for five (5) years. Renewal applications are completed online.

Renewals can be requested anytime after January 1 of the expiration year.

Your renewal application includes the following materials:

  • $160 Renewal application fee. For more information about the Michigan fees policy, visit this webpage
  • 150 professional development credits, to be completed within the previous five (5) years. These credits must include the following requirement:
    • 25 hours of college preparation and selection; and
    • 25 hours of career consultation, including at least five (5) hours of military career consultation options

For more information about the requirements for professional development credits, download this PDF.

Additional Assistance

If you need to speak with a specialist about your school counselor renewal, contact the educator certification support desk at 517-241-5000 each Monday through Thursday, or via email at MDE-EducatorHelp@michigan.gov.

Michigan School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

The Michigan Department of Education will evaluate your application for an out-of-state license provided you complete the following requirements:

  • Completed master’s degree or higher in school counseling, including internship in a school setting or an earned bachelor’s degree and successful employment as a school counselor for five (5) of the previous seven (7) years with a valid school counselor endorsement from another state
  • Passing score on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification-School Counselor (051) examination. For more information, or to register for a test date, visit the MTTC website
  • Copy of current, valid license
  • If you have not earned a master’s degree or higher in school counseling, you must also submit a Work Experience Report Form for Michigan School Counselor License, located here
  • $210 Out-of-state School Guidance Counselor License application fee. For more information, download this PDF

Out-of-state applicants who submit an application for Michigan School Counselor License may initially receive a Temporary School Counselor Authorization. For more information about this authorization, download this PDF.

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your out-of-state application, contact the Department of Education during normal business hours at 517-241-5000 or via email at MDE-EductorHelp@michigan.gov.

Michigan 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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