Mississippi School Counselor Certification

There are more than a half million public school students enrolled in 162 districts across Mississippi. School counselors in the state provide a variety of services for children in kindergarten through grade 12, including academic supports and services and skills training for transitioning to college and career. To read more about the Mississippi school counseling program, visit Mississippi Department of Education website.

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

Initial Mississippi School Counselor Certification

The initial school counselor license in Mississippi is valid for five (5) years. For more information about the requirements for initial licenses, download the Guidelines of Mississippi Educator Licensure K-12.

Step 1: Education Requirements

Applicants for the Mississippi school counselor license must meet one of the following:

  • Earned master’s degree program in guidance and counseling and hold a five-year educator license, such as the following programs:

    ; or

  • Earned master’s degree for guidance and counseling with a full year internship; or
  • Hold a National Certified School Counselor (NCSC) credential issued by the National Board for Certified Counselors

Step 2: Criminal Background Checking

As of February 2020, there is not a pre-application requirement for criminal background checking.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

To obtain a School Counselor license in Mississippi, you must earn a score of 156 or greater on the Professional School Counselor Exam (ETS Test Code 5421). For more information about this exam, or to register for a test date, visit the Praxis website.

Step 4: Know the Fees

According to the Mississippi Department of Education, as of February 2020, there is not a licensure application review fee. Visit this webpage for information.

Step 5: Organize Your Application Materials

Your application materials include the following:

  • Completed profile and application through the Mississippi Educator Licensure System (ELMS) or submitted by mail. If you are submitting by mail, you can download an application at here
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree
  • Proof of passing scores from Professional School Counselor Exam (ETS Test Code 5421)

Step 6: Submit Your Application

School Counselor License applicants are encouraged to use the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) when submitting an application, located at here.

Supporting documents must be mailed in a single, complete packet to the following address:

MS Department of Education
Office of Educator License
PO BOX 771
Jackson MS 39205-0771

Additional Information

If you need assistance with your School Counselor license application, you can call the Mississippi Department of Education license division at 601-359-3483. Specialists are available each weekday from 9 AM until 4 PM CST. You can also contact a specialist via email at teachersupport@mdek12.org.

Mississippi School Counselor Certification Renewal

The Mississippi school counselor license is valid for five (5) from the date of issue. Renewal applications are completed online and include the following materials:

  • Completed Licensure Application with the Renewal of Five-Year License option selected (page 5), located here
  • Proof of professional development activities:
    • Three (3) semester hours in content of job/skill related area from a regionally-accredited college or university; or
    • Five (5) continuing education units (CEUs) in content or job/skill related area; or
    • Completion of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) process for National Certified School Counselor (NCSC) credential

To read more about how to renew your license, visit the MDE website.

Additional Assistance

If you need additional information about renewing your Mississippi School Counselor license, you can contact a specialist at 601-359-3483 between 9 AM and 4 PM CST each Monday through Friday.

Mississippi School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

Mississippi allows school counselors to apply for a reciprocity license by providing the following materials:

  • Completed profile and application through the Mississippi Educator Licensure System (ELMS), located here or submitted by mail. If you are submitting by mail, you can download an application here
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree
  • Current, valid out-of-state license. You must submit the original license, as photocopies are not accepted.
  • Documentation showing a passing score on tests required for certification by the issuing state, or documentation that verifies your out-of-state license was obtained with requirements equivalent to current Mississippi license guidelines

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your out-of-state application, contact the licensure division at the Mississippi Department of Education from 9 AM to 4 PM CST by calling 601-359-3483.

Mississippi 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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