Montana School Counselor Certification

There are more than 140,000 public school students in Montana. School counselors in the state provide a variety of services for children in prekindergarten through grade 12, including guidance counseling, family interventions, referral and collaborative services with community resources, and designing intervention programs to address substance use, violence, grief and loss, and other trauma-causing events.

For a listing of professional development opportunities that are available for all Montana School Counselors to assist them with providing effective and ethical services, visit this website.

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

Initial Montana School Counselor Certification

The Montana Class 6 School Counselor Specialist endorsement allows two pathways for licensure based on the type of educational program you wish to enroll in. Read on to find out more.

Step 1: Education Requirements

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

  • Completion of a Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs* (CACREP) accredited school counseling program, including completion of a 600 hour school-based internship – For more information, visit the CACREP website; or
  • Earned master’s degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited college/university, including completion of a 600 hour school-based internship, such as the following programs:
  • All applicants must also complete the free, online course entitled “An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana,” located here and submit verification of completion along with application materials

Step 2: Submit to a Criminal Background Check

Applicants for the school counselor specialist license must complete a fingerprint background check. For detailed instructions of how to obtain approved fingerprint cards and where to mail completed cards, along with the $30 processing fee, see this PDF.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

To obtain a School Counselor license in Montana, 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

First Montana Five Year License Fee: $36

School counselor applicants should submit the $36 application fee, payable by check or money order to Montana OPI, along with their complete application packet. Cash payments are not accepted.

Step 5: Organize Your Application Materials

Your application materials include the following:

  • Completed profile and application through the Montana Educator Licensure System 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
  • Proof of passing score from Professional School Counselor Exam (ETS Test Code 5421)
  • Proof of completion of “An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana”
  • $36 application fee

Applicants who use the online system will mail supporting documentation to the Educational Licensure office, including official transcripts, and the following three documents, which are included in the paper application but not able to be submitted through the online portal: University Recommendation Form, Notary Page, and Fingerprint Background Check, located here under the “Application Process” section.

Step 6: Submit Your Application

School Counselor License applicants are encouraged to use the Montana Educator Licensure System.

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

Montana Office of Public Instruction
ATTN: Educator License
PO Box 202501
Helena MT 59620

Additional Information

If you need assistance with your Class 6 School Counselor Specialist license application, you can call the Montana Educator License office during normal business hours at 406-444-3150.

Montana School Counselor Certification Renewal

The Montana school counselor license is renewed online – click here – and must include proof of 60 renewal units or a combination of renewal units and college course credits. The fee to renew your Class 6 School Counselor Specialist Licensure is $30.

For more information about renewal requirements, visit the Montana Office of Public Instruction website.

Additional Assistance

If you need additional information about renewing your Montana School Counselor license, you can contact a specialist at 406-444-3150 during normal business hours.

Montana School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

Montana does not have a reciprocity option for out-of-state applicants. To apply for a Class 6 School Counselor Specialist License, you must submit all required materials, along with a copy of your current, valid out-of-state license.

Additional requirements include:

  • Completed profile and application through the Montana Educator Licensure System, located at here or submitted by mail. If you are submitting by mail, you can download an application
  • Completion of a Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs* (CACREP) accredited school counseling program, including completion of a 600 hour school-based internship; or earned master’s degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited college/university, including completion of a 600 hour school-based internship
  • Completion of the free, online course entitled “An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana,” located here
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree
  • Proof of passing score from Professional School Counselor Exam (ETS Test Code 5421)
  • $36 application fee

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your out-of-state application, contact the licensure division at the Montana Office of Public Instruction 406-444-3150.

Montana 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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