New Mexico School Counselor Certification

School counselors in New Mexico serve more than 340,000 students in 877 schools across the state. Counselors work to promote the developmental potential of all children by providing comprehensive prevention and intervention programs on each campus. Students benefit from counseling services when they achieve success in social, emotional, academic, and career readiness.

If you would like to learn more about the New Mexico school counseling profession, visit the New Mexico School Counselor Association website.

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

Initial New Mexico School Counselor Certification

The initial school counseling credential in New Mexico has three pathways to licensure. The initial license is valid for three (3) years.

Step 1: Education Requirements

Applicants must meet one of the following three requirements for initial licensure:

  1. Master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college/university with 36-42 graduate hours in school counseling and supervised practicum in a school setting, such as the following programs:
  2. Licensed mental health counselor (LMH) or licensed professional clinical mental health counselor (LPCC) issued by the New Mexico Counseling & Therapy Practice Board and at least six (6) semester hours of graduate credit in school counseling course work
  3. National Certified School Counselor credential issued by the National Board for Certified Counselors

Step 2: Criminal Background Check

Applicants for the school counselor license must complete a criminal background check. You will need to register with Gemalto.

  1. Click on the NM Icon
  2. Click on Register Online for a background check
  3. Complete the registration
  4. As an initial applicant, use the following codes:
    ORI#
    NM920140Z
    Reason Code
    Teacher Licensure
  5. Print the registration confirmation and take with you to the nearest Livescan fingerprinting location

There is a $44 processing fee that you will pay when you register online.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

Applicants for the initial school counseling credential in New Mexico must earn a minimum score of 156 on the Professional School Counselor (ETS 5421) exam. For detailed information about this exam and to register for a test date, visit the Praxis website.

Step 4: Know the Fees

The initial application fee for a school counselor license is $150 in the form of a money order of cashier’s check, payable to the New Mexico Public Education Department.

You should submit payment along with your application for initial licensure to:

New Mexico Public Education Department
Professional Licensure Bureau
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe NM 87501

Step 5: Organize Your Application Materials

Your application materials should be mailed in one complete packet and include the following:

  • Completed application for initial licensure, printable here.
  • Official transcripts in sealed envelopes from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree. Earned degrees must be posted on each transcript.
  • If you are a veteran, military member, or military spouse, you must provide a copy of your DD 214, current military ID card, marriage license, and copy of your spouse’s current orders for deployment/mobilization.
  • $150 initial application fee

Step 6: Submit Your Application

New Mexico applications are submitted to:

New Mexico Public Education Department
Professional Licensure Bureau
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe NM 87501

Additional Information

If you have questions about your initial application for school counseling credential in New Mexico, call the licensure department at 505-827-5821. You can also email a specialist at licensureunit@state.nm.us.

New Mexico School Counselor Certification Renewal

To renew your school counselor license, you will submit the following materials in one complete renewal application packet, mailed to the Professional Licensure Bureau at the department of education:

  • Completed application for licensure renewal, printable here
  • Completed Superintendent Recommendation Form, completed by your employing local school district
  • $120 renewal fee in the form of a money order of cashier’s check, payable to the New Mexico Public Education Department

Renewal applications are submitted to:

New Mexico Public Education Department
Professional Licensure Bureau
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe NM 87501

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your renewal application, call the licensure department at 505-827-5821 during normal business hours.

New Mexico School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

The New Mexico Department of Education considers out-of-state applicants who hold a current, valid credential for reciprocity licensure.

Your reciprocity application will include the following materials:

  • Completed application for initial licensure, printable here.
  • Official transcripts in sealed envelopes from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree. Earned degrees must be posted on each transcript.
  • Official documentation/proof of completion for any alternative credentialing program that is not included on your official transcripts.
  • Verification of experience from your employing authority, which must be submitted on an out-of-state School District Letterhead, and include:
    • Experience listed by month, day, and year
    • The number of days employed for each calendar year (160 days commonly equals 1 full academic year)
  • Copy of your current, valid school counseling credential
  • Copies of examination scores taken for out-of-state licensure requirements or a notarized statement from your employing authority stating that no exams are required for your current credential
  • $150 initial application fee
  • If you are a veteran, military member, or military spouse, you must provide a copy of your DD 214, current military ID card, marriage license, and copy of your spouse’s current orders for deployment/mobilization

Your application materials should be mailed in one complete packet to:

New Mexico Public Education Department
Professional Licensure Bureau
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe NM 87501

Additional Assistance

If you need assistance with the reciprocity application process, email a licensure specialist at licensureunit@state.nm.us.

You can also call the licensure department at 505-827-5821during normal business hours.

New Mexico 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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