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SOC-OFE Masters Students - SOC Program Resources: National Counselor Exam (NCE)

National Counselor Exam (NCE)

A direct benefit of CACREP accreditation is that students in the master’s in counseling programs will be offered the opportunity to become an NCC by taking and to take the NCE while in the last few quarters of their program. Students in their internship may choose to review orientation materials that will take them through the application process and be scheduled to sit for either an October or April administration of the NCE at a public site near their home. This process offers the following benefits:

  • National certification allows students an important additional credential that signifies to the public that they have met the highest standards of professional preparation.
  • Students have the ability to take the NCE while the material is still fresh, instead of waiting until application for licensure.
  • Certification allows for a graduate’s first credential in applying for employment while awaiting licensure.
  • The NCE is a prerequisite for other certifications that may be desirable; e.g., CCMHC, NCSC, or an approved clinical supervisor (ACS).
  • The NCE is the licensure exam required by the majority of state licensing boards.


Eligible students will receive an invitation directly from NBCC to participate in the administrations of the NCE. A student is “eligible” when she or he is “well-advanced and is currently enrolled in the program” or in other words, in her or his field experience courses (either practicum or internship) and that she or he is not currently involved in a counseling skills plan or a professional development plan.