Professional Counselor

​License Information

Per Wis. Stat. § 440.08 (2), the required renewal date for the Professional Counselor credential is 02/28/odd years.  Should you receive your initial credential in the months leading up to this date, you are still required to renew your license by the statutorily defined date.


  • Complete a Graduate Degree in professional counseling or an equivalent degree approved by Professional Counselor Section (more information below).
  • Completion of post-graduate supervised practice obtained under a Professional Counselor Training license.
    • Master's level - 3,000 hours of post-degree supervised professional counseling practice including at least 1,000 hours of face-to-face client contact.
    • Doctoral level - 1,000 hours of post-degree supervised professional counseling practice.
  • Complete and submit Professional Counselor Application including required documentation and fees.
  • An applicant for permanent licensure may apply for a temporary license at the same time.
    • The temporary license may be issued to an individual who pays the required fee and meets all the qualifications for the permanent license except for passing the required national examination.
    • The temporary license expires upon notification of successful completion of the national examination or expiration of the 9-month period, whichever is earlier. 
    • The temporary license may be renewed one time for an additional 9-month period.
  • Successful completion of required examinations.

Professional Counselor – Training License Requirements

  • Complete and submit Professional Counselor Application including required documentation and fees.
  • Applicant must be in a position or have an offer for a position as a Professional Counselor in a supervised clinical professional counseling practice.
  • The training license shall expire after 48 months.
  • A training license may be renewed by the discretion of the Professional Counselor Section.

Pre-Credential Education

Application for Pre-Approval as an Educational Program in Professional Counseling

In accordance with Wis. Admin. Code § MPSW 14.01, students applying for licensure with the Professional Counselor Section will need to demonstrate on their official university transcript that they have completed at least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of academic credit in a field closely related to professional counseling or rehabilitation counseling.  In addition, students will need to demonstrate completion of specific coursework as part of their academic program in Professional Counseling.

In completing this pre-approval application, please note the Professional Counselor Section is requesting that programs be specific as possible in offering information for Section review.  In addition to the application form, there are two additional parts that shall be completed;

  1. Alignment of Academic Program Courses with MPSW 14.01 Standards.  Part one is designed for a counseling program to provide an overview of how courses are properly aligned with MPSW 14.01 standards.
  2. Descriptions of Required Coursework Outlined in MPSW 14.01.   Part two is designed for programs to provide specific information for each course and shall include course descriptions and student learning outcomes.  

For​m 3165 Application For Pre-Approval As An Educational Program In Professional Counseling

Approved Educational Programs in Professional Counseling

According to the equivalency requirement criteria for a degree in Professional Counseling (pursuant to s. MPSW 14.01 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code), a program must have 60 semester hours or 90​​​​ quarter hours of academic credit in counseling related courses. These must include a minimum of one course of at least three (3) semester hours or four (4) quarter hours academic credit in: ​​Counseling Theory, Supervised Counseling Practicum, Human Growth and Development, ​​Social and Cultural Foundations, ​​Helping Relationship, Group Dynamics Processing and Counseling, Lifestyle and Career Development​, Assessment and Testing, ​Research and Evaluation, and ​​Professional Counseling Orientation, ​​and one course of at least three (3) semester hours or four (4) quarter hours academic credit in each of the following areas: 1.) ​Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling or ​Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; 2.)​ Clinical Mental Health Counseling Diagnosis and Treatment Planning or​​ Rehabilitation Counseling Diagnosis and Treatment Planning; 3.)​ Crisis and Trauma Counseling or Abnormal Behavior and Psychology​. 

The following is a list of educational programs reviewed by the Professional Counselor Section of the Joint Board of Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work. The Professional Counselor Section has determined that these programs meet the educational requirements needed for licensure. The Professional Counselor Section has approved these programs for applicants as long as the specific courses from each program that meet the core content areas are taken.

Applicants submitting degrees from the pre-approved program list must have completed all the content areas and have completed 60 credits of counseling related programs. Applicants who have graduated from programs that they started prior to the year of approval will have their degree reviewed against the requirements of equivalency. If the degree meets the content area requirements and the 60-credit minimum, the degree will be approved for licensure.

Note to Educators: If there are any changes to the curriculum, please notify the Professional Counselor Section (care of the Department) immediately so the Section may update the records of the pre-approved courses. 

60-Credit Approved Programs

Application for Licensure

Credentialing Information for Licensed Professional Counselor Applicants (Including Professional Counselor by Examination, Reciprocity, Temporary, and Training License.) (Reciprocity Information)
3217​Application for Fee Reduction (If applying for a fee reduction, this form must accompany the LicensE application for the credential.)
1960​Professional Counselor Certificate of Professional Education (Form not required for Reciprocal License.)
2239​Professional Counselor Curriculum Requirements Form (Required if degree is not in professional counseling or is not an otherwise approved degree.)
2464​Affidavit of Applicant's Competencies - Documentation of Clinical Experience Gained Under Training License Supervisor (Not required for Training License or Reciprocal License.)​​ 
2456​Professional Counselor Post-Graduate Supervisor Approval Form
​Application to Renew A Current Professional Counselor Training License

Malpractice Suits or Claims Form (if applicable)
​3085​Application for Predetermination (Optional-Submit ONLY if you have been convicted of any felony, misdemeanor, or other violations of federal or state law in this state or any other and you desire a review of your conviction record before applying for a credential.)​

​Convictions and Pending Charges (if applicable)
3071​Fax Payment Form
​3219Information for ​Licensed Professional Counselor Late Renewal Applicants [For credentials expired more than 5 years]

Application for Psychometric Testing


Affidavit of Supervisor in Support of Application to Engage in Psychometric Testing
2578​Credentialing Information for Engaging in Psychometric Testing Applicants

Application for Substance Abuse Specialty​

Pursuant to 2017 Wisconsin Act 262, as of April 11, 2018, Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Clinical Social Workers who practice as a substance abuse clinical supervisor or provide substance abuse counseling, treatment, or prevention services within the scope of their licensure are no longer required to obtain the substance abuse specialty or substance abuse credentials.

Renewal Information


  • FEE (See Renewal Dates and Fees)
  • SIG (Signature regarding the completion of Continuing Education, included in online renewal. See Continuing Education Information for details.)
  • If your legal status as a qualified alien or nonimmigrant lawfully present in the United States has changed since the issuance of your credential or your last renewal, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services at (608) 266-2112 or

Renewal Methods

RDAFRenewal Dates and Fees
​Convictions and Pending Charges (if applicable for renewal)
R210Active Duty/Discharge Renewal Extension​

Wisconsin Act 210 (effective June 1, 2012)

This Act extends the license of a service member if the license expires while they are on active duty from 90 days to 180 days from the date of discharge. The same applies to a spouse of a service member if the spouse does not practice under their license while the service member is on active duty and does not practice because the service member is on active duty.

This Act repeals a provision of prior law that required a service member to meet all of the requirements for license extension or renewal, except for continuing education requirements, in order to have the license extended.

Service members and spouses may request extensions of licenses beyond 180 days from discharge and may request a waiver or extension of time to complete continuing education requirements due to hardship. Please view Active Duty/Discharge Renewal Extension Form #R210.