An Online Counseling Degree to Prepare for Licensure

The Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling from William & Mary is your doorway to a career in counseling, with coursework designed to prepare you for national exams related to licensure and/or certification. Though requirements vary from state to state and are unique to your area of focus, a master’s degree is mandatory to begin the licensure process.

Our online counseling programs are CACREP accredited, which means they are designed to help students satisfy the classroom requirements for all licensure and certification exams. However, students are still strongly encouraged to review applicable licensure requirements for their state of residence.

Upon completion of the Online M.Ed. in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program, including a required clinical residency, graduates will be eligible to sit for exams for the following licenses in Virginia:

  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner

Graduates with a specialization in Military and Veterans Counseling are eligible to sit for the Licensed Professional Counselor exam in Virginia as well.

Graduates with a concentration in School Counseling are immediately eligible to begin work as a counselor, but will require two years of experience before they can receive a Pupil Personnel Services License in the state of Virginia with an endorsement in School Counseling.

Licensure Requirements

Although individual state licensure agencies have sole authority in determining whether credits earned and field experiences are acceptable for licensure, William & Mary is required by federal regulations to determine whether our professional licensure preparation programs meet licensure requirements in any states other than Virginia.

If a program at William & Mary has been identified as not meeting your state’s applicable educational requirements for licensure, you would not be able to enroll in that program at William & Mary. William & Mary can only enroll students located in states that accept our program as meeting licensure requirements, or students who attest that they plan to seek licensure and employment in a state in which William & Mary’s program meets the state’s applicable educational requirements for licensure.

Lists of states where W&M’s professional licensure preparation programs meet and do not meet educational requirements for licensure are accessible using this link:

If you are interested in making an attestation that you are planning to seek licensure in a state that does accept our program requirements toward licensure requirements, please email Assistant Provost for Institutional Accreditation and Effectiveness,

If you have additional questions regarding licensure, please contact Assistant Dean Jake Joseph,

Review information on state licensing boards

For Virginia Residents Studying School Counseling

Virginia holds school counselors in exceptionally high regard and has been working to improve the ratio of counselors to students throughout the state. To this end, graduates of the Online M.Ed. in Counseling program with a concentration in School Counseling, who have also completed two successful years of full-time teaching become eligible for a five-year renewable license. Those who have not worked as teachers or who do not meet the required two-year teaching minimum will receive a Letter of Eligibility from the Virginia Department of Education; this letter permits graduates to be employed as a full-time school counselor and accrue two years of counseling experience in place of the two years’ teaching requirement. Following two successful years as a school counselor, graduates will receive a renewable Pupil Personnel Services License.

With a curriculum that integrates theory with fieldwork and the practical application of research, our graduate counseling program fully prepares graduates to practice in a variety of settings and transforms their understanding of how to effectively serve client needs.
Dr. Charles "Rip" McAdams, School of Psychology and Counselor Education
Bring Balance to a Troubled Mind
Satisfy your calling to serve others with a comprehensive curriculum that guides you through the clinical requirements of counseling while emphasizing the importance of patient intervention and advocacy. By completing our Online M.Ed. in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, you can better prepare yourself to act as a critical first point of contact for those in need.
Support Our Service Members
Our Military and Veterans Counseling specialization trains aspiring counselors to provide much-needed mental health services to veterans, active duty military personnel and their families. This program covers topics such as counseling military families, military-to-veteran transition, and addictions assessment and treatment.
Encourage a Student’s Brightest Future
As a school counselor, you have the opportunity to engage students one-on-one and help guide them through challenges and opportunities related to school, socialization and home life. Our School Counseling concentration emphasizes the complete mental, emotional and physical development of children of all ages and helps prepare you to maximize student performance.
Student holding tablet and writing on pad

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Important Dates for Counseling

Priority Application Deadline
October 4
Spring 2025 Term
Application Deadline
December 6
Spring 2025 Term
Next Start
January 6
Spring 2025 Term

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