What is licensure and how do I obtain it?

You must become a Licensed Professional Counselor to work in any facility as a professional counselor within the State of Michigan. We have designed the Master of Arts in Counseling degree program at GRTS to meet the graduate school licensure requirements in Michigan. Upon Graduation, you will qualify for your Limited License as a Professional Counselor (LLPC).
Contact the Michigan Board of Counseling for more information regarding Michigan licensure requirements or to obtain a license application:

Michigan Department of Community Health – Board of Counseling
P.O. Box 30670
Lansing, Mich., 48909
Phone: 517.335.0918

You may also want to visit the Michigan Board of Counseling website, or view specific requirements for becoming an LPC in Michigan here.

Can I qualify for licensure in other states?

Each state creates its own set of standards for professional counselors. In order to determine what those standards are, the American Counseling Association (ACA) has provided content specific to licensure in other states.  If you believe that you will be moving out of the state upon graduation or shortly thereafter, please inform the Admissions Office during the application process. An admissions counselor will guide you in course selection.  The Interdisciplinary Cognate is typically the best choice for those hoping to practice out of state.  Choosing the Interdisciplinary Cognate will allow you to take Multicultural Counseling, Addictions Counseling, and an advanced theories course.  Typically these can be helpful or required in other states.

How do I get from LLPC to LPC?

 In the state of Michigan, there are four steps that need to be completed before you can move from LLPC to LPC.

  • Complete 3000 hours working as a counselor.
  • Attend supervision for at least 100 of those hours with a LPC who has the supervision credential.
  • Pass the National Counselor Exam (NCE).
  • Allow no less than 2 years to pass before applying.

What is the difference between LPC, LMSW and LLP?

 An LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor, an LMSW is a Licensed Master Social Worker and an LLP is a Limited Licensed Psychologist. Read our document LPC, LMSW or LLP to learn more about these three licenses.

What is the average counselor salary in Michigan?

 Counselors usually begin employment with a salary anywhere between $30,000 - $40,000 when working for a local social services agency. Private practice and specialty fields can be 2-3 times higher than regular counselor salaries.  Click here for more information on counselor salary. 

What are the benefits of the Addictions Counseling Cognate?

The Addictions Counseling Cognate provides you the ability to seek the Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) credential from the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP). The combination of the below courses will prepare for the academic and practical components needed; this will partially fulfill the requirements for certification. 

  • COU-651 Clinical Diagnostic Assessment of Addictions 
  • COU-652 Sociology of Addictions 
  • COU-653 Addictions Counseling: Treatment and Intervention 
  • One course in ethics (i.e. COU-502 Counseling Ethics and Issues)
  • One 300-hour internship that provides experience in counseling people with addictive and compulsive conditions (i.e. COU 784/785).

The addictions courses are accessible to all students from anywhere since the courses will administered in a 10 week online format. The training received will allow graduates greater marketability as it addresses a core struggle for many people (substance and non-substance addictions). The program also helps to prepare graduates for LPC Licensure in other states that may require an addictions course.

Upon completion of the three addictions courses and the ethics course, you will need to do the following in order to receive the full certification:
  • Fill out the Developmental Plan through the Michigan Certification Board website at before you begin your practicum.
  • Find a practicum site that allows you to gain experience in the 12 Core Functions of alcohol and drug abuse counseling. The Michigan Certification Board has a list of approved sites. You do not have to be signed up for an official practicum course than an institution to gain the practicum experience in this area. 
  • Pass the IC&RC/AAODA examination
  • Complete 2000 hours of counseling experience working with AODA clients at a program licensed by the State of Michigan. See the MCBAP website for locations.
  • Apply for the Certification.
  • Have already obtained your master's degree in counselor, social work, psychology or a related field. 
Please go to the Michigan Certification Board website at for more detailed requirements and certification processes. The CAADC application and materials are helpful as well. 

What are the practicum and internship experiences like?

See the Practicum and Internship page for more information

What practicum and internship opportunities exist in Grand Rapids?

We have provided below a list of sites where you may complete your practicum and internship requirements. Most of the listed sites have accepted GRTS students in the past, however you do not have to choose a site from this list.  We allow students at GRTS to find their area of passion and pursue a site that provides the most hands on experience for their needs. You must fill out and submit a Site Proposal Form to ensure that the site you have chosen fulfills our guidelines for approval.

Specific Sites

  • Bethany Christian Services
  • Cornerstone University Counseling Center
  • Healing Tree
  • Lutheran Family Services
  • Mel Trotter
  • Ottawa Juvenile Facilities
  • thethirdchair
  • Kuyper College
  • Wedgwood

General Sites:

  • Area churches
  • Christian and non-Christian schools
  • Human resource departments
  • Private counseling agencies

Current students can click here to download a more complete list of possible sites. This file is password-protected: Contact your degree advisor for the password.

What are some professional organizations I might want to get involved in?

Michigan Counseling Association 
120 N. Washington Square, Suite 100A
Lansing, Mich., 48933
Phone: 800.444.2014 
American Counseling Association 
5999 Stevenson Ave.
Alexandria, Va., 22304 
Phone: 800.347.6647  
American College Personnel Association 
1 Dupont Circle N.W., Suite 300 
Washington, D.C., 20036 
Phone: 202.835.2272 
Fax: 202.296.3286 
American School Counselor Association
1101 King St., Suite 625
Alexandria, Va., 22314
Toll Free: 800.306.4722
Fax: 703.683.1619
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy     
112 South Alfred St. 
Alexandria, Va., 22314-3061 
Phone: 703.838.9808 
Fax: 703.838.9805 
American Association of Christian Counselors 
P.O. Box 739 
Forest, Va., 24551 
Phone: 800.526.8673 
Fax: 434.525.9480 
American Mental Health Counselors Association
801 N. Fairfax St., Suite 304 
Alexandria, Va., 22314 
Phone: 800.326.2642
Fax: 703.548.4775 
National Board for Certified Counselors 
3 Terrace Way 
Greensboro, N.C., 27403-3660 
Phone: 336.547.0607 
Fax: 336.547.0017