How to Become a School Counselor in New Hampshire

School counselors can inspire students to achieve academically, work through personal issues, and strive to reach their goals. Research from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) correlates lower student-to-counselor ratios with higher graduation rates and other markers of academic success, which makes school counseling an important and impactful career choice.

In New Hampshire, most school counselors hold a master's degree from a state-approved institution, though there are many alternative pathways. Read on to learn more about how to become a school counselor in New Hampshire.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in New Hampshire

Explore more pathways to becoming a counselor in New Hampshire here

Education and Experience Requirements

In New Hampshire, the traditional pathway to a career in school counseling requires students to obtain a master's degree from a state-approved institution, in addition to fieldwork hours. This section describes the specific educational requirements students must complete to become a school counselor in New Hampshire.

Education and Coursework

Each graduate must hold a master's degree or higher from an institution approved by the State Board of Education. A student who holds a bachelor's degree may seek alternative routes for certification if they have completed some master's-level coursework along with on-site experience, or if they have experience in a school counseling-related setting.

Through their master's degree coursework, students who wish to pursue careers in school counseling in New Hampshire should develop proficiencies such as:

  • Knowledge of ethical standards and confidentiality, as per the ASCA
  • Ability to apply state standards to school curriculum development
  • Counseling skills, including multicultural counseling competencies, individual and group counseling, and crisis prevention
  • Ability to analyze program needs and make necessary adjustments
  • Ability to gather data, conduct research, and participate in professional development

Applicants who attempt to obtain certification through alternative pathways may need to take the Praxis exam. There is no exam for students who obtain certification through the traditional path.


Interested in pursuing an education in school counseling? Check out the following pages to explore available academic programs by level:


Practicum and Internship

A student who wants to become a school counselor in New Hampshire must complete 600 supervised internship hours in a school setting. The internship supervisor must hold two years of experience in New Hampshire as a state-certified school counselor.

Application and Exam Requirements for New Hampshire School Counselors

The New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) licenses school counselors in New Hampshire. The NHDOE oversees educational programs and practices in New Hampshire, holding educators to certain state-mandated standards.

The traditional pathway application fee is $130 for a three-year license.

In addition to completing the educational and fieldwork requirements described above, each candidate looking to become a school counselor in New Hampshire through the traditional pathway must submit certified transcripts and an online application. The NHDOE provides instructions arranging a background check with the state. The traditional pathway application fee is $130 for a three-year license.

A student pursuing an alternative pathway to certification in New Hampshire may qualify by completing a work-related portfolio and oral examination. These applicants must also:

  • Pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test
  • Verify at least three years of continuous work experience
  • Complete written portfolio according to NHDOE instructions
  • Submit application with the $300 application fee

During years of school counselor shortages, a student with a bachelor's degree and at least two courses in counseling may qualify if they are working toward a master's degree.

Out-of-State School Counselor Candidates

New Hampshire allows reciprocity for applicants who qualify under the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) interstate contract. Applicants must prove their experience matches that of graduates from NHDOE-approved master's degree programs. The NHDOE reviews transcripts and resumes to determine whether certification can proceed.

School counselors who are licensed in another state and wish to practice in New Hampshire must:

Complete an approved degree program Verify work as a licensed school counselor in another state. Applicants should prove they have worked for three out of the last seven years as a licensed school counselor.

School Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

School counselors in New Hampshire must renew their certification every three years. During the first three years of work, school counselors operate under a beginning educator certificates. To qualify for an experienced educator certificate, school counselors must obtain supervision scores of "effective" or higher for two consecutive years. Both certification levels expire after three years, and counselors must pay a $130 fee as a part of their renewal application.

School counselors in New Hampshire must renew their certification every three years

Between renewals, each school counselor in New Hampshire must complete 45 professional education units and 30 continuing education units.

Resources and Organizations for School Counselors in New Hampshire

Membership in professional organizations is an excellent way for school counselors to network with peers online and in person, search for jobs, and find professional development opportunities.

Explore More Pathways to Becoming a Counselor in New Hampshire

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