Graduate Students and Emerging Professionals

The Graduate Student and Emerging Professionals (GSEP) committee is tasked with keeping our up-and-coming professionals engaged and connected. From the exams you need to take, the ways you need to get licensed, and all the way until you get to put the esteemed "L" in front of those credentials, we endeavor to help you stay on track.


Graduate with your peers, but stand out above the rest by showing you are a part of your professional organization. Maintain a membership for more than a year and then apply for your graduation cords before your big day!


Keep up-to-date with the things you are required to know. Many of these documents are housed with the Division of Public Licensing, who is the regulating body in the State of Utah.


Part of our path to full licensure is the required exams to demonstrate competency. Learn when to take them, where to take them, and how to get registered to get them completed.

Our CMHC Journey

Year 1

Apply and be accepted into an accredited CMHC Program

Cost: depends on application fee of college

Begin classwork

Consider joining UMHCA as a student member

Cost: FREE for first year if using coupon code

Consider joining an UMHCA committee

Year 2

Continue classwork

Near the end of coursework, begin considering placement for internships

Begin Internships

Apply for UMHCA Honors a few months before graduation

Cost: FREE for the application, see UMHCA store for the cost of the cords

Take the CPCE if required for graduation

Year 3


 Ensure your supervisor documentation is submitted to DOPL for their records (and your licensure after 3,000 hours)

 Apply for your Associate-level license (ACMHC)

Cost: See DOPL's website to determine latest fees

Take the NCE for licensure

  • Note: according to their voicemail, it can take up to 4 weeks for them to respond to scheduling to sit for an exam.
  • According to CCE, the results of your exam are not reported to DOPL until the middle of every month. Plan ahead for this.
  • IMPORTANT: there are TWO NCEs. NBCC offers one for certification (this is NOT recognized by DOPL for licensure). CCE offers one for licensure. For licensure, do NOT register your NCE test through NBCCs website; start your process through CCE.
Cost: See CCE's website to determine latest fees (Approximately $300 each)

Begin accruing hours as a W-2 employee (NOT 1099) with a supervisor who has held their license for over 2 years.

Begin accruing continuing education hours

  • You will need suicide prevention hours and ethics trainings according to DOPL and licensure requirements.
  • Generally speaking, ethics hours can sometimes be rare. Watch for these.

Cost: depends on the workshop you attend. Some are FREE!

Note: to gauge how much you are paying, workshops generally cost around $20-$30 per credit offered.

Consider becoming a committee chair for an UMHCA committee

Year 4

Continue logging direct and indirect hours for licensure. Ensure your supervisor is keeping notes on your work (see DOPL requirements).

Begin paneling with insurances if you are planning to go the private practice route. Note: some insurances will not accept Associate level licenses (considered "intern" level).

Take NCMHCE for licensure

  • You can schedule the test every 3 months if you fail (not take the test every 3 months).
  • Note: schedule this exam well in advance of applying for your license. According to their voicemail, it can take up to 4 weeks for scheduling to occur. Some have reported it can take up to 3 months for a response.
  • Once completed it is not reported to DOPL until the middle of every month. Plan ahead.

Cost: See CCE's website to determine latest fees (Approximately $300)

You may expedite the exam results reporting to DOPL for a fee (approximately $100)

Year >

Apply for full license ("L") After accruing:

  • 3,000 hours of direct and indirect clinical hours
  • 75 direct supervision hours
  • 2 hours suicide prevention training
  • 18 months of working as a W-2 employee
  • Note: the 2 year minimum requirement of practice before applying for your "L" has been legislatively removed.
Cost: See DOPL's website to determine latest fees (Approximately $120)

Consider leadership positions on UMHCA Board

Consider presenting at UMHCA Conferences

Utah Mental Health Counselors Association is Utah's hub for enhancing the profession of mental health counselors.
UMHCA is a 501(c)6 organization.

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