Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)


Students who are enrolled in the 48-hour and 60-hour Licensed Professional Counselor or Marriage and Family Therapy (COUN) track or the Clinical Mental Health or Marriage and Family Counseling (CMHC) track must successfully pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and the Integration exam. Students must pass a comprehensive examination before their degree will be conferred. The Liberty University Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies is utilizing the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE), published by the Center for Credentialing and Education Inc. (CCE), which is an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors Inc. (NBCC), for the majority of the examination. 

Requirements to Register for the Exam

The following courses should already be completed (with a grade):

  • Orientation to Counselor Profession Identity & Function (COUN/CMHC 500)
  • Ethical & Legal Issues in Counseling (COUN/CMHC 501)
  • Human Growth & Development (COUN/CMHC 502)
  • Research & Program Evaluation (COUN/CMHC 515)
  • Multicultural Counseling (COUN/CMHC 504)
  • Counseling Techniques & the Helping Relationship (COUN/CMHC 505)
  • Integration of Spirituality & Counseling (COUN/CMHC 506)
  • Theories of Counseling (COUN/CMHC 510)
  • Group Counseling (COUN/CMHC 512)
  • Assessment Techniques in Counseling (COUN/CMHC 521)
  • Career Development & Counseling (COUN/CMHC 522)
  • Clinical Diagnosis & Treatment Planning (COUN 667)
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Good standing in the program

Exam Dates

The Comprehensive Examination is administered on campus several times throughout the semester.

  • Please note that all dates listed are scheduled on campus at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.
  • Please note that students must be registered in corresponding sections of Comprehensive Exam-CPCE (COUN/CMHC 670) & Comprehensive Exam-Integration (COUN/CMHC 671).

Summer Term 2018 Exam Dates

CPCE (CMHC/COUN 670) Testing Dates:

  • CMHC/COUN 670-005/D02 | Aug. 10, 2018, 1 p.m.
  • CMHC/COUN 670-006/D03 | Aug. 11, 2018. 8 a.m.

Integration (CMHC/COUN 671) Testing Dates:

  • CMHC/COUN 671-003/B04 | June 13–July 13
  • CMHC/COUN 671-004/B05 | June 13–July 13
  • CMHC/COUN 671-005/D02 | July 2–Aug. 1
  • CMHC/COUN 671-006/D03 | July 2–Aug. 1

Fall Term 2018 Exam Dates

CPCE (CMHC/COUN 670) Testing Dates:

  • CMHC/COUN 670-002/B02 | Sept. 15, 2018, 8 a.m.
  • CMHC/COUN 670-003/D02 | Oct. 26, 2018, 1 p.m.
  • CMHC/COUN 670-004/D03 | Oct. 27, 2018, 8 a.m.
  • CMHC/COUN 670-005/D04 | Nov. 30, 2018, 1 p.m.
  • CMHC/COUN 670-006/D05 | Dec. 1, 2018, 8 a.m.

Integration (CMHC/COUN 671) Testing Dates:

  • CMHC/COUN 670-002/B02 | Aug. 27–Sept. 25
  • CMHC/COUN 670-003/D02 | Oct. 22–Nov. 22
  • CMHC/COUN 670-004/D03 | Oct. 22–Nov. 22
  • CMHC/COUN 670-005/D04 | Nov. 15–Dec. 14
  • CMHC/COUN 670-006/D05 | Nov. 15–Dec. 14

Information About the Exam


  • Email to register for the exam.
  • All students must complete the COMP exam waiver and return it via email to the CPCE Gate Coordinator
  • For on-campus testing: Students must complete financial check-in by the A-term deadline or the student will be dropped from the course(s) and will have to wait to register for a test date if the next semester. A student on the waiting list will take the place of the student who has been dropped.
  • Students must have a $0.00 balance on their student account to avoid being dropped from the CMHC/COUN 670/671 courses.
  • If a student does not test on the date they registered for they will lose the $75 they paid to Pearson. However, they will not lose an attempt and will be refunded the fee they paid Liberty.
  • Students can only take the CPCE exam once per semester.
  • Be sure to save the username and password provided to you by Pearson as you will need it on test day.
  • Be aware of your check-in time for the exam as students arriving after check-in ends will not be admitted into the test.

Time Limit

Students will have four hours to complete the written CPCE portion and 40 minutes to complete the Integration exam in Blackboard course CMHC/COUN 671. 

  • Note: After 40 minutes the Integration exam will automatically submit itself.

Test Fee

  • The current fee to test onsite at Liberty University is $125.

Maximum Number of Attempts

  • Students may take the exam once per semester.
  • Students may take both the CPCE and Integration parts up to three times.
  • After the second attempt, a student must fill out a CTAP form and wait at least one semester before attempting the CPCE exam for the third time.
  • After three failed attempts, students will no longer be eligible for the licensure track degree. They will need to contact Dr. Clay Peters to discuss the opportunity of transferring their earned credits and conferring a non-licensure 30 hour Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling degree.
  • If a student feels that they have received their three test scores in error or they have questions about the process they can submit an appeal ticket here: LUO Grade Appeal Request.
    • Appeals must be submitted within 30 days of receiving their final no pass grade on either the CPCE or Integration exam.
    • If a student has any questions about the appeals process they can email or look at the Grade Appeal section of the Academic Policies webpage.
  • Counseling Third Attempt Policy (CTAP)
    • Students who have failed the CPCE twice are required to complete a CTAP form and prepare an additional minimum of one semester before registering for their final attempt.
    • Please note the CTAP form must be completed and reviewed before students are eligible for their third and final attempt.

Exam Results

Scores will be received immediately upon completion of the exam. Please allow six weeks for the CPCE Coordinator to receive the scores and post a grade to Blackboard. Once the exam scores are processed, a notice will be sent to you within two business days (via your Liberty University email address) notifying you of the results

Passing Score

  • Please note the passing score for the CPCE changes with every version of the exam.
  • CPCE: The passing score for version 100215 is 70 or higher.
  • CPCE: The passing score for version 100116 is 69 or higher.
  • CPCE: The passing score for version 100115 is 70 or higher
  • Integration exam: The passing score for the Integration exam is 14 questions correct out of 20.

Parts of the Exam

Part One: Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)

Eight core knowledge areas will be covered in the CPCE portion:

  1. Human Growth and Development: CMHC/COUN 502
  2. Social and Cultural Foundations: CMHC/COUN 504
  3. Helping Relationships: CMHC/COUN 505
  4. Group Work: CMHC/COUN 512
  5. Career and Lifestyle Development: CMHC/COUN 522
  6. Appraisal: CMHC/COUN 521
  7. Research and Program Evaluation: CMHC/COUN 515
  8. Professional Orientation and Ethics: CMHC/COUN 500/501

Part Two: Integration

The Integration part is offered through Blackboard at no cost and must be taken in a corresponding section to the section the student is registered in for the CPCE portion (i.e. CMHC/COUN 670-005/D02 & CMHC/COUN 671-005/D02). This is a closed-book, closed-note exam. This portion reviews studies that provide an understanding of the integration of theology and psychology.

  • Students must email to be registered for the integration portion of the exam.
  • If a student does not complete his or her Integration exam by the deadline, then that student will receive a grade of "NP" (No Pass), and it will be counted as one of his or her three attempts. If a student foresees that he or she cannot complete the exam by the due date, the student must request to be dropped from CMHC/COUN 671 before the exam due date in order to avoid the aforementioned penalty. A student’s Integration exam due date is always found on the Comprehensive Exam website, ASIST & Blackboard.
  • Please note: Students who request to drop COUN/CMHC 671 due to not being ready to take the exam by the due date may reschedule for any future test dates in the next sub-term or later. Students may not reschedule for a test date in the same sub-term.
  • If your computer freezes or you have technical issues while taking the exam please contact the IT Help Desk and submit a ticket. You may then email our office at with the ticket number and ask us to resolve the issue.

Study Tips

CPCE Study Tips

Integration Study Tips

  • McMinn, M. R. (2011). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling (Rev. ed.). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. ISBN: 9780842352529.
  • Entwistle, D. N. (2010). Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity (2nd ed.).  Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers. 978-1-55635-944-6.
  • Integration Study Guide

Preparing for the Exam

  • The best way to prepare for the exam is to develop a study schedule that allows for adequate studying time in each of the different areas of knowledge.
  • Divide your study time so that you spend equal time preparing for each area.
  • Study consistently.
  • It is recommended that students consider the timing for taking the CPCE. Often students in their internship semester, who are also taking a few additional classes, tend to feel overwhelmed if a study schedule is not established and followed.
  • Do something relaxing and get a good night’s rest the night before the examination.


Off-Site Testing

  • Offsite testing is only available for online (COUN) students
  • If traveling to Lynchburg to take this exam is too great of an inconvenience, one has the option to take the CPCE exam at a Pearson VUE site.
  • Students must follow the guidelines provided in the CPCE Offsite Registration Process.
  • An offsite testing student is still required to register for the appropriate courses associated with the Counseling Comprehensive Exam: COUN 670 (CPCE) and COUN 671 (Integration Portion).
  • Students should begin this process at least 1 month in advance.

To find Pearson VUE locations that offer the CPCE in your state, please complete the following steps:

  1. Email to request to register.

  2. The CPCE Gate Coordinator will check your prerequisites and email you the CPCE Exam Wavier for you to fill out and return.

  3. The CPCE Gate Coordinator will then email you the PDF that will assist you in beginning the registration process with the CCE and Pearson.

  4. You will first create an account with the CCE. Once you receive your candidate ID number emailed to you from Pearson, you will then create an account with Pearson.

    Note: Pearson requires payment by credit card. Additionally, once you pay for the exam you must test on your selected date or you will lose the $150 you have paid to Pearson.

  5. Once a student submits their registration and payment to Pearson, you will then email a copy of your receipt and the CPCE Gate Coordinator will register you for the corresponding COUN 670/671 courses.

  6. Be sure to save the username and password provided to you by Pearson as you will need it on test day.

    Note: Students will be responsible to complete all of the steps prior to the deadlines for the exam date they are registered for.

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