Masters Degree in Counseling

Masters Degree in Counseling

The field of counseling is a multi-layered area of the job market, offering those interested in a Masters Degree in Counseling a range of opportunity for employment. The Master’s Degree level affords individuals a greater number of options for career advancement than does a Bachelor’s Degree and the majority of states require a minimum of a Masters Degree in Counseling in order to achieve licensure to practice within a public, private or independent counseling capacity.

Choosing the Right Graduate Program

Those interested in pursuing a Masters Degree in Counseling will want to familiarize themselves with the different degrees offered and the areas of counseling specialty which exist in the field. Graduate level counseling degrees can be found in several specialized areas and there is also the general counseling Master’s program to consider as well. Following are a few of the specialized degrees available in the academic discipline of psychological counseling.

  • Psychological Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Substance Abuse, Addiction and Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Art, Music, or Dance Therapy
  • Guidance Counseling

When researching the different specialized counseling programs available at the Master’s level, you’ll want to take into consideration your specific interests, as well as your employment prospects following completion of the degree. Within each degree program, students learn counseling methodologies and practices which will serve them later in clinical practice. You’ll want to be sure that you choose a field of counseling in which you have genuine interest and in which you would enjoy building a career and professional presence and reputation. You should also keep in mind that in many graduate school programs, the degree is called behavioral clinical psychology rather than counseling.

Selecting a School for a Masters Degree in Counseling

After identifying the counseling specialty in which you have the greatest interest, you’ll need to begin reviewing the schools that offer that specialized degree. Don’t settle on the first school that you come across which offers the program you’re interested in. Review several schools and compare their strengths and weaknesses in order to find the right one for you.

Masters Degree In Counseling

Keep in mind that a Masters Degree in Counseling will require intensive and focused study. To get the most from your degree program, choose a school with a strong reputation and a relatively low student to instructor ratio. Of course there are many other aspects of the school’s character and culture to take into consideration as well, including tuition costs, location, facilities, course schedules, and admission requirements, to name just a few.
Many Master’s level programs are structured for working professionals who are returning to school to complete an advanced degree. You’ll find that there are part time programs and others with flexible class schedules which will work well for those who are holding down a full time job while completing their Masters. There are also online Masters in counseling programs to consider too.

Some students do go straight from their undergraduate studies into graduate school for counseling, and as such, there are also plentiful programs that are more rigid and traditional in their structure and schedule.
Determine your own needs and look for programs that will work with your lifestyle, schedule and personal and professional commitments and goals. For example, if you want to finish your studies in a shorter period of time, look into accelerated degree programs. If you’re searching for a more extensive and traditional school experience, then select a program that lasts between two and four years.
In addition to standard coursework, Masters Degree in Counseling programs require an internship during which students have the opportunity to work in the field. The minimum number of hours required for an internship will be dependent upon the program you choose and may be influenced by state licensing requirements, as well.

Top Schools for Masters Degree in Counseling

There are many graduate schools that only offer behavioral psychology or a general Master’s Degree in psychology; however, there are also those that have the more focused Masters Degree in Counseling program available. Here are just a few of the schools to consider for a Masters Degree in the field of counseling.


California State University Northridge
The Tseng College
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA  91330-8434
Phone: 818-677-3332
Degree: Master of Art in Psychology: Behavioral Clinical Psychology


John Brown University
2000 West University Street
Siloam Springs, AR  72761
Phone: 866-232-4723
Degree: Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy


Antioch University New England
40 Avon Street
Keene, NH 03431-3516  
Phone: 603-357-6265
Degree: Master of Art in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Substance Abuse Counseling


University of Pennsylvania
Graduate School of Education
3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104-6216
Phone: 215-898-6415
Degree: Master of Education in Counseling and Mental Health Services


Rochester Institute Of Technology (RIT)
College of Liberal Arts
58 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY  14623-5604
Phone: 866-260-3950
Degree: Master of Science in School Psychology


The College of William and Mary
The School of Education
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
Phone: 757-221-2317
Degree: Masters of Education in Counseling

There is a wide variety of employment opportunities for those with a Masters Degree in Counseling.

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