Depending on the university where you choose to enroll, your accelerated program may consist of abbreviated classes that last a total of 10 weeks, with a maximum of 4 classes allowed per term. At some schools, students can take 1, 2, 3, or 4 classes at a time to finish their program in their desired time period.
Our team has years of experience in researching educational counseling degrees and the respective counseling career paths. Through this guide, you can learn more about what accelerated degree programs are and how they apply to the field of counseling.
Online Accelerated Master’s in Counseling Degrees
Accelerated counseling degree programs can help you quickly upgrade your degree and your career. Masters of Counseling degrees that can be completed in a quicker time frame and online can provide you with even more benefits than the standard program alone. Note that there are some good 2 year counseling degree options that are fully backed by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, or CACREP, which is the most prestigious accrediting body in the field.
There are numerous colleges that offer online Master of Counseling programs in an accelerated format. For example, Gwynedd Mercy University provides students with the option of pursuing the online Master’s of Counseling in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and College Counseling through the accelerated online programs.
Consider a Featured Online Counseling Program
|School and Program Information||Online Program?|
|University of Denver|
Online MA in School Counseling
Designed to adhere to CACREP standards
✔ Live, online classes
No GRE Required; Minimum GPA 2.5 Required
Earn your degree in as few as 24 monthsLearn More
|University of Southern California|
Online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling
Prepares you for school counseling credential
✔ Live, online classes
No GRE requirement
Bachelor’s degree and minimum 2.5 GPA requiredLearn More
Master's Degree in Counseling
No GRE—No Entrance Exam
Choose from Addictions, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, or School Counseling specialtiesLearn More
MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
No GMAT or GRE Required
Our CACREP-accredited program is designed to help you prepare for state licensure. Earn your degree while working and living your daily life with our flexible online learning environment.Learn More
|Our Lady of the Lake University|
Online Master of Arts in Counseling
No GRE required.
Help students navigate the emotional terrain of getting an education, empower people of all ages to overcome mental health hurdles, or support someone recovering from drug addiction as they obtain or maintain a job, with the Master of Arts in Counseling from OLLU.Learn More
MS and PhD Therapy, Psychology and Social Work Programs
GRE Scores Not Required
Program Specializations include Military Family Therapy, LGBTQ Couple & Family Therapy, General Family Therapy & MoreLearn More
MS in School Counseling
No GMAT or GRE Required
Our CACREP- and CAEP-accredited MS in School Counseling puts you in control, so you can learn on your own schedule and gain the skills to pursue your professional school counselor credential.Learn More
*Sponsored Counseling Programs
Online CACREP Accredited programs | Online MPCAC Accredited programs
What Is the Accelerated MA in Counseling?
The accelerated Master’s of Counseling is a distinguished degree program that can teach you the basics of mental illnesses and the methods for providing therapeutic services to people in need.
Shorter Program Length
One of the most fascinating aspects of the accelerated program is that it can be completed in 1-1.5 years, making it a great opportunity for students who are eager to begin working with people in the field.
Graduate MA in Counseling
The Master’s of Counseling on its own can be a great resource for undergraduates in the fields of psychology, counseling, or social Work, since it can provide even more career opportunities after its completion. This program was designed to help students prepare for the National Counselor Examination, which can lead to licensure from state to state.
Specializations in Mental Health and Wellness
The purpose of this degree program is to teach learners more about the basics of mental illness and mental health in general, outline different screenings and assessments used in the field, and provide deeper insight into different types of therapy for use with different clients with varying needs.
Other Tracks: School Counseling and Career Counseling
Because many people have varying needs in our society, students can pursue different specializations within this degree program to prepare to work in diverse areas. Some counseling programs offer specialization in school counseling, mental health counseling, and even career counseling.
Online Master’s of Counseling Accelerated Options
The University of Kentucky also offers an innovative Master’s of Counseling program in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling in an accelerated format. Each of these programs could be a great opportunity to pursue the career of your dreams without committing years of your life to higher education.
Many more colleges throughout the United States have online and accelerated degree programs for you to review before making your choice. If you’re interested in obtaining a high-quality education that’s also flexible, online programs could be the best option for you.
Top Masters in Counseling Programs
- Masters in Counseling
- Online Masters in Counseling
- No GRE MA in Counseling
- Online Master of Arts in Counseling
- Schools with an Online Master of Counseling
- Accelerated MA in Counseling
- Hybrid MA in Counseling
- Dual Masters in Counseling Degrees
- By Online Counseling Program Specialization:
- Online Masters in Behavior Analysis
- Online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Online Masters in Counseling Psychology
- Online Masters in Mental Health Counseling
- Online Master of Rehabilitation Counseling
- Online Masters in School Counseling
- By Accreditation:
- Online CACREP Accredited Masters Programs
- Online MPCAC Accredited Programs
Typical Coursework for 2 Year Counseling Degree Programs
Accelerated degree programs often provide students with the opportunity to engage in courses that can be completed in shorter time frames, or to take more than just 1 or 2 courses at a time. These courses are typically aligned to help students gain knowledge about the history and development of their professional area, current trends and methods, and ethical considerations for the field.
Depending on which college you choose for your degree, you might find that the courses included in the program are different from others. Each college’s curriculum is reviewed for accreditation in the field of counseling, so the accreditation status of the program can help you to verify the quality of your program overall.
Our team has reviewed some of the available accelerated Master’s of Counseling programs to learn more about what they expect from students and to provide you with insight into what is involved during the learning process.
Below are some of the most common courses that we found during our review of this program. Read about these sample courses to familiarize yourself with the subjects and topics discussed in these programs.
- Human Development: This course can provide valuable information pertaining to normal and abnormal social and emotional development throughout the life span. You may have the opportunity to explore normal transitions through different stages in life, as well as taking a look at factors that can create unhealthy development during these transitions. Topics such as grief, loss, and growth may be discussed as part of course requirements.
- Theories of Counseling: As part of your transition into a counseling professional, you may be expected to explore different theoretical applications of counseling in different contexts. This course may also require that you develop your own theory of counseling, which can help build your own professional stance as a counselor in the field. An exploration of historical counseling theories may also be a part of this course.
- Group Counseling: Students enrolled in this course can review the dynamics of group counseling from a counselor’s perspective. Cultural and ethical considerations for working with groups can be discussed in this course, as well as methods for ensuring equal involvement and privacy protection. Some practice and scenarios may be included to help students comprehend meaning to theory in this class.
Length of Time to Completion for Accelerated Counseling Degrees
Standard Master’s of Counseling degree programs typically require students to engage in around 12 credit hours — or 4 courses — per semester to be considered full-time students. At this rate, it can take you about 2 years to complete your degree, with even more time required at some universities.
Accelerated Master’s of Counseling programs can have different methods for helping you complete your degree program faster. Some universities have shortened the length of courses to 8-10 weeks each, with some colleges allowing students to take up to 4 classes at a time during this time period.
With this higher density of courses allowed for enrollment and quicker course completion times, students could potentially complete their entire master’s program in 1 year. Since you may be able to customize your degree path and course enrollments in these programs, you could even possibly further customize your length of completion for this program through strategic planning.
Flexibility and convenience works in both directions for accelerated degree programs in this field. If you’re interested in completing your program in the fastest time period possible, you can do so through packing in the courses for a quick completion. If you’re interested in finishing your degree at a more moderate pace, you can take 2-3 classes per term to complete your program quickly, but still maintain stability during your learning experience.
Once you’ve completed your degree program, there are a few more requirements to obtain your license to work as a counselor in your state. Most states require that graduates engage in a supervised clinical experience after their program that can assist in skill development in different counseling techniques.
This process requires that you locate a supervisor for your practice, who’ll act as your overseer during your counseling experience. This entire process can take 1.5 to 2 years to complete for most trainees and can help with providing support and guidance during your first few years of counseling work.
All hours of your counseling experience can be documented by you and your supervisor during this time period and then submitted to your credentialing agency after completion. Your state may require proof of your degree program, experience, and certification before issuing your license to practice as a counselor.
Types of Counseling Licensure
- Counseling Licensure Guide
- State Counseling Licensure
- What It Takes to Become a Counselor
- LPC: Licensed Professional Counselor
- LFMT: Family and Marriage Therapist
- LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- LMHC: Licensed Mental Health Counselor
- CCMHC: Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor
- MAC: Master Addictions Counselor
- BCBA: Board Certified Behavior Analyst
- NCC: National Certified Counselor
- NCSC: National Certified School Counselor
- LCPC: Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
- LPCC: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Counseling Career Options
Choosing an accelerated Master’s of Counseling program, including the 2 year counseling degree, can assist you with getting your hands on a degree and license in a faster time frame than other programs. Once you have completed this process, you can seek out careers in your area – assisting people in need of guidance in their personal lives.
As a licensed counselor, you can work for mental health agencies that provide comprehensive and diverse services to their clients. Some counselors may specialize in work with children and adolescents, while others may focus on adult or aging mental health.
Counselors can also work with specific groups of people throughout their career, such as with people struggling with cultural diversity, intimate relationships, careers, or grief. Each of these areas can be excellent places for counselors to pursue full-time work, since these life changes can often prove to be difficult for people to work through on their own.