Masters in Mental Health Counseling Programs

Since all states require that graduates hold at least a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling before applying for licensure, this is the most preferred level of education for professionals.

Many colleges are bringing their Master's of Mental Health Counseling online. What does this mean? Typically, universities take their campus-based graduate level coursework requirements and curriculum, then review and write it for an online learning environment. They put the lectures and discussions online via video, chat, or message board formats. Quizzes, tests, and homework is all completed online - some of which are timed and some of which are open book.

This type of learning environment is excellent, especially for those with perhaps a Bachelor of Counseling (or related field) that are working in psychology or counseling and looking to get a Master's in Counseling degree while still working full time.

Consider a Featured Online Counseling Program

School and Program Information Online Program? Entry Requirements Course Information
Northwestern University
Online MA in Counseling
CACREP Accredited Programs CACREP Accredited
check_circle Online GRE Scores Not Required 24 Courses (standard program for those with counseling experience) or 27 courses (bridge program, for those with no counseling experience)
New York University
Online Master of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness
MPCAC Accredited Programs MPCAC Accredited
check_circle Online GRE scores are not required for admission. Weekly live classes taught by distinguished NYU Steinhardt faculty.
University of Denver
Online MA in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited Programs Designed to adhere to CACREP standards
check_circle Online No GRE required. Learn from doctoral-level faculty in live classes and gain experience through mock counseling and in-field training.
Vanderbilt University
Online Master's with School Counseling Specialization
SACSCOC Accredited
check_circle Online Bachelor's Required Live, online classes every week led by Vanderbilt faculty
University of Southern California
Online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling
Can be completed in less than 2 years.
check_circle Online No GRE requirement Classes led by USC Rossier faculty who are experts in school counseling, educational leadership and family therapy.

info For detailed degree information, view the guides to:
Online CACREP Accredited programs | Online MPCAC Accredited programs

Typical Master's Level Coursework

Courses include material pertaining to normal and abnormal mental health, introduction to psychological pharmaceuticals, and ever therapy. The in depth programs provided by accredited schools give students experience with the historic and theoretical concepts in psychology as well as introducing new techniques for application.

Students in mental health counseling will work in the classroom and in laboratory settings so that they will fully comprehend the research aspect as well as the application of the different applications of mental health counseling.

Common Mental Health Degree Course Areas

  • Assessment and Evaluation in Counseling
  • Diagnosis of Emotional and Mental Disorders
  • Group Counseling
  • Prevention and Intervention in Crisis and Trauma
  • Human Development

Gaining Work Experience in Mental Health Counseling

Every state requires that graduate degree holders take part in 1-2 years of supervised work experience, varying state to state. This requirement can be completed after the degree program has been completed or in conjunction with the appropriate degree program. Students must find a licensed mental health counselor that is willing to supervise future mental health counselors in order to complete this requirement.

Resources are available in each state to assist students with finding a licensed professional to work under. This work experience provides future counselors with the necessary expertise needed to work in the field.

Willing acceptance of critique during this supervision period is a positive attribute that professionals should use to better their overall practice.

Preparing for Counseling Licensure

In addition to the educational requirements and work experience, students are also required to pass the state board exam in their respective state as a last step to becoming licensed. These exams are designed to test different aspects within their specialization in order to guarantee that the licensees going through the program meet the state’s standards for practice with the public.

Each state values the integrity of their licensure system, making it a very thorough process regardless of the location. View our state counseling licensure information.

List of Programs

University of West Alabama

Online MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
SACSCC Accredited

Our Lady of the Lake University

Online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
SACSCC Accredited

NYU Steinhardt

Online MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness
MPCAC Accredited

CACREP Accredited Programs

CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs) is the top accrediting board for counseling programs. Below, you will find a list of all of the CACREP accredited counseling programs in .

Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants
Counseling Career Guide

Still Looking for a Counseling Degree?

Here are some of the most popular online counseling programs. On each page you will find a detailed writeup of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.