California Counseling Programs Guide

The counselor career path is a gem for the state of California. Those seeking a degree program in counseling will find a wealth of opportunity in this famous state. With 37.2 million residents, California needs a large number of counseling specialists.

Counseling Programs in California

The state of California has 123 counseling degree programs that include counseling psychology, school counseling, marriage counseling, and substance abuse counseling. Regardless of which path is taken, there are tremendous employment opportunities for new graduates.

There are currently 36 CACREP accredited Master of Counseling programs in California.

Online Counseling Programs at OLLU

California Counseling Degree Programs

What do you look for in an online degree program? A lot of people may see convenience and flexibility as their number 1 consideration for online programs, while others may look towards the reliability when making their decision.

In California, students do not have to settle for one option over the other. There are currently 2 counseling degree programs available in California that offer both the convenience and flexibility sought by upcoming students and the accreditation required for licensure. There are also a number of online counseling programs accepting California applicants.

CACREP accreditation should be one of your most desired qualities of an online degree program, since it can set you on track for licensure as a counselor in your field.

Here are a few schools in California with CACREP-accredited counseling programs:
  • California State University - Fresno: M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling M.S. in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  • California State University Fullerton: M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • California State University Sacramento: M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • California State University San Bernardino: M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • California State University, Los Angeles: M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling M.S. in School Counseling
  • Concordia University Irvine: M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Click to jump to the full list of California counseling programs, or consider learning more about one of the below online counseling program currently accepting applicants.

Consider a Featured Online Counseling Program


Online CACREP Master of Counseling Programs in California

The benefits to online Master of Counseling programs in California include a convenient alternative to traditional degree programs that may be unrealistic for people in today's society. Online Master of Counseling programs include communication, learning, and testing components that are available on course websites, providing students with an ease of access to the tools needed for their program success. There are currently 2 universities that provide online Master of Counseling programs suitable for upcoming applicants with the drive to become licensed in their future.

  • Palo Alto University provides students with an online Master of Counseling in both Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling.
  • The second option for interested learners in this state can be found at Saybrook University. Saybrook offers an online Master of Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Multiple Program Options in California

Since both universities offer programs that hold current CACREP accreditation, students enrolling can rest assured that their program can lead to licensure in the future. The accreditation process involves a review of the university's curriculum and practical expectations - in an effort to compare these provisions with what may be required for clinical professionals in the state of California. In order to receive your license to practice counseling within the state of California, you will need to graduate from a CACREP-accredited master's program and complete a supervised clinical experience after graduation.

Specific Online CACREP Programs

Schools offering online counseling programs can often provide you with assistance when choosing a location for your supervised experience.

More schools throughout the state may be interested in providing CACREP-accredited online Master of Counseling programs, since schools such as Concordia University in Irvine are making their way through the accreditation process currently. Once approved, this school could also be a great option for students considering online programs for their degree.

Snapshot: Online CACREP Accredited Programs

Palo Alto University
Online M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
MAT or GRE Not Required
Interactive courses in sychronous format included in the program. Students take 2 classes each quarter. Prepares learners for counseling exam.
CACREP Accredited
Online | Palo Alto
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 1/5/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 3/31/2025
Palo Alto University
Online M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
MAT or GRE Not Required
Can be completed in 2 years and 9 months. Minimum of 700 hours of experience can be gained through this program. Provides assistance securing practicum sites.
CACREP Accredited
Online | Palo Alto
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 1/5/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 3/31/2025
Saybrook University
Online M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Mat or GRE Not Required
Program provided in hybrid format. 700 hours of field experience included in the curriculum. 2 internships and 1 practicum required for graduation.
CACREP Accredited
Online | Oakland
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/14/2018
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2026
☰ For detailed degree information, view the guides to:
Online CACREP Accredited programs | Online MPCAC Accredited programs

California Counseling Degrees

  • 123 different counseling degrees in California
  • Most popular degree offering for California universities is the Master's in Counseling Degree
  • According to the BLS, the average annual income for counselors in CA is $45,710

Perhaps the most prominent university for online and accredited counseling programs in California is Palo Alto University. Students can choose from either Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling through this school, which can set them in gear for careers working with a wide range of people within society. Located in the beautiful Palo Alto, California, this university could be a great choice for residents of this city or those located all over the state.

More Online Counseling Programs in California

Online Counseling Programs at Palo Alto University

  • Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: If you are looking for a university with no GRE requirement, Palo Alto University may be a great option for you. Students choosing to pursue their online counseling degree in California can look at Palo Alto University as their university of choice. The online Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at this university can be completed in around 2 years and 9 months, offering a fast solution to a student’s desire to progress. This program consists of online synchronous courses that can help increase an individual’s skills in clinical knowledge, practitioner standards and mental health awareness.
  • Master’s in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling: Palo Alto University’s online Master’s in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling is a great option for students interested in improving the quality of life of those around them. This degree program can also be completed through online synchronous courses, which may implement current theories and practices of mental health professionals. The estimated completion time of this program is 2 years and 9 months for students enrolled full-time.

Counseling Licensure in California

If you wish to pursue licensure as a counselor in the state of California, you should review the requirements set forth by the California Board of Behavioral Services. Requirements for licensure within this state may include the completion of an accredited counseling degree, 3,000 supervised hours within a clinical environment and the completion of ethics and law exams through the state board.

These requirements were set forth in an effort to help future counselors become better qualified to provide effective counseling services to the general public.

California is a land in which stars are born. In this state, residents work hard and around the clock. In an atmosphere that requires total dedication to work, stress is prominent. Counselors work with individuals to lower stress and to find ways of leading normal lives.

Licensure and Degree Requirements for Counselors in California

Since the service of counselors is in such high demand, the field continues to prosper in the state of California. Individuals seeking licensure in this state are required to follow California’s guidelines that include an accredited degree, passing a licensure exam, and supervised experience.

Licensure can be obtained at a master’s degree level, which is why this is the most popular degree program for counseling students.

Counselor Salaries & Employment by Metro Area in California

City / Metro AreaAverage SalaryTotal EmployedSalary Range
Lowest 25% to Highest 90%
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine
$85,790
1,220
$48,910 to $129,920
El Centro
$98,850
100
$85,720 to $124,290
Fresno
$83,920
710
$44,090 to $119,830
Hanford-Corcoran
$105,540
150
$93,890 to $127,430
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale
$91,760
4,370
$72,560 to $125,980
Merced
$50,770
60
$45,520 to $113,330
Modesto
$86,720
200
$68,250 to $141,180
Napa
$109,850
**
$93,760 to $128,720
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley
$95,410
1,530
$80,140 to $134,970
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura
$92,830
290
$74,960 to $128,420

California Counseling Licensure: California Counseling Licensing Boards

California Counseling Licensure

Board of Behavioral Sciences
1625 North Market Boulevard, Suite S-200
Sacramento, CA 95834
916-574-7830
[email protected]
www.bbs.ca.gov
Licensure:
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)
Professional Clinical Counselor Intern (PCCI)

School Counseling Licensure

Commission on Teacher Credentialing
1900 Capital Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 327-1461 (888) 921-2682
[email protected]
www.ctc.ca.gov
School Counselor [PreK-12]

What Does a Counselor in California Do?

The ability to earn in the state of California is high. The average annual income for counselors in this state is $45,710. As a career choice, counseling pays off both in self-satisfaction and financial stability. The job description itself describes counselors as a resource for emotion health to society.

Those needing counseling rely heavily on the tests and techniques of specialists to provide relief throughout their busy lifestyles. Counseling professionals can be found in a variety of different settings. Counselors are found in hospitals, schools, and even businesses.

If you are looking for Marriage and Family Therapy programs, go to our guide on MFT programs in California.

Popular Online Counseling Programs

Our Lady of the Lake University 🗹 Online πŸ—— Masters

University of Denver 🗹 Online πŸ—— Masters

Capella University 🗹 Online Masters

Capella University 🗹 Online Doctorate

University of West Alabama 🗹 Online πŸ—– Bachelors πŸ—— Masters

University of Southern California 🗹 Online πŸ—— Masters

Campbellsville University 🗹 Online πŸ—— Masters

NYU Steinhardt 🗹 Online πŸ—— Masters

Methodist University 🗹 Online πŸ—– Bachelors

University of West Alabama 🗹 Online πŸ—— Masters


Schools With Campus-Based CACREP Accredited California Counseling Degrees

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 California. Keep scrolling or jump to all programs for all programs or view online CACREP accredited counseling programs.

California State University - Fresno

Fresno
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/13/2017 to 10/31/2023
M.S. in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/18/2018 to 3/31/2022
M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 10/1/1993 to 3/31/2022

California State University Fullerton

Fullerton
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/9/2013 to 3/31/2023

California State University Sacramento

Sacramento
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/1/2017 to 10/31/2020

California State University San Bernardino

San Bernardino
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/1/2017 to 10/31/2024

California State University, Los Angeles

Los Angeles
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/1/2017 to 3/31/2022
M.S. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 3/1/1978 to 10/31/2019

Concordia University Irvine

Irvine
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/13/2018 to 10/31/2021

Palo Alto University

Palo Alto
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/5/2015 to 3/31/2025
M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/5/2015 to 3/31/2025

San Diego State University

San Diego
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/13/2016 to 10/31/2023
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/1/2017 to 10/31/2023

San Francisco State University

San Francisco
M.S. in Career Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 11/1/1993 to 3/31/2022
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/18/2018 to 3/31/2022
M.S. in College Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 3/1/1978 to 10/31/2019
M.S. in College Counseling and Student Affairs
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 9/1/1976 to 3/31/2022
M.S. in Gerontological Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 5/1/1995 to 10/31/2019
M.S. in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 10/1/1991 to 10/31/2019
M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 4/1/1990 to 3/31/2022
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/1/2017 to 10/31/2019
M.S. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 9/1/1976 to 3/31/2022

Saybrook University

Pasadena
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/14/2017 to 10/31/2026

Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/10/2013 to 10/31/2022
M.A. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 9/1/1982 to 10/31/2022

University of San Diego

San Diego
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/9/2013 to 3/31/2025
M.A. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/10/2007 to 3/31/2025

All Accredited Schools with Counseling Degrees in California

View all programs in California below, or jump to all California CACREP accredited counseling programs.
Allan Hancock College Santa Maria
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Alliant International University-San Diego San Diego
  • Doctorate - Marriage and Family Therapy
American River College Sacramento
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Butte College Oroville
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
California State University - Fresno Fresno
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
  • M.S. in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
  • M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
California State University Fullerton Fullerton
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
California State University Sacramento Sacramento
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
California State University San Bernardino San Bernardino
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
California State University, Los Angeles Los Angeles
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • M.S. in School Counseling
College of San Mateo San Mateo
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
College of the Desert Palm Desert
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Concordia University Irvine Irvine
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Diablo Valley College Pleasant Hill
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Fresno City College Fresno
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Fuller Theological Seminary in California Pasadena
  • Doctorate - Marriage and Family Therapy
Glendale Community College Glendale
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Hartnell College Salinas
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
ICDC College Huntington Park
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Imperial Valley College Imperial
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
InterCoast Colleges-Orange Orange
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Lake Tahoe Community College South Lake Tahoe
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Lassen Community College Susanville
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Loma Linda University Loma Linda
  • Doctorate - Marriage and Family Therapy
Long Beach City College Long Beach
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Los Angeles City College Los Angeles
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Los Angeles Pierce College Woodland Hills
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Mendocino College Ukiah
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Merced College Merced
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Merritt College Oakland
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Modesto Junior College Modesto
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Mt San Antonio College Walnut
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Mt San Jacinto Community College District San Jacinto
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
National University La Jolla
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Oxnard College Oxnard
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Palo Alto University Palo Alto
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
Palomar College San Marcos
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Rio Hondo College Whittier
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Saddleback College Mission Viejo
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
San Diego City College San Diego
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
San Diego State University San Diego
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
San Francisco State University San Francisco
  • M.S. in Career Counseling
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.S. in College Counseling
  • M.S. in College Counseling and Student Affairs
  • M.S. in Gerontological Counseling
  • M.S. in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy
  • M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • M.S. in School Counseling
San Jose City College San Jose
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Santa Barbara City College Santa Barbara
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Saybrook University Pasadena
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Sonoma State University Rohnert Park
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.A. in School Counseling
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Irvine Irvine
  • Doctorate - Marriage and Family Therapy
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Westwood Los Angeles
  • Doctorate - Marriage and Family Therapy
University of San Diego San Diego
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.A. in School Counseling
University of Southern California Los Angeles
  • Doctorate - Marriage and Family Therapy
West Los Angeles College Culver City
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
William Jessup University Rocklin
  • Bachelors - Counseling Psychology
Woodland Community College Woodland
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Yuba College Marysville
  • Associates - Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
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 write-up of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.


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