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.

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
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).
NYU Steinhardt
Online MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness
MPCAC Accredited Programs MPCAC Accredited
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
Online GRE Scores Not Required Learn from doctoral-level faculty in live classes and gain experience through mock counseling and in-field training.
Our Lady of the Lake University
Online MA in Counseling
CACREP Accredited Programs Designed to adhere to CACREP standards
Online No GRE required. Three specializations in Clinical Mental Health, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, or School Counseling.
University of Southern California
Online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling
Can be completed in less than 2 years.
Online No GRE requirement Classes led by USC Rossier faculty who are experts in school counseling, educational leadership and family therapy.
Vanderbilt University's Peabody College
Online Master's with School Counseling Specialization
SACSCOC Accredited
Online Bachelor's Required. Live, online classes every week led by Vanderbilt faculty.

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

Counseling Programs Currently Accepting Applicants
Click for admissions information & specific admissions requirements, length of the program, tuition rates, format and learning environment, and any other questions you might have.
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.

NYU Steinhardt's online MA in Counseling and Guidance, Counseling @ NYU, prepares aspiring school counselors to become transformative leaders and critical resources for pre-K-12 students in public and private schools across the country.
Click for admissions information.

Counseling @ Northwestern is a CACREP-accredited online Master of Arts in Counseling Program with accelerated, traditional, and part-time track options. GRE scores are not required, nor is prior counseling experience. You will complete six quarters of supervised clinical field placements, which will prepare you to pursue licensure as a clinical mental health counselor in as few as 18 months.
Click for more admissions info.

Prepare to become a mental health counselor – earn your master of arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness online from NYU Steinhardt. The program is MPCAC-accredited and prepares students to pursue state licensure. Complete in as few as 21 months. GRE not required.
Click for admissions information.

Earn a Master's degree in School Counseling online from the University of Denver. Learn from doctoral-level faculty in live classes and gain experience through mock counseling and in-field training. No GRE required. 
Click for admissions information.

At Our Lady of the Lake University's online Master of Arts in Counseling, you can learn to help students navigate the emotional terrain of primary or secondary school, empower people of all ages to overcome mental health challenges, or support someone recovering from addiction as they seek to rebuild their lives with the flexible Master of Arts in Counseling from OLLU. There are multiple specializations in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling.
Click for admissions information.

Counselor Salaries & Employment by Metro Area in California

Counseling Programs Currently Accepting Applicants
Click for admissions information & specific admissions requirements, length of the program, tuition rates, format and learning environment, and any other questions you might have.
City / Metro Area Average Salary Total Employed Salary 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 State 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.

List of California Counseling Programs

NYU Steinhardt

Online MA in Counseling and Guidance
MPCAC Accredited

Northwestern University

Online MA in Counseling
CACREP Accredited

NYU Steinhardt

Online MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness
MPCAC Accredited

University of Denver

Online MA in School Counseling
Accredited

Our Lady of the Lake University

Online MA in Counseling
SACSCC Accredited

University of Southern California

Online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling
Accredited

NYU Steinhardt

Online MA in Counseling and Guidance
MPCAC Accredited

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College

Online Master's with School Counseling Specialization
SACSCOC Accredited

NYU Steinhardt

Online MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness
MPCAC Accredited

Regis College

MS in Applied Behavior Analysis
NECHE Accredited

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.

Counseling Programs Currently Accepting Applicants
Click for admissions information & specific admissions requirements, length of the program, tuition rates, format and learning environment, and any other questions you might have.
California State University - Fresno
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Fresno
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/13/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2023
California State University - Fresno
M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Fresno
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 4/1/1995
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2019
California State University Fullerton
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Fullerton
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 1/9/2015
  • CACREP Expire: 3/31/2023
California State University Sacramento
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Sacramento
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/1/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2020
California State University San Bernardino
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Bernardino
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/1/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2024
California State University, Los Angeles
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Los Angeles
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/1/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2019
California State University, Los Angeles
M.S. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Los Angeles
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 3/1/1978
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2019
Palo Alto University
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Palo Alto
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 1/5/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 3/31/2025
Palo Alto University
M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Palo Alto
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 1/5/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 3/31/2025
San Diego State University
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Diego
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/13/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2023
San Diego State University
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Diego
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/1/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2023
San Francisco State University
M.S. in Career Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Francisco
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 5/1/1995
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2019
San Francisco State University
M.S. in College Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Francisco
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 3/1/1978
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2019
San Francisco State University
M.S. in Gerontological Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Francisco
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 5/1/1995
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2019
San Francisco State University
M.S. in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy
CACREP Accredited
San Francisco
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 10/1/1991
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2019
San Francisco State University
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Francisco
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/1/2017
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2019
San Francisco State University
M.S. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Francisco
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 3/1/1978
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2019
Saybrook University
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Oakland
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/14/2018
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2026
Sonoma State University
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Rohnert Park
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 7/10/2014
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2022
Sonoma State University
M.A. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
Rohnert Park
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 3/1/1984
  • CACREP Expire: 10/31/2022
University of San Diego
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Diego
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 1/9/2015
  • CACREP Expire: 3/31/2025
University of San Diego
M.A. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
San Diego
  • CACREP Status: 8 Year
  • CACREP Start: 1/10/2009
  • CACREP Expire: 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.
Counseling Programs Currently Accepting Applicants
Click for admissions information & specific admissions requirements, length of the program, tuition rates, format and learning environment, and any other questions you might have.
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
CACREP
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
  • M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
California State University Fullerton
Fullerton
CACREP
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
California State University Sacramento
Sacramento
CACREP
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
California State University San Bernardino
San Bernardino
CACREP
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
California State University, Los Angeles
Los Angeles
CACREP
  • 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
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
CACREP
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  • Online M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Online 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
CACREP
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
San Francisco State University
San Francisco
CACREP
  • M.S. in Career Counseling
  • M.S. in College Counseling
  • M.S. in Gerontological Counseling
  • M.S. in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy
  • 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
Oakland
CACREP
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Online M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park
CACREP
  • 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
CACREP
  • 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 writeup of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.