List of Counseling Degrees in California

Counseling is a popular area of study in California and may hold numerous opportunities for its graduates. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 34,430 employed counselors in California, the highest employment rate in the country.

The state also has 123 counseling degree programs that include counseling psychology, school counseling, marriage counseling, substance abuse counseling, and other counseling types. Regardless of specialization, these programs can help prepare you to gain licensure and take hold of the many opportunities California may have to offer.

There are currently 36 counseling master’s programs in California that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, or CACREP. Take a moment to explore some of the top options

Consider an online counseling program: Bachelor's holders can prepare to become a licensed professional counselor online. With no GRE scores required to apply, the 24 month online MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine allows you to advance your career and be a catalyst of change. Learn more.
MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine

Master’s in Counseling Programs in California: An Overview

By choosing a program that is CACREP accredited, you ensure that you’re enrolling in a program that meets the widely recognized standards of counselors and counseling educators throughout the nation. CACREP accreditation should be one of your requirements for a 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-Accredited Master’s in Counseling Programs in California

Online degrees can offer more flexibility and accessibility than in-person programs. This makes them a good choice for students who have busy lives and prior commitments. There are several counseling master’s programs in California that offer both online convenience and the accreditation required for licensure. There are currently two universities that provide online master’s programs in counseling suitable for upcoming applicants with the drive to become licensed.

  • Palo Alto University: Online M.A. in Counseling focusing in both Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling. The Palo Alto program is a popular choice because there is no GRE requirement, and because it consists of online synchronous courses that can help increase skills in clinical knowledge, practitioner standards, and mental health awareness.
  • Saybrook University: Online Master of Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This program is known for its high academic standards, and for a high-quality curriculum that prepares students for success across a number of counseling environments (clinics, hospitals, private practice, etc.).
  • [original graphic here]

    Schools With Campus-Based CACREP Accredited California Counseling Degrees

    Below, you will find a list of all of the CACREP-accredited counseling programs in California. Keep scrolling, or jump to all programs, or view online CACREP-accredited counseling programs.
    All Accredited Schools with Counseling Degrees in California
    View all programs in California below, or jump to all California CACREP-accredited counseling programs.

    Snapshot: Online CACREP Accredited Programs

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

    Counselor Responsibilities and Salary

    A counselor’s duties may vary from one position to the next, but some of the typical responsibilities include the following.

  • Provide outpatient mental health services, with the goal of helping patients recover or increase their mental well-being
  • Conduct patient intakes and monitor therapy sessions on individual, group, and family levels
  • Develop and assess ongoing treatment plans for each patient
  • Provide mental health assessments and referrals
  • Complete documentation, in compliance with state laws and regulations
  • The average annual income for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in California was $56,860 as of May 2020, according to the BLS. This figure is around $9,000 higher than the national average. The BLS also projects 25% job growth in the field between 2019-2029, which is much faster than the average for all positions. This means there could be many more counseling positions opening up in the future.

    Counseling professionals can be found in a variety of different settings, including outpatient mental health centers, hospitals, schools, government facilities, and businesses.

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

    Counseling Licensure in California

    If you wish to pursue licensure as a counselor in California, you should review the requirements set forth by the California Board of Behavioral Services (BBS). Requirements for licensure in the state may include the completion of an accredited counseling degree, 3,000 supervised work hours in a clinical environment, and the completion of multiple exams through the state board. To become licensed, applicants must prove their knowledge not just of clinical practice, but also of local regulations meant to protect doctors and patients. As such, clinical exams and ethics exams may both be required.

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

    Licensure and Degree Requirements for Counselors in California

    If you are seeking licensure in California, you are required to follow the state’s guidelines that include an accredited degree, passing a licensure exam, and supervised experience. Licensure can be obtained after earning a master’s degree, which is why counseling master’s programs in California are so popular.

    California Counseling Licensure: California Counseling Licensing Boards

    There are different certification processes based on counseling specializations. Below are some of the credentialing authorities in California for counseling licensure.

    Licensure:

    • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)
    • Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC)
    • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
    • Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT)

     

    Sources:
    The California Board of Behavioral Science, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
    The California Board of Behavioral Science, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
    The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
    The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Find a Program
    Forbes, What Does A Mental Health Counselor Do?
    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

    Counselor Salaries & Employment by Metro Area in California

    City / Metro AreaAverage SalaryTotal EmployedSalary Range
    Lowest 25% to Highest 90%

    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]

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

    Popular Online Counseling Programs

    Pepperdine University 🗹 Online

    University of Southern California 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

    Pepperdine University 🗹 Online

    Northcentral University 🗹 Online Courses Start Weekly

    Pepperdine University 🗹 Online


    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.

    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.


    © 2021 Counseling Degrees Online | About | Schools by State | Privacy Policy & Terms