Counseling Degrees and Programs in Connecticut
In Connecticut, you will find several colleges and universities offering counseling programs in the five major areas of practice: mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. To begin a counseling career in Connecticut, you will likely need to begin by choosing a school that offers a program in your preferred area, as most types of counseling licensure require a degree. Most Connecticut schools offer counseling degrees at the master’s level because graduate-level education is commonly required for licensure. However, there are some undergraduate programs available for students who are not ready or able to complete a graduate degree. As only one school in Connecticut offers an online counseling degree in School Counseling, students who require additional flexibility or prefer to study online may need to consider programs offered in other states.
- There are 14 not-for-profit colleges and universities that offer a program in mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, and/or vocational rehabilitation counseling in Connecticut.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in Connecticut, 3 offer an associate degree, 0 offer a bachelor’s degree, 3 offer a certificate, and 10 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- 5 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- 4 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
- 1 school offers a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
- 7 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
- 7 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
- No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Student Counseling Programs 2022.3
- No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022.4
- Across 7 schools, 12 counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).2
- Across 3 schools, 3 counseling programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).5
Comparison of Connecticut Counseling Schools and Programs
The table below contains data we have compiled to help you compare the public and not-for-profit colleges and universities in Connecticut offering at least one counseling program in one of the five main practice areas: mental health counseling (MH), marriage and family therapy (MF), vocational rehabilitation counseling (VR), school counseling (SC), and substance abuse counseling (SA). Use the table to compare each school by program type offered, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation status, graduation rate, and net price per year. If you are interested in learning about the steps to become licensed as a professional counselor in Connecticut, read our license requirements page.
|MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|Albertus Magnus College||—||Yes||—||—||—||Yes||59%||$28,774|
|Central Connecticut State University||Yes||—||Yes||Yes||Yes||—||55%||$14,425|
|Gateway Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||11%||$7,629|
|Manchester Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||14%||$7,578|
|Middlesex Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||19%||$3,300|
|Naugatuck Valley Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||12%||$7,087|
|Sacred Heart University||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||73%||$43,907|
|Southern Connecticut State University||Yes||Yes||Yes||—||Yes||Yes||52%||$18,493|
|University of Bridgeport||Yes||—||—||—||Yes||—||44%||$24,324|
|University of Connecticut||Yes||—||—||—||Yes||—||83%||$22,168|
|University of New Haven||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||66%||$33,323|
|University of Saint Joseph||Yes||—||Yes||—||Yes||—||56%||$26,328|
|Western Connecticut State University||Yes||—||—||—||Yes||—||53%||$15,660|
Schools in Connecticut with Counseling Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
Albertus Magnus College is a Catholic institution offering undergraduate and graduate counseling programs. Undergraduate students can complete a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology with a Concentration in Counseling and Mental Health. This 120-credit degree introduces students to the study, assessment, and treatment of mental and behavioral health disorders and requires 42 credits in the major area. Graduates will be well-prepared to continue their professional counseling education at the graduate level. Albertus also offers a 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Counseling with tracks in Mental Health Counseling and Addiction Counseling; a Certificate in Addiction Counseling; and a dual MS in Human Services (MSHS)/Postgraduate Addiction Counseling Certificate (ACC) program. The MS in Clinical Counseling takes approximately three years to complete and offers evening classes to help meet the needs of working professionals. Graduates of the Mental Health Counseling track are qualified to meet the Connecticut Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) educational requirements, while graduates of the Addiction Counseling track meet the academic requirements to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). The two-semester Certificate in Addiction Counseling comprises 18 credits in addiction counseling and is designed to qualify graduates for the LADC credential. The joint MSHS/ACC program can be completed in two years and also prepares students for LADC licensure.
Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) provides prospective counselors with several undergraduate and graduate programs in counseling. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology is offered with a specialization in Mental Health, which introduces students to counseling strategies and psychological research and is designed for students who want to pursue counseling and human service careers. In the senior year, BA students complete a semester-long practicum to gain field experience in a mental health setting in preparation for their graduate studies. SCSU also offers a CACREP-accredited, 60-credit Master of Science (MS) and a 20-credit Post-Graduate Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs will meet state educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license. SCSU also offers graduate degrees and certificates leading to K-12 school counselor certification in Connecticut. Options include a 60-credit Master of Science (MS) program, a 40-credit Post-Master’s Certificate, and a 41-credit Sixth Year Certificate (SYC). The MS and SYC are both offered in a hybrid format and prepare graduates to become Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSPs) through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in addition to school counselor certification. Those hoping to become licensed as Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) in Connecticut may be interested in the two- to three-year Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program. A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Counselor Education and Supervision (CESD) is offered to students who wish to become scholars and leaders who are qualified to be clinical supervisors to counselors. It has three available tracks: counselor education; clinical counseling and supervision; and leadership and management.
Traditional Graduate Programs
Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) offers graduate degrees and certificates in the five major areas of counseling. The Master of Science (MS) in Counselor Education: Clinical Professional Counseling is available with specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation, Addiction Recovery, and Gerontology Counseling, all requiring 60 to 63 credits. Both CCSU’s Clinical Mental Health and Clinical Rehabilitation tracks are accredited by CACREP. The Clinical Professional Counseling specialization provides students with the opportunity to fulfill state academic requirements to become Licensed Professional Counselor Associates (LPC-As), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), and/or Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LADCs), depending on the courses taken. CCSU offers two school counseling tracks through its MS in Counselor Education program: both the 60-credit School Counseling track and the 42-credit Student Development in Higher Education track meet state requirements to become a school counselor. CCSU also offers a 63-credit, COAMFTE-accredited MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, which satisfies Connecticut coursework requirements to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). This degree includes an optional pathway to certification as a School Marriage and Family Therapist. For students who already hold a master’s degree in counseling or marriage and family therapy, CCSU offers a 30-credit Professional Counseling Advanced Official Certificate Program (AOCP). This program allows post-graduate students and professionals to continue their education and prepare for licensure as counselors with the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health or national certification as Rehabilitation Counselors (CRCs).
Fairfield University is a Jesuit institution that offers graduate counseling degrees and certificates. Fairfield offers CACREP-accredited 60-credit Master of Arts (MA) programs and 30-credit Sixth Year Certificates (SYC) of Advanced Study (for students who already have a master’s degree in a counseling field)in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs include coursework in human development, psychopathology, and assessment and meet the state academic requirements for students to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). The school counseling programs meet the requirements to become licensed school counselors in K-12 Connecticut schools. Fairfield also offers a COAMFTE-accredited MA in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), a 60-credit clinical degree fulfilling the state coursework requirements to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The school also offers an Advanced Training Certificate (ATC) in a 12-credit Integration of Spirituality and Religion in Counseling program, a 21-credit School-Based Marriage and Family Therapy program, and a 15-credit Substance Abuse Counseling program, the last of which meets the coursework requirements to take the certification exam to become a licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) in Connecticut.
At the University of Bridgeport, students can complete a 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The program focuses on training prospective students in trauma-informed and evidence-based mental health counseling techniques to meet the needs of their future community. Courses in the degree include Strategies & Techniques of Counseling; Addiction & Treatment; and Research Methods. Graduates of the MS program will meet state coursework requirements to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). Bridgeport also offers a 30-credit Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) to students with a master’s degree in counseling who wish to complete advanced coursework or for students who must complete additional courses to meet licensure requirements.
The University of Connecticut (UConn) offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in School Counseling that meets state coursework requirements to become a school counselor. The degree curriculum focuses on teaching students how to provide age-appropriate counseling and guidance support to students from underrepresented populations. Students must complete 60 credits, including a 150-hour practicum and a 700-hour internship at an urban public school setting, and can complete the degree in two years of full-time study. UConn also offers a 48- to 60-credit Sixth-Year Certificate (SYC) in counseling for students who have already completed a master’s degree in another field of counseling study. UConn’s SYC requires a 100-hour practicum and a 700-hour internship for completion. Coursework in UConn’s MA and SYC programs focuses on cross-cultural and group counseling techniques, appraisal methods, and understanding special needs in the education system. New students are admitted in the fall term.
The University of St. Joseph (USJ) is a Roman Catholic school offering graduate degrees in three types of counseling. The Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by CACREP and meets Connecticut coursework requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Students must complete 60 credits in areas such as counseling processes, group dynamics, and mental health diagnosis. The degree has a cohort format and is available full-time or part-time. The 60-credit MA in School Counseling is also accredited by CACREP and prepares students to become school counselors in K-12 settings upon completion of the program. The School Counseling program develops professional and counseling skills in their students with a focus on individual and community development. Students can also complete a supervised internship to meet the academic requirements for the LPC credential. In addition, USJ offers an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) comprised of 60 credits and a 12-month internship. Graduates of this program will meet state academic requirements for the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) credential. USJ’s MFT program trains students on multicultural and theory-driven approaches in an environment focused on individual student development.
Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) offers several graduate counseling degrees. The Master of Science (MS) in Counselor Education is available with tracks in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Both tracks are accredited by CACREP and take approximately three years to complete. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit degree that fulfills state coursework requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), while the MS in School Counseling is a 60-credit degree for graduates interested in becoming school counselors in Connecticut. WCSU also offers an MS in Addiction Studies that teaches students about mental health and addiction disorders, prevention and intervention strategies, and individual and group counseling skills. The MS in Addiction Studies meets state requirements to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). Undergraduate psychology students at WCSU can enter the MS in Addiction Studies program with Advanced Standing to complete the degree with 30 to 31 credits instead of the usual 37 credits.
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Accredited Programs: https://www.cacrep.org/directory/
3. US News & World Report Best Student Counseling Programs 2022: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/student-counseling-rankings
4. US News & World Report Best Online Master’s in Education Programs Offering Student Counseling and Personnel Services 2022: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/student-counseling-rankings
5. Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, Directory of COAMFTE Accredited Programs: https://coamfte.org/COAMFTE/Directory_of_Accredited_Programs/MFT_Training_Programs.aspx