Counseling Degrees and Programs in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, there are many colleges and universities that offer programs in the five major areas of counseling: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. To begin a counseling career in Massachusetts, you will first need to choose the right college or university because most counseling careers require a degree. The institutions in Massachusetts offer counseling degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, but you may find that master’s degrees in counseling are most common, as this type of degree is often required for licensure. In addition, many schools in Massachusetts offer online counseling degrees or hybrid programs that combine online courses with some on-campus requirements. These degrees can provide more flexibility for busy students or students who do not live nearby.
- There are 20 not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities that offer a program in marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, and/or vocational rehabilitation counseling in Massachusetts.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in Massachusetts, 0 offer an associate’s degree, 2 offer a bachelor’s degree, 3 offer a certificate, and 19 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- 2 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
- 16 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- 4 schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
- 13 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
- 6 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
- 5 counseling schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.3
- 1 school ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
- 3 schools ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
- Across 6 schools, 8 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2
Comparison of Massachusetts Counseling Schools and Programs
We have created the table below to help you compare the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in Massachusetts that offer counseling programs in these five areas: mental health counseling (MH), marriage and family therapy (MFT), vocational rehabilitation counseling (VR), school counseling (SC), and substance abuse counseling (SA). The table indicates the schools that offer programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); CACREP-accredited programs are denoted with an asterisk (*). Keep in mind that some schools offer a joint program in clinical mental health counseling and clinical rehabilitation counseling, so check with the school for more information on the programs offered. Use the table to compare schools by program type offered, graduation rate, and net price per year. To learn more about the steps required to become a counselor in Massachusetts, visit our license requirements page.
|MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|American International College||—||—||—||—||Yes||—||47%||$21,201|
|Bay Path University||—||Yes||—||—||—||Yes||59%||$21,100|
|Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis Inc||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||N.Av.||N.Av.|
|Bridgewater State University||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||—||60%||$16,750|
|Fitchburg State University||—||Yes||Yes||—||Yes||—||61%||$15,309|
|Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Hamilton||Yes||Yes*||—||—||—||—||N.Av.||N.Av.|
|Salem State University||—||—||—||—||Yes||—||58%||$17,782|
|Springfield College-Regional, Online, and Continuing Education||—||Yes||—||—||—||Yes||N.Av.||N.Av.|
|University of Massachusetts-Boston||Yes||Yes*||—||Yes*||Yes||—||48%||$12,412|
|William James College||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||N.Av.||N.Av.|
Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Massachusetts
Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019
- Harvard University (#12)
- Boston College (#57)
- Boston University (#163)
- Springfield College (#239)
- Fitchburg State University (#367)
US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019
- Boston College (#10)
US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019
- University of Massachusetts Boston (#15 tie)
- Springfield College (#20 tie)
- Assumption College (#37 tie)
Schools in Massachusetts with Counseling Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
Students who are just beginning their studies in counseling may be interested in the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Counseling offered at Lesley University. The degree is comprised of 121 quarter credits, including 400 hours of supervised internship, and takes four years of full-time study to complete. Graduates of the program may seek employment in entry-level mental health settings or complete further study at the graduate level. Lesley University offers an accelerated dual-degree program that combines the BS in Counseling with the Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit program offered on a full- or part-time basis and meets state educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). An MA in School Counseling is also offered that meets LMHC and Massachusetts school counseling certification requirements.
Springfield College offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies with specializations in Addictions and Mental Health, Children’s Developmental Services, and Medical Rehabilitation. With this degree, graduates can look for entry-level employment in government agencies, community organizations, and other mental health service providers. The CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) in Rehabilitation Counseling offers more advanced study in this area of counseling and can be combined with additional coursework to meet state educational requirements for the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) license. Springfield College also offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling and an M.Ed. or a Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the Springfield campus or through a hybrid of weekend and online classes at the Boston campus.
Traditional Graduate Programs
The CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine at Boston University (BU) offers a unique curriculum influenced by behavioral medicine and neuroscience. Because the program is housed in BU’s School of Medicine, students are able to complete practicum and internship experiences in a wide range of medical and mental health settings, such as hospitals and out-patient facilities. The degree is comprised of 60 credits and takes two years of full-time study to complete. BU also offers a Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Counseling with specializations in School Counseling; Child & Adolescent Mental Health; and Sport Psychology. This degree takes two years to complete full-time with new students admitted in the fall term. The School Counseling specialization aims to meet state requirements for school counseling licensure in Massachusetts.
Bridgewater State University offers two CACREP-accredited master’s degrees in counseling. The 60-credit Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling boasts small class sizes and collaboration with academic advisors. The program admits new students in the fall and spring terms and requires applicants to attend an admissions interview. Graduates of this degree will meet Massachusetts’ educational requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). The 60-credit M.Ed. in School Counseling offers specializations in either PreK-8 or grades 5-12. Students study age-appropriate developmental theories and counseling techniques and are eligible for licensure upon completion of the program. A Post-Master’s School Counseling Licensure program is also available to applicants who already have a master’s degree in counseling and would like to provide school counseling services.
Fitchburg State University offers a Master of Science (MS) in Counseling with a concentration in either Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. When started in the summer term, students can complete the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in approximately two years including the required internship. The program consists of 60 credits and is designed to meet state educational requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). The MS in School Counseling is also comprised of 60 credits and offers specializations in either elementary (PreK-8) or secondary (5-12) grades. Graduates will meet Massachusetts licensure requirements for school counseling in their chosen area. The university also offers Certificates of Advanced Study in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling that are open to applicants who already have a master’s degree in a related field. Certificate course requirements vary and are determined in collaboration with an academic advisor.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Although Bay Path University is a women-only institution at the undergraduate level, their graduate degrees are open to all students, including online offerings. All coursework in the 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health can be completed online or in combination with classes at the Concord, East Longmeadow, or Sturbridge campuses in Massachusetts. Students in this program can also complete an optional concentration in Advanced Trauma-Informed Counseling; Alcohol and Drug Use Counseling; or Early Intervention. New students can begin the program in February, June, or October each year and will meet Massachusetts educational requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) upon graduation. Bay Path University also offers online graduate certificates in Advanced Trauma-Informed Counseling and Early Intervention.
Most programs at Cambridge College use hybrid methods that combine online classes with day, weekend, or evening on-campus options. The 60-credit Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling focuses on counseling skills with individuals and groups and is designed for students who would like to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts. In the 48-credit M.Ed. in School Counseling degree, students choose to focus on either the PreK-8 or 5-12 school settings and, upon graduation, will meet state requirements for licensure. Alternatively, the 66-credit M.Ed. in Mental Health and School Counseling enables graduates to meet the coursework requirements for LMHC and school counseling licensure in Massachusetts. Cambridge College also has an 18-credit post-master’s Rehabilitation Counseling Certificate and a 19-credit Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate open to applicants with or without a bachelor’s degree.
The University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass-Boston) offers several counseling programs across a range of practice areas. The online Master of Science (MS) in Mental Health Counseling is comprised of 60 credits in counseling theories and techniques and meets the state educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). While most coursework is completed online, students must attend a two-week residency in Boston during the summer. The program has a cohort structure in which students beginning the program together progress through the curriculum together. Other online degrees at UMass-Boston include the 60-credit Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling, which meets state educational requirements for school counseling licensure; the 60-credit CACREP-accredited MS in Rehabilitation Counseling; and a non-credit Addictions Counselor Education Program Certificate.
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Accredited Programs: https://www.cacrep.org/directory/
3. Kiplinger’s Best College Values, 2019: https://www.kiplinger.com/fronts/special-report/college-rankings/index.html
4. US News & World Report Best Student Counseling Programs, 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/student-counseling-rankings
5. US News & World Report Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs, 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/rehabilitation-counseling-rankings