Counseling Degrees and Programs in New Jersey
The Garden State of New Jersey has several colleges and universities offering counseling degree programs in the major areas of practice: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. If you are interested in a counseling career in New Jersey, you will need to choose a school with a counseling program in the area you’d like to practice. Choosing the right program is an important first step because most counseling careers require a degree. Furthermore, nearly all of the counseling degrees offered in New Jersey are at the graduate level, as a master’s degree in counseling is often required for licensure. In addition to numerous on-campus programs, working professionals and busy students may be interested in the online or hybrid counseling degrees offered in New Jersey that offer greater flexibility.
- There are 15 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 New Jersey.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in New Jersey, 1 offers an associate’s degree, 0 offer a bachelor’s degree, 0 offer a certificate, and 15 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- 3 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
- 14 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- 1 school offers a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
- 13 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
- 4 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
- 3 counseling schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.3
- No schools ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
- 1 school ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
- Across 12 schools, 23 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2
Comparison of New Jersey Counseling Schools and Programs
Below, we have compiled a table that allows you to compare the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in New Jersey offering programs in the five major areas of counseling: 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 (*). You can also compare schools by program type offered, graduation rate, and net price per year. To learn more about New Jersey counseling licensure, review our license requirements page.
|MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus||Yes||Yes*||—||—||—||—||54%||$22,882|
|Georgian Court University||Yes||Yes*||—||—||—||—||54%||$22,757|
|Institute of Counseling and Psychoanalytic Studies||No||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Montclair State University||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||Yes*||71%||$17,086|
|New Jersey City University||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||—||39%||$12,476|
|Saint Peter’s University||—||—||—||—||Yes||—||50%||$13,246|
|Seton Hall University||—||Yes||Yes||—||Yes||—||70%||$29,974|
|The College of New Jersey||Yes||Yes*||Yes*||—||Yes*||Yes||86%||$23,414|
|William Paterson University of New Jersey||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||—||52%||$14,992|
Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in New Jersey
Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019
- The College of New Jersey (#104)
- Rutgers University-New Brunswick (#194)
- Rowan University (#243)
US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019
- Rutgers University (#20 tie)
Schools in New Jersey with Counseling Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
Rutgers University offers prospective counselors the opportunity to earn a degree in several of the main areas of counseling. The Associate of Science (AS) in Psychosocial Rehabilitation teaches students the skills and knowledge necessary to gain entry-level employment in mental health or rehabilitation settings upon graduation. The degree is offered full- or part-time in collaboration with community colleges across the state and admits new students twice per year. Students in the AS program complete 61-66 credits including 480 hours of clinical practicum to gain first-hand experience. Rutgers also offers a CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; a CACREP-accredited Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling; and a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling (MRC). A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychiatric Rehabilitation with a focus in Counselor Education and Supervision is also available to individuals interested in teaching and research careers in rehabilitation counseling.
Traditional Graduate Programs
The Florham Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that is accredited by CACREP and teaches students the skills needed to work in community mental health organizations, hospitals, and other related settings. Students complete 60 credits, including courses like Counseling Skills and Practices; Crisis Intervention; and Multicultural Counseling, and complete a comprehensive exam at the end of the program. Additionally, students can choose to complete three more credits to earn a specialization in either school counseling or addiction counseling. The degree takes two and a half years if completed full-time. Upon completion of the degree, students will meet the educational requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey.
Kean University has numerous counseling degree options for prospective students. The Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling offers specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling. The 60-credit MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by CACREP and meets state educational requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey. The CACREP-accredited MA in School Counseling is offered as either a 48-credit program leading to school counseling certification or as a 60-credit program that meets the educational requirements for both school counseling and LPC licensure. The MA in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling has a 48-credit curriculum that can be applied towards the coursework requirements for Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) licensure. Kean University also offers one of the few MA in Marriage and Family Therapy degrees that meets the coursework requirements for licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the state.
Montclair State University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling degree with several CACREP-accredited specialization options that can be taken on a full- or part-time basis. The degree teaches students to provide counseling services to diverse populations and includes several supervised work experiences. The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit degree that meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey; the MA in School Counseling is a 48-credit degree that trains students to work in K-12 school settings and meets state requirements for school counselor certification; and the 60-credit MA in Addiction Counseling is the only CACREP-accredited addiction counseling program in the state and meets coursework requirements for LPC and various addiction counseling credentials in New Jersey. Montclair State University also offers a CACREP-accredited Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counseling; Post-Master’s Certificates in Advanced Counseling and School Counseling; and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) Certificate.
At New Jersey City University (NJCU), students can earn a Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with a specialization in either Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. Both tracks are accredited by CACREP and meet New Jersey educational requirements for licensure in their respective areas. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree is comprised of 60 credits, including nine credits of practicum and internship. This degree prepares students to work in mental health settings in hospitals, community organizations, and in-patient facilities or in private practice. Students in the School Counseling track complete 48 credits, including nine credits of practicum and internship, and learn how to provide age-appropriate guidance and counseling services to students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Students in both programs work with academic advisors to choose courses and plan for practicum and internships.
At The College of New Jersey, students can choose from several graduate counseling degrees. The CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit program with an optional concentration in Addiction Counseling. All students complete 33 core credits, 15 clinical mental health counseling credits, and 12 electives. Depending on the courses taken, this degree meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey. While the college no longer offers a standalone degree in marriage and family therapy, students can take electives in this area of counseling if they plan to seek licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The 48-credit MA in School Counseling is accredited by CACREP and includes 600 hours of supervised internship. Graduates of the program meet state educational requirements to become a school counselor in the state.
Online and Hybrid Programs
The Institute of Counseling and Psychoanalytic Studies (ICPS) in Livingston, NJ offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that is approved by the New Jersey Professional Counseling Examiners Committee for the preparation of professional counselors. The program boasts small class sizes with dedicated faculty who have clinical experience. Up to 20 students are admitted each year. Accepted students may choose to study on-campus or in a virtual environment with synchronous classes. Prospective students who are currently on staff at mental health agencies may qualify for a tuition discount. The ICPS is part of the nonprofit Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, which holds accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE). Related programs offered on the ICPS campus include an MA in Psychoanalysis and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Mental Health Counseling.
Prospective school counselors who would like greater flexibility in their degree experience may be interested in the CACREP-accredited, 48-credit Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in School Counseling at Monmouth University. The degree can be completed online or in combination with classes at the West Long Branch campus and leads to school counselor certification in New Jersey. Students gain experience by completing 700 hours of practicum and internship in three different settings throughout the program. New students are admitted on a rolling basis for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The university also offers an on-campus, CACREP-accredited, 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that meets state coursework requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license. Classes are offered in the evenings and on weekends to meet the scheduling needs of working professionals.
Seton Hall University is a Roman Catholic institution located in South Orange that offers an online Master of Arts (MA) in School Counseling and an online MA in Professional Counseling. The 48-credit MA in School Counseling degree prepares graduates to provide emotional, social, and behavioral support to students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The degree can be completed in as little as two years over eight semesters with on-campus residencies required at the beginning of each academic year. The MA in Professional Counseling is comprised of 60 credits and takes 10 semesters to complete with two on-campus residencies. Seton Hall University also offers these degrees on-campus as well as a Master of Science (MS) in Marriage and Family Therapy; a post-MA School Counseling certificate; and Educational Specialist (EdS) programs for students who already have a master’s degree in counseling and wish to be trained in another counseling area.
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