United States Counseling Psychology Graduate Degrees | Psychology Graduate Schools
As a human-centered specialty within the field of psychology, students may find more options for Counseling Psychology Graduate Degrees on-campus programs on campus than in other formats. Choosing a graduate school for counseling psychology means learning in a real classroom, being able to participate and interact with fellow classmates and professors. Counseling psychologists may diagnose and treat mental disorders; learning disabilities; and behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems in a variety of settings including college and university counseling centers, hospitals, independent practices, healthcare settings and organizational counseling groups. If you are someone who thrives in a social learning atmosphere, looking into accredited counseling psychology graduate schools is worth considering.
Counseling Psychology Graduate Degrees: Basics
Counseling Psychology Graduate Degrees are offered as graduate certificates, masters and doctorate degrees in both PsyD programs and PhD in Counseling Psychology. Counseling Psychology is considered a specialty field within psychology but there are also other disciplines that relate to it depending on whether you aspire to practice as a licensed psychologist, counselor or therapist. For instance, some of the programs you can select from include:
- Art Therapy
- Career Counseling
- Counseling Therapy
- Marriage and Family Counseling
- Rehabilitation Counseling
- Substance Abuse Counseling
FACT The field of counseling psychology is characterized by long roots in vocational psychology, prevention, primary interventions, advocacy, and an emphasis on individual differences [i].
Why Choose an Accredited Graduate School for Counseling Psychology?
Keep in mind that the American Psychological Association only accredits doctoral programs in clinical, counseling and school psychology; internships, postdoctoral residency programs and
combination programs[ii]. Accreditation is important since Psychology is a heavily regulated field; most states require those practicing psychology or using the title ‘psychologist’ to be licensed which means taking the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.[iii] According to the APA, “If you wish to pursue licensure, it is important to know that some states require that students have a degree from an APA-accredited program”[iv]
Potential Perks to Earning Your Counseling Psychology Degree On-campus
While it is a personal choice whether to earn your Counseling Psychology Graduate Degree On-campus as opposed to online, there are a few potential benefits to in-person learning. Here are a few points to consider:
Presence: For sure some learning is textbook-oriented but what about the education one receives via demonstration or from the dialogue and participation between students and their professors? This invaluable social component may help, especially in person-centered fields where students are in grad school to fine tune their communication and interpersonal skills as much as study theory. In fact, even online programs are likely to have campus requirements for these reasons.
Convenience: You might actually find that some graduate schools for counseling psychology cater to busy working professionals by offering classes during the evenings or on weekends.
Access: Being on campus you gain access to all the onsite facilities such as libraries, laboratories, student services and whatever cafeteria you might need to get your java as you burn the midnight oil studying hard.
Participation: There may be activities, lectures or faculty related meetings that you can participate in to give you the chance to network.
Which Counseling Psychology Graduate On-Campus Program is Right for you?
While there is some overlap between counseling, therapy and counseling psychology, each of these 3 different paths has different educational requirements. For instance, some of the program listings you might find could include: Psy.D. Marital and Family Therapy, Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Art Therapy Counseling, or Masters in Counseling Psychology.
You need to ask yourself whether you are looking for a Counseling Psychology Graduate Degree that prepares you to seek entry-level employment upon graduation or whether you aspire to research, teach or ultimately use the title “Counseling Psychologist” on your business card. Ultimately, graduate school is the time to leverage your strengths as well as research a topic that you are passionate about. There 3 main directions you might take for your Counseling Psychology Graduate Degree could be considered as:
Counselor (e.g. Rehabilitation counselor or mental health counselor)
Therapist (e.g. Marriage and Family Therapist)
FACT: Sample titles for counseling psychologists include Applied Behavior Science Specialists (ABSS), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Psychotherapist.[v]
Essentially, as in the case with Mental Health Counselors, the typical entry level education required is a Master’s Degree and a license to practice. Licensure is going to mean about 2,000 to 4,000 hours of post-degree supervised clinical practice experience, and then to pass a state exam. The master’s degree is typically in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field.[vi]
Therapist roles, such as the Marriage and Family Therapist have the same education requirements as Licensed Counselors. Those who aspire to research or work in higher education would need a doctoral degree, but a masters in Marriage and Family Therapy degree is considered entry-level work credentials (plus licensing etc.). The masters programs are usually 2-years.
The Counseling Psychologist
Counseling psychologists need a doctoral degree – either the PsyD or the PhD. A counseling psychologist generally spends at least four years earning the degree. The PhD is the more traditional degree; it places more emphasis on research and takes a little longer to complete. The PsyD degree is practice-oriented, but includes far more training in assessments than an LMFT program. In terms of academic requirements, they are generally higher for psychology.
Find Your Graduate School for Counseling Psychology
Once you have chosen what you want to study (program, degree level), you can initiate a search on GradSchools.com. Find Psychology schools and campus-based Counseling Psychology Graduate Degrees and Programs by location. Simply use the city, state or country tabs to browse listings and choose one that aligns with your goals. Often there is a live link so you can visit the schools’ websites, and the convenient ‘request info’ tab allows you to get the details that will help you take that next step and pin down the right graduate school for your graduate degree!
[i] apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling.aspx |[ii] apa.org/search.aspx?query=counseling%20psychology |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-4 |[iv] apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/program-choice.aspx |[v] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3031.03 |[vi] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm
- Bristol, RIBristol, RI
Roger Williams University
Cutting-edge program designed to prepare students to become Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) working with forensic populations.
- Buffalo, NYBuffalo, NY
The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MS in School Counseling will prepare you for New York State Licensure and a career as a mental health or school counselor.
- Palos Heights, ILPalos Heights, IL
Trinity Christian College
Trinity Christian College’s Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program offers rigorous academic and professional training in counseling that combines theory, empirical research, and practical experience.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
This program is for those post master's social workers and other health professionals.
- Chicago, IL
- Paxton, MAPaxton, MA
Anna Maria College
The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program provides an integrated, comprehensive approach to training to help broadly impact your career as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) or Counseling Psychologist (MA)...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of San Francisco
Preparing Culturally Competent Therapists to Help Clients Achieve a More Fulfilling Quality of Life...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The M.A. in Counseling Psychology program is distinctive in that students receive a solid foundation in the principles of clinical psychology, along with the essential diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative skills they need to work with a range of...
- Chicago, IL
- Irvine, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Virginia Beach, VAVirginia Beach, VA
- Glen Allen, VA
- Warrensville Heights, OH
- High Point, NC
- Savannah, GA
- Royal Palm Beach, FL
- Columbia, SC
- San Jose, ILSan Jose, IL
Pacific Oaks College
The Trauma Studies Specialization, within a social ecological context, is keeping with the School of Cultural and Family Psychology’s social justice mission that underscores urgent societal issues that have long term disabling effects on the f...
- Huntsville, TXHuntsville, TX
Sam Houston State University
Pursue licensure as an LPC or LMF...
- Emporia, KSEmporia, KS
Emporia State University
Master of Science in Art Therapy Counseling.
- Newton, MANewton, MA
William James College
The Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offers 5 areas of emphasis, including a generalist track, couples & family therapy (MFT), expressive arts therapy, forensic & correctional counseling, and health & behavioral medicine.
- Edinboro, PAEdinboro, PA
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Four tracks are available: School Counseling; College Counseling; Rehabilitation Counseling; and Community Counseling.
- Center City, MNCenter City, MN
Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies
This program provides you with a strong foundation in addiction treatment, with advanced course work in mental health counseling.
- Center City, MN
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
By educating art and dance therapy students to become accomplished clinicians, graduates of the Creative Arts Therapy department help individuals with mental health issues reach their full potential.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
Mental health counselors work alongside psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers to provide counseling services to people from all walks of life.
- Caldwell, NJCaldwell, NJ
M.A. in Counseling with Mental Health Counseling/Art Therapy Specialization – CACREP-Accredited; AATA-approved
The M.A. in Mental Health Counseling Art Therapy Specialization is a uniquely designed 63-credit interdisciplinary program that prepares students to effectively function as mental heath counselors and art therapists in a variety of human service settings.
- Caldwell, NJ
- Loma Linda, CALoma Linda, CA
Loma Linda University
The MS in Counseling is a 2-year, 90-quarter credit program with options to specialize in Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC), Pupil Personnel Services in School Counseling (PPS), or both.
- Loma Linda, CA
- Omaha, NEOmaha, NE
Do you want to become one of a very special group of people who works in the helping profession of counseling? If you do, then Creighton University ma...
- Spring Arbor, MISpring Arbor, MI
Spring Arbor University
The Master of Arts in Counseling is a multidisciplinary program that provides comprehensive instruction for students interested in understanding and t...
- Villanova, PAVillanova, PA
Two tracks are offered: Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
City College of New York, The
The Department of Psychology offers a Master of Arts Degree in Mental Health Counseling with a focus on prevention and community development.