Counseling psychology is the application of psychology to the solving of the problems of everyday stresses, such as career planning, learning difficulties and family difficulties. This can be contrasted with clinical psychology, which deals with analysis, research and treatment of severe mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
A masters counseling degree is required in order to practice as a professional counselor. So what do psychology counselors do and what is involved in studying counseling at masters level? This page will help you to find out more about these things and to locate suitable schools and programs, especially online. If you wish to explore on-campus psychology programs in a specific state, go to the on campus programs page. If you want to look at doctoral programs, go to the PhD in counseling psychology page.
What do you study in a counseling psychology masters degree?
Counseling psychologists use many techniques to help people to solve interpersonal problems, including one-on-one interviews, group sessions and hypnosis. A good rapport between the counselor and the patient is essential for counseling sessions to be successful, so good interpersonal and communication skills are very important.
A typical masters degree in counseling psychology might include: human growth and development, assessment, counseling theory, interpersonal communications and relationships. individual and group work, professional identity, research methods, social and cultural diversity, and counseling diagnosis. There may be residency requirements.
Some masters in counseling psychology degrees are designed for specific settings, e.g., in an M.S. in Forensic Psychology you take counseling courses to learn more about prevention, intervention, and consultation programs for criminal offenders, and to understand the foundations of crime prevention and restorative justice for victims and offenders.
What jobs can a graduate of counseling psychology get?
The demand for psychology counselors seems to be increasing. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, employment of counseling professionals should grow by about 21% over the next several years. To be licensed to practice as a counselor in the US you need to have a counseling psychology master’s (or PhD) and up to 2,000 hours of supervised clinical internship, in addition to taking a state-administered exam. People who choose this specialization are often planning to pursue a doctoral degree in counseling psychology or in a counseling-related field, but may also pursue counseling, employee assistance, or research positions in social service, health care, business, or educational settings.
As a graduate of a masters degree in counseling psychology you would advise people on how to deal with problems of everyday living, including career or work problems and problems faced in different stages of life. You might be helping people overcome addictions and substance abuse, marriage and domestic issues. Or you might work in K-12 education settings, hospitals, and non-profit organizations. Make sure the program you take is accredited by an accrediting body appropriate for the profession you wish to enter, such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).
List of schools and programs
Welcome to Argosy University
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges: College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.
- Counseling Psychology (MA)
- Counseling Psychology/Marriage & Family Therapy (MA)
As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)
Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.
- Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling
- Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling
- And more...
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:
- Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
- Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
- Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).
- Master of Science in Psychology : Addictions
- Master of Science in Psychology : Applied Behavior Analysis
- Master of Science: Psychology
- And more...
The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country (Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.) and online. TCSPP has been an innovator in the field of psychology and related behavioral science for more than 30 years. TCSPP offers more than 20 degree programs and a wealth of opportunities for international experiences.
- M.A. Counseling Psychology
- M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
- MS in Psychology - Addictions
- MS in Psychology - General Psychology
- MS in Psychology
- And more...
An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. We serve more than 36,000 students from the U.S. and around the world and offer more than 140 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 20 certificate programs.
- MS - Clinical Counseling
- MS - Mental Health Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
- MS - Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy (CACREP-, COAMFTE-accredited)
- And more...
Walden degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals. Submit the form on the right to learn how you can make a change and advance your career.
- M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling - Forensic Counseling
- M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling - Trauma and Crisis
- M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Military Families & Culture
- And more...
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
- MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
- M.Div: Pastoral Counseling
- And more...
Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning. Today, we offer an impressive array of more than 130 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs across five colleges and the Graduate School.
- Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional School Counseling (PSC)
- Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)