Counseling Psychology Master's Degree Programs

Get an overview of admission and graduation requirements for master's degree programs in counseling psychology. Find out what kind of job you can obtain, and get the career outlook and earning potential for jobs in this field. Schools offering Addictions & Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Do I Need to Apply to a Master's Degree Program in Counseling Psychology?

In order to enroll in a master's degree program in counseling psychology, you can expect to submit college transcripts, letters of recommendation and scores from the Graduate Records Exam (GRE). Some schools may enforce a minimum GPA requirement. Additionally, you may need to submit critical writing samples, and some admissions committees prefer students with research or professional experience.

What Will I Learn?

Master's degree programs in counseling psychology train you in industry-standard counseling techniques as well as in advanced psychology principles. Many programs focus on research and teach you how to carry out psychology studies. Some programs require you to complete clinical hours before graduating, allowing you to gain professional experience. Additionally, you could also choose a specialization, such as creativity and innovation, transpersonal health, spiritual wellness, educational counseling or life coaching.

This degree takes 2-3 years to complete and culminates in a thesis or comprehensive exam. You can earn this degree on a traditional college campus or over the Internet. The following are examples of classes you might find in the curriculum:

  • Psychology of diversity
  • Career counseling
  • Sex offender evaluation
  • Family counseling
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Substance abuse and treatment
  • Research methodologies

What Jobs Can I Get?

With a master's degree in counseling psychology, you could be eligible for a number of counseling careers. You could work as an educational counselor, career counselor, rehabilitation counselor, mental health therapist or substance abuse counselor. The scope of your professional responsibilities would likely depend on the area of psychology in which you work.

As of May 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual salary of $53,380 for education, vocational and guidance counselors; $45,720 for family therapists; $38,150 for mental health counselors; $32,350 for rehabilitation therapists; and $38,120 for substance abuse and behavioral counselors ( Additionally, the BLS reported an overall employee growth rate of 18% for counselors between 2008 and 2018.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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