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Community Counseling Master's Degree

If you are interested in helping those in your community or school through counseling, a master's degree in community counseling might be for you. In this article, you can find out the usual course offerings and requirements for a master's program in this field.

What Is a Community Counseling Master's Program Like?

You can typically graduate from a master's degree program in community counseling in 2-3 years. This type of program commonly prepares you to sit for counseling licensing exams and focuses on research. In order to graduate, most programs require that you pass both an oral and a written comprehensive exam. These tests are based on reading lists developed with the help of an academic advisor. However, some programs offer a thesis option as well.

Program Length2-3 years
Course SubjectsSubstance abuse, psychotherapy, mental health principles, psychology of disability, adolescent development
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree, GRE scores
Class FormatOn-campus and online options are available
Median Salary (2018)$56,310 (for school and career counselors)*
Job Outlook (2018-2028)8% growth (for school and career counselors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Learn?

Coursework in a community counseling master's degree program combines instruction in psychology and research methodology with training in counseling techniques specific to community counseling. For example, you could learn about quantitative data management, statistics, behavioral psychology and community dynamics. The following are examples of other classes you might find in the curriculum:

  • Therapeutic counseling
  • Counseling theory
  • Mental health principles
  • Psychotherapy for children
  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Substance abuse
  • Psychology of disability
  • Adolescent development

What Are the Admission Requirements?

You need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission. Other application requirements could include a personal essay, critical writing samples, Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores and letters of recommendation. Some schools may also enforce GPA requirements or ask that you have completed certain classes before applying. Additionally, you can expect to submit a resume, and some admissions committees may require you to take part in an interview before being admitted.

Can I Earn a Master's Degree in Community Counseling Online?

Master's degree programs in community counseling are offered in both online and on-campus formats at a number of accredited universities. Online classes might require you to submit homework digitally, participate in chat sessions or use Internet-based discussion forums. You also need to meet minimum technical requirements and have access to the Internet.

What Is the Job Outlook and Pay?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the employment rate for School and Career counselors is expected to rise 8% between 2018 and 2028, faster than average. School and Career counselors earned a median annual salary of $56,310 per year as of May 2018, according to the BLS.