How To Become a Counselor
More Information on How to Become a Counselor
How Long Does It Take to Become a Counselor?
What Do Counselors Do?
What Career Options Are Available in Counseling?
The Family Institute at Northwestern University
Master of Arts in Counseling
Earn a CACREP-accredited master’s in counseling online from top-9 ranked1 Northwestern University.
- CACREP Accredited
- Earn your MA in Counseling from Northwestern in as few as 18 months
- Accelerated full-time, traditional, or part-time tracks available
New York University
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Master of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness
Aspiring mental health counselors are prepared to pursue licensure with NYU Steinhardt’s MPCAC-accredited online counseling master’s. Students can earn their degree in as few as 21 mos. GRE not req.
- Prepare to become a mental health counselor
- Accredited by the MPCAC
- As few as 21 months to complete
- GRE not required
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology
Pepperdine University’s online Master of Arts in Psychology program prepares students to pursue doctoral study or a career in human services.
- Open to all undergrad majors
- No GRE required
- Can be completed in about 18 months
According to CACREP’s standards, a master’s in counseling degree program should be at least 60 semester credit hours or 90 quarter credit hours, which generally translates to two academic years. Additionally, counselors must apply for licensure, which necessitates completing an exam and supervised postgraduate hours as mandated by the relevant state counseling board.
After earning a master’s in counseling or equivalent from a CACREP-accredited degree program, aspiring LPCs must apply for licensure. Counseling certification and licensure is processed by state boards according to their own requirements, but generally necessitate completing an exam and a number of supervised postgraduate hours. The AASCB advocates for the National Counselor Examination (PDF, 430 KB), which is available monthly, and the American Mental Health Counselors Association advocates for 3,000 hours of supervised practice within two years (PDF, 677 KB).
Yes, online degrees can be equivalent to on-campus degrees. The question is not whether the degree is earned online or on campus, but whether it is properly accredited. The accreditor of postgraduate degrees in counseling, CACREP, accredits 72 online counseling degrees. While CACREP acknowledges that graduation from an accredited program does not guarantee licensure eligibility, most states recognize CACREP standards.
CACREP is the only programmatic accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. While CACREP acknowledges that its accreditation does not guarantee that graduates of accredited programs will qualify for licensure, it is endorsed by AASCB, which counts most state counseling boards among its members. That said, keep in mind that some master’s in counseling degree programs may be in the process of accreditation but have yet to complete it.
Yes, online counseling programs differ in their application criteria and many do not require the Graduate Records Examinations (GRE). Because each master’s in counseling degree program can be unique in its requirements, applicants should speak with an admissions counselor about the necessary qualifications, such as GRE scores.