Master’s in Counseling Degrees in New York – Explore Online and On-Campus Options

If you are considering pursuing a counseling degree in New York, there are a variety of on-campus and online options available. Different programs offer different specializations, such as clinical mental health counseling, school counseling and community counseling.

Pursuing a degree in counseling in New York may open up a variety of career options, and some programs may provide pathways to licensure. A number of programs offer pathways to becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New York state. There are over 50 master’s programs in New York that offer degrees in counseling, so it’s important to research each program individually to decide which program is right for you.

Start your mental health counseling career by requesting information from our sponsored program:

MPCAC-Accredited Online MA at NYU. GRE Not Req.

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 


In This Article:

Start your school counseling career by requesting information from our sponsored program:

Prepare to Become a School Counselor at NYU Steinhardt

Learn more about NYU Steinhardt’s online MA degree that prepares you to become a school counselor in as few as 18 months. Graduates can pursue certification and employment in pre-K–12 schools. Bachelor’s req.

  • Complete in as few as 18 months.
  • Pursue school counselor certification.
  • Study bilingual school counseling (optional). 
  • GRE scores are not required. 


Education and Other Requirements for Counseling Licensure in New York

To become a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in New York, you must meet education and experience requirements set forward by the state’s Board of Mental Health Practitioners. According to the board, becoming an LMHC requires a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling from a program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or other acceptable accrediting agencies. These programs must include 60 graduate-level credit hours with coursework in key core content areas. You must also complete a supervised internship that meets requirements outlined by the licensing board. Passing the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE) and paying a licensing fee is also required. Some licensed counselors in New York are associated with a professional organization called the American Counseling Association of New York.

Salary and Career Outlook for Counselors in New York

Understanding salary expectations and career outlooks is an important part of your research, to help you determine if becoming a counselor in New York is a good fit for you. Below, you’ll find information about median and mean salaries and job growth rates for various counseling careers based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

School and career counselors

Marriage and family therapists

Rehabilitation counselors

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors

Counselors, all other

  • Annual mean salary (as of May 2022): $49,770
  • Annual mean salary of counselors in New York: $50,930


Below are some frequently asked questions related to pursuing a master’s degree in counseling in New York.

What degree do I need to become a marriage and family therapist in New York?

The New York Board of Mental Health Practitioners issues licenses for marriage and family therapists. To be eligible for licensure, you must have a master’s degree (or higher) that meets board standards, complete 1,500 clock hours of supervised practice in the field and pass an examination.

How much do mental health therapists make in New York?

How much you earn as a mental health therapist will vary based on a variety of factors, including employer, years of experience and more. According to the BLS, mental health therapists (defined by the bureau as substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors) make an average yearly salary of $60,320 in New York.

What jobs can I get with a master’s degree in counseling in New York?

A master’s degree in counseling may provide you with a variety of career options. Some common positions for people with this degree include behavioral therapists, dual-diagnosis clinicians, care coordinators, behavioral health counselors, case managers, grief and bereavement counselors, substance abuse counselors, child and adolescent counselors, program directors, school counselors and licensed mental health counselors.

Is mental health counseling a good career in New York?

Whether or not mental health counseling is a good career for you depends on your interests and professional goals. Earning potential in the state where you intend to practice may also influence your decision to become an LMHC. According to the BLS, New York had the second highest level of employment for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors in 2022. BLS statistics also show the annual salary for this occupation can be higher than the national average (see above).

What is the job outlook for school counselors in New York?

According to the BLS, New York has the third highest level of employment for education, guidance and career counselors. Nationally, the projected job growth rate for school counselors is 5%, faster than the job growth rate for all occupations.

How much does a school counselor make with a master’s degree in New York?

According to data from the BLS, the average yearly salary for school counselors (defined by the bureau as educational, guidance and career counselors and advisors) in New York is $71,160.

Last updated October 2023.