Top Schools for a Master's in Mental Health Counseling

Learn about the top schools that provide master's degree programs in mental health counseling. Get school rankings, degree options and location information, and compare similarities and differences to make an educated decision.

School Information

Below, you'll find info on top universities across the U.S. that offer mental health counseling master's degree programs. Degree options include Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Education (M.Ed.). These programs typically provide preparation for state or national certification in mental health counseling. Many of the programs include practicum and field experience requirements. Keep reading to learn more.

Top Master's Programs in Mental Health Counseling

1. Boston University in Boston, MA

Boston University (BU) was ranked 56th in a 2011 list of the nation's top universities by U.S. News & World Report. The medical school's M.A. in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine program is unique for its focus on neuroscience and behavioral medicine; it was the first of its kind in the nation.

BU is comprised of the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus in South Boston, which houses the School of Medicine and its affiliated teaching hospital, Boston Medical Center (BMC). Many students complete the required practicum and internship at BMC in programs such as veteran's administration, pediatric obesity and adult outpatient psychiatry. Graduates are eligible to sit for the state counseling certification exam and the National Counseling Exam (NCE).

2. Clemson University in Clemson, SC

Clemson University is a public research university that was listed as 64th in the nation in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report ranking. The Princeton Review also ranked Clemson University number five for happiest students in its 2011 edition of 'The Best 373 Colleges.'

The Eugene T. Moore School of Education offers a 2-year program leading to a M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health. Counselor training and preparation for certification through the NCE are the main objectives of the program. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs; its field experience requirement is designed according to the council's guidelines. Specialized courses include human growth and development, addictions counseling and appraisal procedures.

List of U.S. Schools with Mental Health Counseling Master's Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Clemson University The clinical mental health counseling program requires a final written exam Clemson, SC
George Washington University Advanced standing may be granted to students with previous relevant coursework Washington, DC
Georgia State University Program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for clinical mental health counseling Atlanta, GA
New York University Ranked #32 among best national universities in 2014, per U.S. News & World Report New York, NY
Southern Connecticut State University Applicants without sufficient background in psychology may need to complete prerequisite coursework New Haven, CT
Syracuse University The National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) Professional Identity Award was granted to the Counseling and Human Services Department in 2013 Syracuse, NY
Touro College Applicants may be invited for an interview; an on-the-spot writing sample is typically requested as part of the interview process New York, NY
University of Louisville Master's program in clinical mental health prepares students for careers as professional counselors; counseling psychology program prepares students for careers as Licensed Psychological Associates in Kentucky Louisville, KY
University of Pennsylvania Working students can keep full-time employment while enrolled in the M.S.Ed. Executive Program in School and Mental Health Counseling Philadelphia, PA
University of South Florida Master's degree students are admitted to the non-thesis track and must apply for admission to the thesis track Tampa, FL

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