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How do I get into mental health counseling graduate programs?

Question:

How do I get into mental health counseling graduate programs?

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Answer:

As you look into mental health counseling programs, you should consider the types of counseling you wish to perform. Since licensed counselors must meet state requirements for licensure, knowing which program will satisfy the requirements may help you meet licensing prerequisites sooner. For instance, if you are interested in working with children or with families, a master's of education in marriage and family therapy degree program would include the required course work and observations for licensure.

Master's degrees in counseling can either be Master's of Arts (MA) or Master's of Science (MS) degrees. An MA degree can indicate a stronger focus of study on the liberal arts, whereas an MS degree could indicate a stronger focus on research and the science behind the brain, behavior, and psychological processes. The route of the degree that you will experience will depend on the program that you choose but the academic requirements can be very similar. Not all people who work in counseling have a master's degree specifically in counseling or therapy. Licensed clinical social workers and people with a master's in social work can also conduct counseling within their professional roles.

Prerequisites for admission may vary between schools, so you should check for specific academic requirements at your preferred schools. Generally, you will need academic references and scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) to complete your application.

For more information about mental health counseling graduate programs, check out this article: Mental Health Masters Degree Programs.

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