Massachusetts Master’s in Counseling Programs

Alexander BuCher

Written by Alexander BuCher

Licensed Professional Counselor | Youngstown State University

Updated & Fact Checked: 11/28/23

Massachusetts is a state in the Northeastern United States. Home to some of the richest history in the country, Massachusetts is small and has a high population density. The Boston Metropolitan Area is the 11th largest. For these reasons, Massachusetts must train new mental health counselors. Thankfully, there are many master’s in counseling programs in the state that are equipped to meet this need. According to O*Net Online, there will be an increase in the need for counselors by 22% in Massachusetts. This is higher than the national rate of growth at 18%.

Master of Counseling Programs in Massachusetts

According to the Massachusetts State Statute, applicants for licensure must have completed 60 credit hours of graduate-level coursework in counseling or a related field. The statute also states that “all degrees and certifications must be from Recognized Educational Institutions.” While there is no requirement for accreditation, many programs in the state are online, CACREP-Accredited, or do not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Online Master of Counseling Programs in Massachusetts

There are many benefits to pursuing a Master of Counseling program online. Some of those benefits include course flexibility and continuous access to course materials. Another benefit is exploring the Freedom Trail or Lobster while attending class. Some programs in Massachusetts are based online and meet the requirements for licensure in the state.

  • Program: Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Accreditation: N/A
  • 60 Credit Hours
  • Online and In-person program located in North Andover, Massachusetts
  • Tuition: $676 per credit hour plus fees for Online Program
  • Tuition: $1069 per credit hour plus fees for the In-person program

CACREP-Accredited Master of Counseling Programs in Massachusetts

There are many benefits to attending a CACREP-accredited Master of Counseling program. The greatest benefit is that you will meet the licensing requirements for most states. There is also the benefit of uniformity among other counseling programs nationwide. Three programs in Massachusetts are CACREP-accredited.

Massachusetts Online, No GRE & CAREP Accredited Counseling Masters Programs

SpecialtyUniversity NameDegreeCityStateAccreditationModalityGRE Required?Program Length
Rehabilitation CounselingAssumption UniversityM.A.WorcesterMACACREPHybridNo GRE Required2 Years
Clinical Mental Health CounselingBoston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of MedicineM.A.BostonMACACREP
Clinical Mental Health CounselingBridgewater State UniversityM.Ed.BridgewaterMACACREP
School CounselingBridgewater State UniversityM.Ed.BridgewaterMACACREPCampusNo GRE Required2 Years
Clinical Mental Health CounselingGordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-HamiltonM.A.South HamiltonMACACREP
Rehabilitation CounselingSpringfield CollegeM.Ed./M.S.SpringfieldMACACREPCampusNo GRE Required2 Years
Rehabilitation CounselingUniversity of Massachusetts BostonM.S.BostonMACACREPHybridNo GRE Required2 Years
Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation CounselingUniversity of Massachusetts BostonM.S.BostonMACACREP
Clinical Mental Health CounselingNew England CollegeM.S.BurlingtonMANECHEOnline & CampusGRE Required2 Years
Clinical Mental Health CounselingMerrimack CollegeM.SNorth AndoverMACACREPCampusNo GRE Required2 Years
Counseling PsychologyFramingham State UniversityM.A.FraminghamMACACREPCampusGRE Required3 Years
Clinical Mental Health CounselingCambridge CollegeM.Ed.BostonMACACREPCampusNo GRE Required2 Years
Clinical Mental Health CounselingTrustees of Boston CollegeM.A.Chestnut HillMACACREPCampusNo GRE Required2 Years
Mental Health CounselingSuffolk UniversityM.SBostonMACACREP2 Years
Mental Health CounselingWestfield State UniversityM.A. WestfieldMACACREPHybrid60 credit hours
Counseling with a focus on clinical mental health counseling and addictions counselingRegis CollegeM.A.WestonMACACREPCampusNo GRE Required60 credit hours
Clinical Mental Health CounselingLesley UniversityM.ACambridgeMA CACREPCampusNo GRE Required60 credit hours
Clinical Mental Health Counseling William James CollegeM.ANewtonMA CACREPCampusNo GRE Required2 Years
Clinical Mental Health CounselingBay Path UniversityM.S LongmeadowMA CACREPOnlineNo GRE Required
Counseling PsychologyAnna Maria CollegeMA/LMHC PaxtonMA CACREPCampus36-credit or 60-credit
Counseling (with specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling)Springfield CollegeM.S.SpringfieldMACACREPOnlineNo GRE Required

No GRE Required Master of Counseling Programs in Massachusetts

The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is a standardized test used to determine the aptitude of potential college admitants. However, many people get anxious about standardized tests or do not want their college admission based on test scores. There are a total of 18 programs in Massachusetts that do not require the GRE. There are six programs in the Online Programs category that do not require the GRE. Three programs under the CACREP-Accredited Programs category do not require the GRE. 

None of the programs on any list in this article require the GRE, but some present that it may be used in addition to other admission documents.

  • Program: Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling
  • Accreditation: N/A
  • 60 Credit Hours
  • In-person program located in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tuition: $7,268.28 per 9-credit-hour semester for Massachusetts residents
  • Tuition: $14,175.45 per 9-credit-hour semester for non-residents of Massachusetts
  • Program: Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Accreditation: N/A
  • 60 Credit Hours
  • In-person/Hybrid program located in Weston, Massachusetts
  • Tuition: $930 per credit hour plus fees
  • Program: Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling
  • Accreditation: N/A
  • 60 Credit Hours
  • In-person program located in Westfield, Massachusetts
  • Tuition: $1,194 per 3-credit-hour course or $398 per credit hour plus fees

Most Affordable Master of Counseling Program in Massachusetts

Choosing an affordable counseling program is, in many cases, just as important as choosing an academically sound program. Under the Online Programs category, the most affordable program is located at the University of Massachusetts Boston – Online for a price of $575 per credit hour plus fees. The most affordable program under the CACREP-Accredited Programs category is located at Bridgewater State University for a price of $502.25 per credit hour plus fees. Finally, the most affordable program located under the No GRE Required Programs category is at Fitchburg State University for a price of $347 per credit hour plus fees. 

Therefore, the most affordable mental health counseling program in Massachusetts is located at Fitchburg State University.

Accelerated Master of Counseling Programs in Massachusetts

Due to the nature of most mental health counseling programs, there is usually a requirement for the programs to be a certain length under state statute. Therefore, all programs on this list contain a minimum of 60 credit hours except for the programs at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. The requirement at each program is 81 credit hours and 66 credit hours respectively.

Required Courses for Licensure in Massachusetts

According to the Massachusetts State Statute, some courses are required to obtain licensure. The courses must follow ten specific content areas. The following content areas are required:

  • Counseling Theory
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Psychopathology 
  • Social and Cultural Foundations
  • Clinical Skills
  • Group Work
  • Special Treatment Issues
  • Appraisal
  • Research and Evaluation 
  • Professional Orientation

The counseling program must also contain a practicum containing 65 hours, an internship containing 285 hours, and elective coursework. The elective coursework may fall under the following categories:

  • Best Practices for Maintaining and Terminating Counseling and Psychotherapy 
  • Consultation Skills
  • Outreach and Prevention Strategies
  • Diagnosis and Treatment Issues
  • Working With Special Populations
  • Professional Identity and Practice Issues, including historical perspectives
  • Mental Health Regulations and Policy
  • Management of Community Mental Health Programs

Counseling Licensure Requirements in Massachusetts

The Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions sets the requirements for mental health licensure. The only stage of licensure in Massachusetts is the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) license. 

To obtain your LMHC license you must:

Massachusetts Counseling FAQs (Obtained via the Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions)

How many hours of continuing education are required for licensure renewal? 

30 hours with three hours in ethics and three hours in anti-discrimination. There is an additional three hours of training specific to supervisors who supervise students, interns, and others. 

How many hours of counseling are required to obtain licensure? 

A total of 3,360 hours are required including 960 direct client contact hours. It is also required that you receive 130 hours of supervision of which 75 must come from individual supervision. 

How many hours are required for practicum and internship students? 

The practicum must include 40 hours of direct client contact and 25 hours of supervision. The internship requires 240 hours of direct client contact and 45 hours of supervision.

How Much Does a Mental Health Counselor Make in Massachusetts

According to O*Net Online, the average salary for mental health counselors in Massachusetts is $52,410. This is higher than the national average which is listed at $49,710.

How to Become a School Counselor in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education sets the requirements for school counselor licensure in the state. There are two stages of school counselor licensure in Massachusetts. The first stage is the initial license and the second is the professional license. 

To obtain the initial license one must:

  • Obtain a master’s degree in counseling 
  • Subject Matter Knowledge as outlined in Subject Matter Knowlege Guidelines
  • A practicum of 450 hours in an education setting
  • Passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test\

To obtain the professional license one must:

  • Possess an Initial License
  • Three years of employment as a school counselor
  • Completion of one of the following:
    • A total of 60 credits of graduate coursework that may include credits earned in a master’s degree program for the Initial license in a discipline appropriate to the license sought, including but not limited to school counseling, mental health counseling, school psychology, or clinical psychology
    • Achievement and maintenance of certification or licensure from either the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) or the National Board for School Counseling

How Much Does a School Counselor Make in Massachusetts

According to O*Net Online, the average salary for school counselors in Massachusetts is $76,500. This is significantly higher than the national average of $60,140.

How to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Massachusetts

There are three types of licensure for substance abuse counselors in Massachusetts. Those three licenses are Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor I (LADC I), Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (LADC II), and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor Assistant. The Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Addiction Services and the Department of Public Health create the requirements for each license.

Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor I (LADC I):

A LADC I is a person licensed by the Department to conduct an independent practice of alcohol and drug counseling, and to provide supervision to other alcohol and drug counselors. The requirements to obtain this licensure include:

  • Master’s or doctoral degree in behavioral sciences
  • A minimum of 270 hours of training that addresses the full range of education related to substance addiction counseling
  • 300 hours of supervised practical training
  • 6,000 hours of supervised alcohol and drug counseling work experience
  • Submit a passing score on the required examination
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Payment of the required licensing fee

Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (LADC II):

A person licensed by the Department to practice alcohol and drug counseling under clinical supervision. The requirements to obtain this licensure include: 

  • A minimum of 270 hours of training that addresses the full range of education related to substance addiction counseling
  • 300 hours of supervised practical training
  • 6,000 hours of supervised alcohol and drug counseling work experience (4,000 if the applicant holds a bachelor’s degree)
  • Submit a passing score on the required examination
  • Show proof of high school diploma or equivalent
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Payment of the required licensing fee

Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor Assistant:

A person licensed by the Department to provide recovery-based services under direct clinical and administrative supervision. The requirements to obtain this licensure include: 

  • Show proof of high school diploma or equivalent
  • 2,000 hours of work experience in the alcohol or drug addiction field
  • A minimum of 50 hours of training that addresses the full range of education related to substance addiction counseling
  • Submit a passing score on the required examination
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Payment of the required licensing fee

How Much Does a Substance Abuse Counselor Make in Massachusetts

According to O*Net Online, the average salary for a substance abuse counselor in Massachusetts is $52,410. This is slightly higher than the national average of $49,710.

What Other Career Options Are There for a Masters in Counseling

The skills learned in a Master of Counseling program open the door for many positions outside of the counseling profession. Some of the positions opened up with this degree include human resources, governmental social services, education, and non-profit leadership.