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Mental Health Counseling Master's Degree (MEd)

  • Credits:
    60
  • Degree:
    Master of Education (MEd)

Program Description

The mental health counseling master’s degree program at Cambridge College prepares you to sit for the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) exam, including required practicum and internship hours. The program includes courses in mental health counseling theory as well as counseling skills used in both individual and group counseling settings. In addition, you’ll learn about cross-cultural, ethical, and professional considerations in modern counseling scenarios. Elective concentrations include addictions counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and trauma studies.

Cambridge College Mental Health Counseling Master’s Degree Program Highlights

Cambridge College focuses on giving you flexible course options that make progress toward your graduation goals possible — while you juggle any work and family demands.

  • Take flexible classes, including nights and weekends as well as online options. Cambridge College understands the needs of adult students.
  • Apply without taking the GRE or Miller Analogies Test. Cambridge College’s no-hassle application and admissions process lets you start your mental health counseling degree quickly.
  • Choose your own graduation plan. You can graduate in two 
  • years. You can also complete the required mental health counseling courses at your own pace.
  • Learn from faculty with deep clinical experience. Mental health counseling faculty at Cambridge College bring years of clinical mental health counseling experience as well as keen talents for educating adult students.
  • Connect with fellow students. Cambridge College welcomes master’s in counseling students who bring diverse perspectives on serving a variety of populations seeking counseling services.
  • Study close to home or work at our Boston location. Cambridge College’s campus in Boston is an easy walk from public transportation. If you drive into campus, don’t worry about parking. It’s both ample and free.
  • Experience more value for your tuition dollars. Compared to similar counseling or social work master’s degrees, Cambridge College is proud to offer lower tuition to graduate students. Our commitment to affordable education gives more students, like you, the opportunity to achieve academic and career goals. 

Cambridge College's mental health counseling master’s degree program includes more field experience than many master of social work degrees. If clinical, hand-on experience matters to you, consider how this degree may be a better fit than others you’re considering.

Mental Health Counselor Program Concentrations

Add a graduate program specialization to focus your mental health counseling master’s degree even more. Cambridge College offers these in-demand degree concentration options.

Mental Health Counseling Program Learning Outcomes

When you graduate from Cambridge College with a master’s degree in mental health counseling, you are equipped to:

  • Prepare and be eligible for Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) exam.
  • Apply principles and best practices of counseling and psychotherapeutic techniques.
  • Assess, diagnose, and prevent or treat within licensing scope of practice.
  • Provide counseling services to individuals, couples, families, or groups.
  • Understand applicable ethical, professional, and regulatory guidelines.
  • Feel competent in the counseling skills required for either employment with existing mental health services providers or private practice.

Mental Health Counseling Careers and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in a variety of mental health counseling careers will grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average predicted growth for all occupations.

Earning your master’s degree in mental health counseling and then passing the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) exam allows you to work in a variety of clinical settings as a licensed mental health counselor.

Whether you want to compete for a promotion at your current job or high-level job elsewhere or to open your own private practice, this graduate program in counseling opens the doors to many professional opportunities. Graduating with a master’s degree can also boost your earning potential.

Massachusetts is one of the top five states for the highest employment levels for mental health counselors.*

The median annual income for mental health counseling careers is $42,840, with the salaries for professional clinicians at $70,100 or higher.*

Mental health counseling is a growing and versatile career field, with a strong concentration of jobs with these types of employers:

  • Individual and family services (private practice or nonprofit)
  • Outpatient mental health care centers
  • Residential centers for people seeking services for developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, and substance abuse
  • Private practice (solopreneur or as part of an existing health practice)
  • Local governmental agencies and services, including schools and other community centers, veterans’ affairs, and such

Likely mental health counseling job titles or roles include the following:

  • School Counselor (formerly called guidance counselor)
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Therapist
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • School Adjustment Counselor

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016

Example Mental Health Counseling Courses

Cambridge College required mental health counseling classes include the following:

  • Personality and Counseling Theory
  • Human Development Across the Lifespan
  • Psychopathology
  • Perspectives in Cross-Cultural Counseling
  • Ethics & Professional Issues for School Counselors and Mental Health Practitioners

View the full Cambridge College mental health counseling degree program curriculum.

Mental Health Counseling Scholarships and Financial Aid

Over 60 percent of Cambridge College graduate students receive tuition assistance from a variety of financial aid sources. Our generous financial aid packages make earning a degree possible for many students. Start by learning more about how to apply for financial aid through Cambridge College.

In addition to grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study, be sure to ask your current employer if tuition assistance is available. Access additional information on ways your employer may be able to help cover tuition and other expenses.

 

Program in Puerto Rico

The School of Psychology and Counseling monitors the mental health licensing standards of both Massachusetts and Puerto Rico. The course work, field practicum and internship in Puerto Rico are in compliance with Puerto Rico Law 147 of 2002.

 

Related Programs at Cambridge College

If you’re still exploring your counseling or mental health degree options, consider these additional master’s degrees offered through Cambridge College:

Curriculum

Courses should be taken in sequence (full-time or part-time). Term 1 courses must be completed before Term 2 courses.


Term 1
12
Credits
Ethics & Professional Issues for School Counselors & Mental Health Practitioners
CCP 622 3 credit(s)
This course explores several models of school counseling and mental health counseling and the relationship to relevant ethics, federal, state, municipal, state laws, and standards and regulations. The course emphasizes best practices and strategies for dealing with ethical and legal dilemmas, including the ability to apply and practice ethical and legal standards in school counseling. School counseling and systems models are examined along with consultation, harm prevention and reduction, and the evaluation and utilization of community resources. Focal areas include professional roles and functions, ethical standards including accountability, responsibility, client/student welfare, emotional health, laws and regulations, institutional policies including crisis/disaster preparedness and response, cross cultural, cross social class practices and their impact on mental health and school counseling. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: h: Federal and state laws and regulations addressing the legal rights of students and families. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: i. Federal, state, municipal, and school laws and regulations.
Personality and Counseling Theory
CCP 540 3 credit(s)
This course explores personality and counseling theories, identifying strengths and weaknesses in each theory. Cultural elements are stressed. Theories are approached from an eclectic standpoint, including normal and abnormal, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Students are encouraged to identify an approach or approaches which are compatible with their history, current philosophy, clients and counseling settings. We also explore modern notions of cultural and family identity, increasing our ability to adapt counseling theory to the strengths and needs of individuals in our contemporary, diverse client population. The on-line library is employed in this course to gather evidence and support project development and presentations. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: b: Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling: e. Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development.
Rogerian Person-Centered Therapy: Basic Counseling Skills
CCP 550 3 credit(s)
Successful completion required for mental health field experience I, CCP520. The basis of therapeutic relationships is seen in Carl Rogers’ theory of personality with its stress of self-actualization, development of the self, phenomenological field, validation, and conditions of worth is the basis for the techniques that are taught, practiced and modeled in this course. These techniques are empathic understanding, unconditional positive regard, and congruence. These techniques are central to any effective relationship from any theoretical perspective. The student will become practiced at these and related aspects of person-centered theory. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: Standard a: Principles of therapeutic relationships.
Human Development Across the Lifespan
CCP 630 3 credit(s)
This course will address the psychological and biological aspects of human development from conception through childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, mid-life and aging. Familial, environmental and cultural factors will be explored as they impact the development of people across the continuum of life. Theory will combine with application related to physical, emotional, intellectual, learning, social, normal and abnormal development; plus cognitive, moral, and vocational adjustment. The processes of physical and psychological development including ethnic and gender differences will be studied. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: b: Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling: c. psychology of learning, and e. theories of normal and abnormal, intellectual, social, and emotional development.
Term 2
12
Credits
Psychopathology
CCP 615 3 credit(s)
This course deals with the nature of neurotic behavior, abnormal behavior and the psychoses, as well as the nature of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development and learning in childhood and adolescence. Particular attention is given to ego-defensive, adaptive and sociocultural aspects of behavior, health and wellness, and ways in which adaptive behavior becomes symptomatic. This course organizes disorders according to the organization of the DSM-5. Historical contexts in which psychopathology has been diagnosed and viewed from early medical concepts through the currently used Diagnostic Criteria in the DSM-5 are presented. Learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement and their treatments are investigated. Attention is focused on differential diagnosis, treatment planning and best practices in applied settings. Discussions focus on psychopharmacology, knowledge of medical conditions and medication related to physical disabilities and learning disorders, prevalent psychotherapies, and theories of abnormal behavior and development. Case studies provide experience in classifying, diagnosing and categorizing various mental disorders from childhood throughout the lifespan. Discussions of treatment of mental illness include psychopharmacology, prevalent psychotherapies used in individual, family, couple and group psychotherapy and current research findings related to treatment. Discussions also focus on health and wellness, multicultural issues, plus variables related to resiliency and student learning. Additionally, the effects of abuse, violence, theories of normal and abnormal behavior and development are examined. Current research that can assist the school counselor in developing a plan of action for referral and treatment that relates to personal, social and academic functioning of students will be procured through the online library. This course utilizes films, tapes, case studies, class presentations, lectures, and group discussions. It includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course also includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: h: Knowledge of medical conditions and medication related to physical disabilities and learning disorders. c. Learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement, and their treatment This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling: c. Psychology of learning. d. Understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of learning and behavior disorders. e. Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development.
Group Dynamics/Group Counseling & Human Systems
CCP 650 3 credit(s)
This course involves the study of the dynamics common to all small groups, through examining their structural and interactional properties and learning the bases for understanding groups as therapeutic, organizational, social, psychological, and collective phenomena. The class will be divided into two groups. All students will participate in an experiential, interactional group for one half of the term and observe another interactional group for one half of the term. Each experiential phase of a group will be followed by a didactic analysis of the process. The instructor will demonstrate various techniques as leader of all experiential sessions. Leadership styles will be examined as they influence group process. Students are required to write journal analyses of group sessions, complete assigned readings, and attend every session. Students are taught to develop self-awareness, sensitivity to others, and skills needed to relate to individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds. (No one will be admitted to the course in the event of failure to attend the first session.) Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: a: Principles of therapeutic relationships. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: l. group counseling and group leadership.
Research Design and Evaluation
CCP 518 3 credit(s)
This course provides students with a foundation in research and evaluation methodologies and strategies, program evaluation and needs assessment. Students will gain an understanding of different types of research and research design, procedures for data collection and analysis, analysis of both hard and soft data, and ethical and legal considerations associated with research. Students will leave the course prepared to conduct and be discriminating consumers of research.
Career Development
CCP 639 3 credit(s)

This course provides an experiential approach to career development for mental health, school and rehabilitation counselors to support clients with and without disabilities across the lifespan in both individual and group settings. Orientation to key assessment instruments, online resources, labor market information, transferable skills analysis, job placement strategies and work-related supports will be made to support the career guidance process and to develop comprehensive plans of action for clients.
This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: h. Federal, state, municipal, and school laws and regulations, i. Career counseling.

Term 3
12
Credits

One SOPC elective or concentration course and the following:

Field Experience I
CCP 520 3 credit(s)
This initial field experience course must be taken concurrent with a field placement. Documentation of practicum requirements in accordance with 262 CMR 2.00 must be completed between the 8th week of class and the end of the semester and before any internship hours begin. Prerequisite: CCP550 Basic Counseling Skills: Rogerian Therapy. This course is a prerequisite for CCP792A School Adjustment/Mental Health Internship Seminar A.
Psychological Testing
CCP 636 3 credit(s)
This course provides an overview of psychological testing including a review of projective testing and techniques for individual and group administration for understanding personality development and pathology, basic administration, scoring and diagnostic skill development. This course reviews instruments including TAT, MMPI and Rorschach as well as language and alternative non-language-based intelligence tests, achievement tests including the WISC-IV, the Woodcock-Johnson III, tests of nonverbal intelligence, and other state-of-the-art diagnostic tools. Emphasis is on clinical integration of the testing materials, useful intervention strategies and recommendations for the counselor, treatment team and/or referral agent. Test reliability, validity, standard deviations, scaled scores, percentiles and interpretation of significant differences are taught. This course includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: e. Knowledge of state-of-the-art diagnostic instruments; procedures for testing and interpreting results. c. Learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement, and their treatment. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: b. Understanding and interpretation of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) and other academic test results to students, teachers, and parents. d. Understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of learning and behavior disorders.
Perspectives in Cross Cultural Counseling
CCP 754 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the role of culture in the development of psychological health and in psychopathology. Variations among diverse cultures in defining mental health and deviant behavior are discussed. The importance of understanding the cultural context is emphasized, both in the prevention and in the resolution of psychological problems. Students become aware of their own cultural beliefs regarding mental health issues, and the impact of their perspective in working with culturally different people. Techniques for working with families and schools are also discussed. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: Standard f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling: m. Development of skills for consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators
Term 4
9-12
Credits

Two or three SOPC elective or concentration courses and the following:

Field Experience II
CCP 641 3 credit(s)
Enrollment limited to 10. This is the first in a sequence of distinctly defined, post-practicum, supervised co-curriculuar experience and runs concurrent with field placement. Continuous registration for this portion of the clinical training is required until completion of 100 hours per semester or 600 total hours. Documentation of internship requirements in accordance with 262 CMR 2.00 will continue.
Term 5
9-12
Credits

Two or three SOPC elective or concentration courses and the following:

Field Experience III
CCP 700 3 credit(s)
Enrollment limited to 10. This is the second in a sequence of distinctly defined, post-practicum, supervised co-curricular experience and runs concurrent with field placement. Continuous registration for this portion of the clinical training is required until completion of 200 hours per semester or 600 total hours. Documentation of internship requirements in accordance with 262 CMR 2.00 will continue.
Term 6
6
Credits

One SOPC elective or concentration course and the following.

Take Field Experience IV or one elective (if approved substitution has been granted by program chair)

Field Experience IV
CCP 701 3 credit(s)
Enrollment limited to 10. This the third in a sequence of distinctly defined, post-practicum, supervised co-curriculuar experience and runs concurrent with field placement. Documentation of internship requirements in accordance with 262 CMR 2.00 will be completed until 600 total hours. An elective may be substituted for this course if all field experience requirements are met by the completion of CCP700.

Program Chair

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor

Admissions

  • Admission Test:

    No standardized graduate school tests required for admission into non-licensure programs

  • Admissions Office:
    1-800-829-4723
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)

School Requirements

 

State Health Requirements

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form 

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit 

Please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more.

 

Tuition

  • Credits:
    60
  • Cost per credit hour:
    $554
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $3,415 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)
  • Internship/Practicum Fee:
    $650 for all programs with practicums except Alcohol & Drug Counseling Certificate

Note: Rates are as of September 2018, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more

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