Mental Health Counseling MS

Prepare for a career as a licensed mental health counselor with hands-on field experiences.

UMass Boston’s Mental Health Counseling MS focuses on a challenging and rewarding academic program to prepare you for a career as a mental health counselor. It’s designed for people interested in pursuing an advanced degree and state licensure to work in mental health counseling. The program begins with a two-week in-person study at or near the UMass Boston campus where you’ll get to know your cohort and complete two courses (6 credits) of your degree. Throughout the program, you’ll get hands-on experience as you complete some of your required clinical fieldwork hours through an approved field placement under appropriate supervision. At the end of the program, you’ll meet the academic requirements for state licensure in mental health counseling in the state of Massachusetts and will have completed all of the pre-graduation clinical fieldwork hours required for licensure.

UMass Boston's 60-credit hour MPCAC-accredited Mental Health Counseling online master's program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our students intern in diverse settings and leave with substantial skills and knowledge around mental health, counseling, and advocacy, ready for counseling positions that will prepare them to obtain licensure. At the end of the program, you will meet the educational requirements necessary for licensure in Massachusetts, provided you complete internship in Massachusetts. Please check with an admissions counselor at to determine if our program meets educational requirements for practice in your state.

Students also have the option of adding an adjustment counseling concentration to their plan of study, which requires one additional course, as well as additional internship hours. The adjustment counseling concentration allows students to be eligible for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education K-12 initial level licensure as a school adjustment counselor.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is regionally accredited through NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). To ensure superior quality, the online program is modeled after the on-campus program, offering many of the same instructors teaching the courses.

UMass Boston's Mental Health Counseling MS program was recently ranked #6 in Guide to Online School's 2020 Best Online Master's in Counseling list.

Ranked as one of the Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Why Apply to UMass Boston's Mental Health Counseling MS Program?

Essential to the implementation of the Mental Health Counseling (MHC) program curriculum is the integration of theory presented in classrooms and its application in practicum and internship experiences. In order to integrate the curriculum content with other training experiences, the program provides information about the socio-political contexts of people’s lives as well as about information related to personality, development, psychiatric taxonomy, professional orientation and ethics, methods of inquiry and the process of change. In addition, our program provides opportunities for its students to develop professional skills and competencies and to practice them in professional settings. The program prepares students to make significant practitioner-oriented contributions to counseling and prepares them for further study at the doctoral level if they desire to do so. All of our faculty are actively involved in research and contribute significantly to the profession at both national and international levels. There are opportunities to do research with our internationally known faculty if a student so desires.

Application Deadline

Priority Deadline: January 2
Final Deadline: April 1

Applicants are accepted into the online Mental Health Counseling MS program once a year, for the summer semester only.

Note: If you’re having difficulty completing or submitting any application requirements because of disruptions related to COVID-19, contact before the application deadline to discuss potential submission extensions or exceptions.

Program Data

MS in Mental Health Counseling Program Data
Program Data 2019-2020
Number of applicants 111; 82 completed
Number of acceptances 68
% accepted* 61%
Number of enrollees 38
% enrolled (out of acceptances) 56%
Number of total students 93
Graduates (Aug/Dec/May 2019) 23
Number of faculty 10
Courses taught by adjuncts or 4th or 5th year PhD students 40%



Program Data 2019-2020
Temporary License  

*This number is higher than expected because we often interview potential online students first, before they apply, and then invite them to apply if we believe they will be a good match for us.