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Counseling Degree Programs in Massachusetts

Written by: Staff Writers
Last updated: May 2020

Pursuing a counseling degree in Massachusetts allows graduates to compete for many different therapy roles focused on helping clients navigate life's hardships. Learners combine their skills and passions into meaningful careers as mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and substance abuse counselors.

Massachusetts employs more than 200,000 counselors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that many of these positions pay annual mean wages higher than other states. Marriage and family therapists earned $52,720 in 2019, compared to the national average of $49,610.

Licensure requirements vary by role. A mental health counselor must possess an accredited master's degree, pre- and post-degree clinical experience, and evidence of a passing score on the national licensure exam. View our ranking methodology and check out the best Massachusetts counseling degrees for 2020.

Career Outlook for Counselors in Massachusetts

BLS projections indicate that roles for counselors will grow across the board in Massachusetts from 2016-26. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors received the highest projected growth rate at 17.6%, while projections for rehabilitation counselors reached 7.3%. BLS data also indicates that mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist employment should grow in the same period.

Professionals in these roles can work in many different settings, including inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities, physician's offices, local and state governments, and hospitals. Many also choose to set up private practices after gaining experience. Wages also look solid in the Bay State, with most positions offering higher pay than the national average. General counselors earned annual mean wages of $56,350 in 2019, as compared to the national average of $48,800.

Counseling Degree Programs in Massachusetts

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater State University College of Graduate Studies

Bridgewater State University was founded in 1840 and currently enrolls over 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is the eighth largest four-year college or university in the state of Massachusetts and 92% of faculty hold doctorate or terminal degrees.

Bridgewater State University's College of Graduate Studies has offered degree and certificate programs to graduate students since 1937. The school has 35 graduate degree programs, ranging from athletic training to special education. There are also 32 licensure programs, including programs in counseling, mental health and education.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Mental Health Counseling

Bridgewater's M.Ed. degree in mental health counseling is a 60-credit program. The program is designed for individuals seeking licensure in the state of Massachusetts as a mental health counselor. Students will receive training to work with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings. Some of these settings include private clinics, hospitals, educational institutions, government institutions and health care centers.

Students may be required to take a variety of core courses on topics that include crisis counseling, substance abuse, psychopathology, group counseling, career counseling, assessment and psychopharmacology. A practicum or internship may also be required.


The Master of Education in Mental Health Counseling program at Bridgewater State University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). It is one of Massachusetts' only CACREP-accredited programs.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling

Bridgewater's M.Ed. in school counseling offers a 51-credit program that can lead to licensure as a school counselor in the state of Massachusetts, as well by several other member states in the Interstate Certification Compact. The program trains future counselors to work in preschools, elementary schools, middle schools or secondary schools. Graduates of the program currently work in a variety of schools, including public, vocational, private and charter schools. School counselors may work with both individual students and groups of students.

Resource: What is a Typical Day Like for a School Counselor?

Students in the program will take a variety of courses, including both general counseling and school counseling courses. Some course topics include counseling theories and techniques, multicultural counseling, research and evaluation, ethical and legal issues, applied school counseling and special education issues. Students will also be required to take a 600 hour supervised practicum before completing the program. Upon graduation, students may be eligible to sit for professional examinations that lead to licensure as a school counselor.


Bridgewater's M.Ed. in school counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). It is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Department of Secondary and Elementary Education also endorses the school counseling program.


Bridgewater State University College of Graduate Studies
Office of Graduate Admissions
Maxwell Library
10 Shaw Road
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, MA 02325
(508) 531-1300

With two CACREP-approved counseling specializations, those seeking licensure as a mental health counselor or school counselor in Massachusetts will find a strong and well-respected program at Bridgewater State. Like all accredited counseling degree programs in Massachusetts, Bridgewater State University offers both research and educational courses in combination with opportunities for hands-on supervised clinical opportunities in order to provide students with the highest level of mental health counseling training available.