This list of the most affordable graduate programs in the Northeast offering a masters and/or a doctorate degree in psychology and/or counseling was created considering the following points.
- All graduate schools in the Northeast (from the following states: Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland ) were taken into consideration.
- Next, programs had to meet rigorous criteria to become accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), or the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Note: Evaluating the accreditation status of any graduate program under consideration is important. In general, accredited programs develop their curriculum and practicum experience with state licensing boards. Programs that do this ensure that their graduates will be able to successfully navigate the state licensing process without needing to take additional coursework following graduation.
- The following accredited degrees are available at the colleges and universities that made the top 25 list:
- Clinical and Mental Health Counseling (M.A. and M.S.) -accredited by the CACREP
- School Counseling (M.A. and M.S.) -accredited by the CACREP
- Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A., M.S., M.Ed., and Ph.D.) -accredited by the COAMFTE
- School Psychology (Ph.D) -accredited by the APA
- Clinical Psychology (Ph.D and Psy.D.) -accredited by the APA
- Over 175 schools in the Northeast met the above listed criteria. Tuition per credit ranged from $250 per credit to $1,996 per credit. The cost per credit for out of state tuition was ranked from high to low and the top 25 schools are listed here. Check out the list below to find the school that is the best fit for you.
Top 10 Most Affordable, Accredited Graduate Degrees in Psychology and Counseling in the Northeast
||New York City, NY
||Central Connecticut State University
||New Britain, CT
||Southern Connecticut State University
||New Haven, CT
||University of Massachusetts Boston
||University of Massachusetts Amherst
||Evangelical Theological Seminary
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New York City, NY
The most affordable graduate degree in the Northeast is from Pace University. Dyson College of Arts and Sciences offers a Psy.D. in School-Clinical Psychology accredited by the APA. The program highlights a practitioner-scholar training model. A competitive program with an acceptance rate of approximately 20%, the program requires the completion of 110 credits and on average takes six years to complete.
Central Connecticut State University
Central Connecticut State University has a cheap CACREP accredited Master of Science in Counselor Education with Specialization in School Counseling. This program, requiring 51-54 credits, prepares graduates for professional careers as counselors in elementary, middle, and high schools. Central Connecticut State University also offers a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy accredited by the COAMFTE. A unique feature of this program is that they offer two cohort track options: an Evening Cohort (Fall and Spring admission) and a Weekend Cohort (Summer admission), with 20 students being accepted per cohort for each of the three admission periods. Depending on if the student decides to complete a final thesis project, 51-63 credits are required for graduation.
Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Connecticut State University's Marriage and Family Therapy Program (66-72 credit hours) became accredited in 1983, and is one of the oldest COAMFTE accredited MFT programs in the world. The School Counseling (52 credit hours) and Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credit hours) Programs are both accredited by the CACREP. All three programs offered by Southern Connecticut State University emphasize practicum and internship experience as a key component of their programs.
University of Massachusetts Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston offers a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy accredited by the COAMFTE and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology accredited by the APA. The Family Therapy program requires 60-63 credits of coursework and internship experience and is designed for completion in no less than three years. The Clinical Psychology program balances research and clinical practice training and involves five to six years of full time study.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The Clinical Psychology Program at University of Massachusetts Amherst is highly competitive; a class of four students is chosen from over 200 applications annually. The program matches each student with a faculty member with similar research interests. This program is accredited by the APA and requires five years of work in residence and then an additional 6th year in a clinical internship.
The Psy.D. program in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the APA. Students can first work towards their M.A. and then go on to complete their Psy.D. Class sizes vary from 8-20 students depending on subject.
Evangelical Theological Seminary
This COAMFTE accredited Marriage and Family Therapy program is for students interested in integrating biblical principles and Christian faith with marriage and family theories. Students will work in the cohort model to complete 65 credits. Full and part time options of study are available.
Lehigh University's College of Education offers a Ph.D. in both Counseling Psychology and School Psychology, both programs are accredited by the APA. The Counseling Psychology program encourages students and faculty to present their research findings at national and international conferences. Many students also publish with faculty members in numerous journals. Doctoral students in the School Psychology program can choose between two areas of study; School-Based Prevention and Pediatric School Psychology.
Messiah College offers a CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credits) and School Counseling (51 credits). A unique feature of Messiah College is that many, but not all, of the courses are offered online. Students report appreciating this feature in order to continue with commitments outside of school. Messiah College is a faith-based program.
The Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the CACREP. Classes are offered two nights a week (one class is online) for five semesters. The program focuses on preparing mental health clinicians to work as clinicians in community agencies and private practice and requires the completion of 60 credits.
Fairfield University offers a Master of Arts in School Counseling (48 credits) and Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credits) accredited by the CACREP. Fairfield also offers a COAMFTE accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Program (57 credits). Like other COAMFTE accredited MFT programs students will need to complete 500 clinical client contact hours, 250 of which must be relational, along with 100 hours of supervision for graduation.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers a Masters of Education in School Counseling (60 credits) accredited by the CACREP. The focus of this program is to prepare students for both elementary and secondary school counseling positions. The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is also accredited by the CACREP and requires the completion of 60 credits. The program emphasizes counselors attention to development and prevention in enriching peoples lives.
Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock, PA
The Master of Education degree in School Counseling at Slippery Rock University is accredited by the CACREP. The focus of this program is to prepare students to become professional school counselors for grades K-12. Students complete a 600 hour internship providing counseling and consultation in the school setting. Coursework for graduation requires the completion of 54 credit hours. The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, also accredited by the CACREP requires 60 credit hours for completion. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program may choose from concentrations in youth, adult, addiction, and counseling older adults.
Plymouth State University
Plymouth State University's Master of Education in School Counseling is the only school counseling program in New Hampshire accredited by the CACREP. The M.Ed. requires the completion of 48 credits. A Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is also available for 63 credits. For students that want to develop expertise in a particular area numerous certificate programs are available to complement both of these degrees in areas from addictions treatment to play therapy.
Keen University's Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers CACREP accredited Master of Arts degrees in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling, both programs require the completion of 60 credit hours. Graduates will be prepared to go on to complete the remaining supervised clinical hours as they work towards licensure across the country in their chosen field.
LaSalle University's Marriage and Family Therapy program requires 60 credit hours and can be completed in two to four years depending on the rate at which you wish to move through it from part time to accelerated. Day classes are available for full time students and evening classes are convenient for working professionals. As with other programs accredited by the COAMFTE, students will complete clinical internship hours. Additionally students will have the opportunity to develop individualized plans of study that meet their specific interested and career goals.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
The Clinical Psychology program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the APA. This school also ranks 12th on our list for most affordable for the Masters degrees offered in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling. The Ph.D. program tuition is 10% higher than the Masters programs tuition, and so ranks 17th here. The Clinical Psychology program is typically completed in four years of full time study plus an additional year of full time internship. A minimum of 102-104 credit hours are required for graduation.
Rider University offers a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Services with a School Counseling option (48 credit hours) as well as in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credit hours). Both programs are accredited by the CACREP. The programs are flexible to meet adult learning needs and schedules. The faculty emphasizes focusing on client strengths and positive psychology.
Canisius College offers core courses that are required for both the School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling degrees followed by specialization courses required for each program. School Counseling requires 48 credit hours and Clinical Mental Health requires 60 credit hours; both programs are accredited by the CACREP. Students can be enrolled part or full time and begin coursework in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters.
Carlow University's Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology is accredited by the APA. The Counseling Psychology Program trains students through the lens of social justice and feminism with strong emphasis on human diversity. Course requirements include 87 credits.
St. Bonaventure University
Saint Bonaventure, NY
A Master of Science in Education in School Counseling is available from the CACREP accredited program at St. Bonaventure University. Classes are offered mainly in late afternoon, evenings and weekends in order to allow for internships in the school setting. Some classes may be taken at satellite campuses. Class sizes are small and students are able to complete the 48 credit hours for graduation in two years.
Marywood University's Psychology and Counseling: Graduate Programs offer two CACREP accredited degrees. Students can earn a Master of Science in Counselor Education (School Counseling) or a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. The M.S. in School Counseling requires the completion of 60 credit hours. Graduates can go on to pursue K-12 certification enabling them to work in an elementary or secondary school setting. The Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling requires the completion of 60 credit hours over two and a half to three years. Both programs offer 1-2 classes online over the summer sessions.
Duquesne University's School of Education offers CACREP accredited Master of Science in Education School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling degrees. Both programs require the completion of 60 credit hours. Classes are offered during weeknights. Students entering these programs during the 2014-2015 academic year are being given a scholarship of 25% discount during the duration of their masters training as long as they are enrolled in at least 6 credits per semester. With that discount, this program would cost significantly less and be ranked #6 on this list. It is worth exploring if that scholarship is offered again in the future.
University of Saint Joseph
West Hartford, CT
The University of Saint Joseph offers a COAMFTE accredited Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree. Classes are held in the evening to accommodate working adults, either full or part time. Prospective students are encouraged to contact department faculty to discuss their work and family circumstances to determine if the program would be a good fit.
St. John Fisher College has a CACREP accredited Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling (60 credit hours). Classes are offered in the late afternoon/ evenings and can be completed full time (two years) or part time (three and a half years). Like many programs in the Northeast on this list there is no application deadline and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. This is a fall start program only.
Additional Resource: 6 Tips for Evaluating the Overall Cost of Your Graduate Degree.
For other articles in this series see Top 25 Most Affordable, Accredited, Graduate Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling in the West 2014. Top 25 Most Affordable, Accredited Graduate Degrees in Psychology and Counseling in the South 2014, and Top 25 Most Affordable, Accredited, Graduate Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling in the Midwest 2014.