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Master of Psychology Degree Program in Counseling Psychology Overview

Majors Overview January 6, 2016

This article talks about Master of Psychology degree programs in Counseling Psychology and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Psychology Programs in Counseling Psychology

Individuals seeking to provide intervention services and direction for people from diverse backgrounds would benefit from enrolling in a Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling Psychology degree program. Students typically take two years to complete these programs.

Students often pursue specialization tracks, these include working with adolescents or adults, adult development, child assessment, and trauma treatment. Participation in an internship lasting up to a year is also typically done by a student.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a 4-year baccalaureate degree, this can be in either counseling or a related major. Submission of a transcript of prior coursework is a requirement. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores may be requirements in some programs.


In many programs, Evidence Based Practices (EBP) – founded in clinical observation and scientific evidence – is the basis of the program coursework. Students complete modules covering specific aspects of the discipline such as core psychology courses, an EBP module, clinical assessment, research, and intervention. Core coursework may cover other topic areas such as:

•Research methods
•Human growth and development
•Counseling methods
•Clinical practice
•Psychological assessment
•Adolescent therapy
•Organizational behavior
•Counseling skills

Career Choices

A master’s degree in psychology will not help a graduate automatically qualify for licensure as a professional psychologist. Graduates may seek careers in:

•Health care clinics
•Community centers

Counseling psychologists must meet licensure and certification norms respective to their state of residence. Practicing professionals are expected to have two years of professional experience, apart from having completed an internship and a doctoral degree. A psychologist with a master’s degree may obtain licensure in some states though a doctorate is commonly required to be held by a counseling psychologist.

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2014, counseling, clinical and school psychologists brought in an average annual wage of $74,030 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Psychologists overall are expected to see a 19% job growth over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS). These professionals are most commonly hired by elementary and secondary schools, with the highest average wage of $100,310 paid by employers such as business, computer, and management training schools.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates seeking continuing education may enroll in a doctoral degree program in their chosen field of study. The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) offers certification in 13 specific areas that may be earned by program graduates. The certifications are available in rehabilitation, clinical health, group, couples, family, and forensics.

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