Master of Arts (M.A.) in Mental Health Counseling

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Mental Health Counseling

Prepare for a career as a licensed mental health professional or to pursue further studies in psychology, counseling, or related fields. With its emphasis on social justice, our program trains you to serve the mental health needs of individuals, groups, communities, and systems and to promote and advocate for social change.

At a Glance

How many courses?

Most students take 20 courses (60 credits total). 

How long will it take?

Full-time students typically finish in two years.

When can I start?

You can begin the program only in the fall semester.

By the Numbers


Student Counseling and Personnel Services





student-to-faculty ratio


During the two-year program, you can choose between a 48-credit or 60-credit program of study. Each program requires you to complete an internship with one of our Boston-based partner organizations.


  • Courses: 16 or 20
  • Credits: 48 or 60
  • Comprehensive Exam

60-Credit Master's

The 60-credit, two-year program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When you graduate from this program, you will be eligible for entry-level counseling positions and prepared, with postgraduate supervision and experience, to obtain licensure and accreditation for advanced skills/specialization. 

48-Credit Master's

The 48-credit, two-year program will prepare you for further studies in counseling or fields in which a solid counseling foundation is desirable. Our graduates go on to pursue doctoral degrees in psychology and further studies in public policy, law, and business.

The Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) track serves as a pathway for students seeking to work as Mental Health Counselors in integrated medical settings such as integrated primary care offices. Integrated behavioral health clinicians (IBHCs) work together as a team to address a patient’s behavioral health concerns. Care is typically delivered by these integrated teams in the primary care setting.

Our courses take a whole person approach to health by studying clinical care, social determinants of health and short term evidenced-based psychotherapies. Students will be required to complete a practicum in an integrated behavioral health setting.

This degree is one of the Lynch School’s designated STEM programs as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. F1 visa students in STEM-designated programs may apply for a 24-month extension of the post-completion optional practical training (OPT).


Much of the second year of the program focuses on the internship, where you will have opportunities to hone your counseling skills as part of a practicum team. In all of our placements, we emphasize the importance of culture and context, encouraging students to acquire a community-oriented understanding of the settings in which they serve.

The ability to connect with professors set my experience at the Lynch School apart. I was able to maintain relationships with so many of them during and after the program, and I really felt taken care of. In terms of career development, they’ve been generous in helping me find the right opportunities to pursue.
Nicolas Sperry, M.A. ’13, LMHC


Financial Aid

Education should level the playing field. We feel the same way about financial aid.

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development provides more than $8.4 million in financial aid to students each year. As a result, the quality of BC’s instruction, the benefit of our alumni network, and the impact a BC degree will have on your employment options is both affordable and invaluable. 
Social justice and multiculturalism—these two words are linked to BC’s program in my mind, and that made the difference when I was choosing between schools.
Guolin Zhang, M.A. ’20



  • Environmental Education Coordinator
  • Clinician
  • Research Assistant
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Research Health Science Specialist
  • Psychologist
  • In-Home Family Therapist
  • Cognitive Trainer
  • Substance Abuse Clinician


  • Student Conservation Association
  • Willowglen Academy
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Bay State Community Services
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • Christiana Care Health System
  • Italian Home for Children
  • Brain Excel
  • Community Substance Abuse Centers



Application & Deadlines

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Prerequisite Information: Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in psychology should have completed at least 2 of the following foundational psychology courses: General Psychology, Personality Theories, Abnormal Psychology, or Developmental Psychology.

Highly-qualified applicants who have not yet met this criteria may be conditionally admitted with a requirement that the courses be completed before the program begins. A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required. The fee is waived for select applicants.

Deadlines Fall 2023:

  • Priority Deadline: January 4
  • Rolling admission: Until May 1


To be uploaded to your online application.

In addition to your academic history and relevant volunteer and/or work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.

Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online application.

In 1,000-1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required, with at least one preferably coming from an academic source. Applicants may submit one additional recommendation of their choice.


Transcripts from all college/university study are required.

Applicants who have received degrees from institutions outside the United States should view the "International Students" section for additional credential evaluation requirements.

Please begin your online application before submitting your transcripts. Details on how to submit transcripts and international credential evaluations can be found within the application. In order to ensure your transcript reaches our office, it is important to review and follow the instructions.

Standardized Tests

Submitting GRE test scores is optional for this program for the 2023 entry term(s). If you wish to send GRE scores, the Lynch School GRE code is 3218.

Please view the "International Students" section for information on English Proficiency test requirements.

Writing Sample

Not required.

International Students

Applicants who have completed a degree outside of the United States must have a course-by-course evaluation of their transcript(s) completed by an evaluation company approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Submission of falsified documents is grounds for denial of admission or dismissal from the University.

Applicants who are not native speakers of English and who have not received a degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction must also submit a TOEFL or IELTS test result that meets the minimum score requirement.

Please use link below for full details on these requirements.

Requirements for International Students

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