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

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

The two-year Master of Arts program in Mental Health Counseling prepares students for careers as licensed mental health professionals, or to pursue further studies in psychology, counseling, or related fields. With its emphasis on social justice, this nationally accredited program will train you to serve the mental health needs of individuals, groups, communities, and systems, and to promote and advocate as necessary for social change.

With a student-faculty ratio of 11 to 1, our master’s program guides you through every stage of your professional training. Soon after you arrive at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, an advisor and a student mentor will help introduce you to our rich and diverse on-campus community. During your second year, you will gain direct counseling experience during a yearlong practicum internship at an organization, school, or clinic in the Boston area. The Lynch School’s dedicated practicum experience team and extensive network will help you find the opportunities that best fit your professional aspirations and experience.


Through both academic and applied experiences, you’ll gain an understanding of developmental and cultural contexts that will help you understand and promote mental health and well-being in diverse communities. You’ll develop a solid background in counseling and mental health theory, develop strong counseling skills, engage in reflective scholarship, gain core professional competencies, and master scientifically informed best practices. You will graduate fully prepared to practice mental health counseling or pursue doctoral studies in psychology or another field.

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

At a Glance

How many courses?

A majority of our students take 20 courses for a total of 60 credits. 

How long will it take?

Full time students will typically complete the program in 2 years.

When can I start?

Students can begin the program only in the fall semester. 

Program data


National ranking for Student Counseling and Personnel Services program

U.S. News & World Report


# of students


student-faculty ratio

Program Faculty & Expertise

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

What will I study?


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

During the two-year program, you can choose between a 48-credit or 60-credit program of study:

  • 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. 

  • 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.

Each program requires you to complete an internship with one of our Boston-based partner organizations.

60-credit Master's in Mental Health Counseling 
48-credit Master's in Mental Health Counseling 


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. Whether you work in a community health center, school, hospital, or treatment program, you will acquire invaluable career experience while learning to critically evaluate health care systems.

Our director of practicum experience will work with you to discern your interests and determine the best opportunities for your experience, skills, and goals.

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.

Program Requirements

The practicum is a major component of your experience in the master’s program. Whether you work as a member of a practicum team in a community mental health agency or with a school guidance division, your professional experience and on-campus interactions with professors and fellow students during your practicum will provide a rich context in which you can develop counseling skills and critically evaluate community and school systems of support and care.

Internships for mental health counselors and practicums for school counselors take place during the second year of the program; both are supervised. These group seminars help you integrate subject-matter knowledge, theory, and practice in a supportive environment.

Our director of practicum experience will meet with you during the placement process to learn how your prior school or work experience relates to your developing interests. Every effort will be made to help you find practicum and internship opportunities that are consistent with your goals and experiences.

Where do our graduates work?

Student Conservation Association

Environmental Education Coordinator

Willowglen Academy


Massachusetts General Hospital

Research Assistant

Bay State Community Services

Mental Health Counselor

Veterans Health Administration

Research Health Science Specialist

Christiana Care Health System


Italian Home for Children

In-home Family Therapist

Brain Excel

Cognitive Trainer

Community Substance Abuse Centers

Substance Abuse Clinician

Career paths chosen by previous graduates of the CDEP Department.

Financial Assistance

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. 

Application Information


Click the boxes below for additional details on each item


Regular Decision
Rolling Admission
Until 5/1
Intl. Applicants
Until 5/1

Apply Now

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required, however, this fee is waived for select applicants.


To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In addition to your academic history and relevant 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 Form.

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

Identification of recommenders/instructions to recommenders are outlined in the online Application Form.

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


Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in lieu of official transcripts for the application review process. In the event that one is admitted into a program and enrolls, our office will need official transcripts prior to course registration. To expedite application processing times, our office encourages you to send unofficial transcripts electronically to our email address at GSOE@BC.EDU. Please note that unofficial transcripts must include all of the following items:

  • Course titles and grades for each course
  • Year and entry term for each of the courses listed
  • Translated into English by certified translation agent (if not already in English)
    • Original and translated transcripts must be provided

If you are able to secure official transcripts, please note the following:

  • An official postsecondary transcript must be printed on official institutional paper and include at least one of the following: an institutional watermark, the registrar’s signature, or the registrar's seal.
  • Copies and unofficial transcripts sent directly from applicants are not acceptable, the transcript must come directly from the institution.
  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate and/or graduate degree, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.

Official electronic transcripts are accepted when sent directly to from the institution. When requesting electronic transcripts, you must manually type in to ensure it is received by our office. 

Mailed transcript(s) should be sent to the following address:

Lynch Office of Graduate Admissions, Boston College
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Standardized Tests

Submitting GRE test scores is optional and not required for 2022 entry term(s). If you wish to send GRE scores, the Lynch School GRE code is 3218.

Writing Sample

Not required.

International Students

Applicants that 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.

Requirements for International Students

Contact Us