School of Education & Counseling

Mental Health Counseling  Master of Education

Tens of millions of Americans live in areas with mental health professional shortages. You can fill a need and help change lives. The Master of Education (MEd) in Mental Health Counseling degree program at Cambridge College prepares you to sit for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE) and become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Massachusetts, including the completion of required pre-master's field experience hours.

60 Credits
Starts September 3, 2024


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Master in Mental Health Counseling Program Overview

The program includes courses in mental health counseling theory as well as counseling skills used in both individual and group counseling settings. In addition, you’ll learn about cross-cultural, ethical and professional considerations in modern counseling scenarios. You'll be prepared to fill a range of job options, while making a real difference every day.

MEd in Mental Health Counseling Degree Program Highlights

Cambridge College focuses on giving you flexible course options that make progress toward your graduation goals possible — as you juggle work and family demands.

  • Hands-on experience: Cambridge College's Master of Education in Mental Health Counseling degree program includes more field experience than many social work master's programs. Choose the location, schedule and population of interest for your internship.
  • Flexible, hybrid course options: Cambridge College understands the needs of adult students. Classes start as late as 8:00 p.m. so you can learn outside of work and other life commitments.
  • Convenient location: Attend in-person classes at our Boston campus which is a 5-minute walk from the Orange Line and offers free parking for students.
  • No GRE or Miller Analogies Test: Cambridge College’s no-hassle application and admissions process lets you start your Mental Health Counseling degree quickly. Apply without taking the GRE or Miller Analogies Test.
  • Choose your own graduation plan: You have up to four semesters to complete required field experience so you can continue working full-time and still graduate in as little as two years. You can also complete the required Mental Health Counseling courses at your own pace.
  • Faculty with deep clinical experience: Mental health counseling faculty at Cambridge College bring years of clinical counseling experience as well as keen talents for educating adult students.
  • Connect with diverse students: Cambridge College welcomes Master’s in Mental Health Counseling students who bring diverse perspectives on serving a variety of populations seeking counseling services. Meet and learn from diverse colleagues who bring an array of perspectives on serving a variety of populations seeking counseling services. This builds cultural competencies in the classroom while also opening a pipeline to receive referrals and consultations outside of the class.
  • More value: Compared to similar counseling or social work master’s degrees, Cambridge College is proud to offer lower tuition to graduate students. Our commitment to affordable education gives more students, like you, the opportunity to achieve academic and career goals.

Mental Health Counseling Program Learning Outcomes

When you graduate from Cambridge College with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, you have the tools, knowledge and experience to:

  • Prepare and be eligible for the NCMHCE exam
  • Apply principles and best practices of counseling and psychotherapeutic techniques
  • Assess, diagnose and treat within licensing scope of practice
  • Utilize community resources for referrals
  • Provide counseling services to individuals, couples, families or groups
  • Apply strategies for prevention and treatment of substance abuse, domestic violence and the spectrum of mental illnesses
  • Understand applicable ethical, professional and regulatory guidelines
  • Feel competent in the counseling skills required for employment with either existing mental health services providers or private practice

Licensure for Mental Health Counseling

The MEd degree includes opportunities to complete the 75 hours of LMHC supervision required for licensure by graduation. It will also help prepare you to pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE) in order to increase your job marketability.

"Cambridge College prepared me with a quality and affordable education for real-world practice. The faculty is knowledgeable, caring, and supportive - and fosters a family-like environment for students to model. As an alumnus, I encourage everyone to consider this institution as an option."

Darrell Byas
Mental Health Counseling (MEd, '17)

Mental Health Counseling Tuition Information

Cost Per Credit
Total Program Tuition
Cost Per Credit$639
Credits* 60 credits
Total Program Tuition $38,340

*See curriculum sheet for a breakdown of credits and credit ranges.

Master's in Mental Health Counseling Program Concentrations

Add a graduate program specialization to focus your Mental Health Counseling degree even more and to diversify your resume. Cambridge College offers these in-demand degree concentration options:

Prospective graduate degree students for programs in the School of Education & Counseling must satisfy the following requirements plus any program-specific requirements your program may have.

  1. Complete and sign the online application.
  2. Pay the application fee. Pay your $50 ($100 for international students) application fee by the term start date.
  3. Send official transcripts. Maildirectly to Cambridge College in a sealed, unopened envelope. Learn How to Send Transcripts. Required degrees must be from accredited colleges or universities.
    • Master's and most graduate certificate programs require an earned bachelor's degree.
    • Post-master's certificates and CAGS require an earned master's degree.
    • International transcripts must be translated and evaluated by an approved agency. See all international student requirements
  4. Send your résumé and work experience. Send your resume that details your education and work experience, including how they pertain to your career goals. If your SEC program has a work experience requirement, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  5. Submit your personal statement. Write a 500-word, typed, double-spaced essay describing your professional experience, goals and objectives for graduate study. How do you expect your graduate studies to enhance your future career?
  6. Include two professional recommendations (not required for fully online programs). These should address your professional character and ability to perform graduate work. Download Applicant Recommendation Form
  7. Interview (required for some programs). If your program requires an interview, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  8. Satisfy Health Insurance & Immunization requirements. (Massachusetts only). These are required only for graduate students taking six or more credits per term in Massachusetts through on-campus or hybrid classes. Health insurance may be waived.

Teacher Licensure Program Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed above, our Teacher Licensure Programs have these additional requirements:

  1. Earned bachelor's degree with 3.0 or higher GPA.
  2. MA Educator Documentation from the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website. Keep copies of all documents submitted and, upon admission, post in your electronic portfolio:
    1. Massachusetts Educator Personnel ID (MEPID number)
    2. MTEL Communication & Literacy Test, successfully completed.

Required if completed:

  • Massachusetts preliminary license, if held
  • Sheltered English Instruction requirement
  • Fingerprinting and Criminal Offender Record Information

Applicants who do not initially meet all requirements (e.g. GPA of 3.0 or MTEL) for admission into their chosen licensure program must enroll in the corresponding non-licensure degree option. Students who achieve a 3.0 GPA upon completion of the first three SEC courses, pass the MTELs, and now meet all requirements, may request a change of program.

Disclosures: For all Licensure Programs

  • Licensure requirements are subject to change per Massachusetts regulations. All Cambridge College licensure programs are based on current regulations.
  • All candidates admitted for licensure programs must successfully complete the program in its entirety.
  • All requirements at the time of program completion must be finalized prior to seeking Massachusetts endorsement for licensure purposes.
  • If you have any licensure questions, please speak to your program chair.

Program-Specific Admission Requirements

An interview and approval from the School of Education and Counseling is required.

Careers and Salary for Mental Health Counseling Graduates

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in a variety of mental health counseling careers will grow 18 percent from 2022 to 2032, which is much faster than the average predicted growth for all occupations.*

Earning your Master of Education in Mental Health Counseling and subsequently becoming a licensed practitioner allows you to work in a variety of clinical settings as a licensed mental health counselor.

Whether you want to aim for a promotion at your current job or a high-level job elsewhere or to start your own private practice, this graduate program in counseling opens the doors to many professional opportunities. Graduating with a master’s degree can also boost your earning potential.

The average annual income for licensed mental health counselors in Massachusetts in January 2024 is $83,817, according to ZipRecruiter. **


Average annual salary for mental health counselors in Massachusetts 2024*


Projected employment growth in a variety of mental health counseling careers from 2022-2032**

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors, (visited Nov. 14, 2023).

**ZipRecruiter, Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary in Massachusetts, (visited February 1, 2024).

MEd in Mental Health Counseling Jobs

Mental health counseling is a growing and versatile career field, with a strong concentration of jobs with these types of employers:

  • Individual and family services (private practice or nonprofit)
  • Outpatient mental health care centers
  • Residential centers for people seeking services for developmental disabilities, mental health conditions and substance abuse
  • Private practice (solopreneur or as part of an existing health practice)
  • Local governmental agencies and services, including schools and other community centers, veterans’ affairs and more

Likely mental health counseling job titles or roles include the following:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Therapist
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Rehabilitation counselor