Which are the best counseling psychology graduate programs? Should you put weight in rankings when making the ultimate decision? Here’s the reality you should live with: admission to psychology graduate programs in general is very rigid. Schools want to keep enrollment small to be able to focus on the students development so competition is stiff.
Set your goals and priorities
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at masters in counseling psychology programs or PhD programs, or even the general masters in psychology program, the process can be very stressful especially if you’re aiming to get into the top ones.
So before proceeding, be very clear about your goals and priorities. Is it getting into schools listed in counseling psychology graduate programs rankings or becoming a skilled and competent practitioner in counseling psychology the soonest possible time?
Another question: will a terminal masters program be okay or are you aiming to complete a doctorate program?
A third consideration: are you looking at the option of counseling psychology graduate programs online or are you set on a campus education?
Knowing the answer to these important questions will be a big help when making your final decision. And it will better aid you in the preparation for admission requirements.
Variations Of Counseling Psych Programs
Counseling psychology graduate programs come in many variations. Some schools may offer both masteral and doctorate programs, others focus on one or the other. The programs, while similar, may fall under different names: counseling psychology, community counseling and mental health counseling.
There may be other concentrations within these general headings, especially under the mental health counseling category, under which fall specializations such as:
educational, career or school, rehabilitation, substance abuse and marriage and family therapy.
At the end of these programs, you are expected to have gained the skills that will allow you to go into the field of research and teaching at universities although many really pursue this course to go into clinical practice.
Opportunities for counseling psychologists can be found in hospitals, community mental health centers, Veterans Administration medical centers, health maintenance organizations, rehabilitation agencies, business and industrial organizations and consulting firms. Depending on your experience and workplace, your counseling psychology salary will vary from a low of $32,000 to as much as $80,000.
Best Programs Suited For You
Here’s a tip: the best counseling psychology graduate programs may not actually be tailored for you. So go ahead and apply to as many programs and schools as possible, but don’t confine yourself to only the top-ranked ones. Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get accepted the first time because there might be something better for you out there.
That said, you may want to consider these schools offering counseling psychology graduate programs on campus:
1. Texas – Argosy University (Community Counseling); University of Texas at Tyler (Counseling Psychology – Marriage and Family Therapy, MA Counseling Psychology); University of Houston-Victoria (MA in Counseling Psychology); St. Edward’s University (MA in Counseling); Texas A & M University-Commerce (PhD in Counseling); and Amberton University.
2. California – Argosy University (6 campuses); University of Phoenix (Masters in Counseling, Marriage, Family and Child Therapy); John F. Kennedy University (Masters in Counseling Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy); Pacifica Graduate Institute (MA Counseling Psychology); University of San Diego (MA in Marriage and Family Therapy)l Wright Institute (MA in Counseling Psychology).
3. NYC – Teachers College, Columbia University (Counseling Psychology); Rochester Institute of Technology (MS School Psychology); Long Island University (Mental Health Counseling); and University of Buffalo – The State University of New York (online Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling).
4. NJ – New Jersey City University (Masters in Counseling); William Paterson University of New Jersey (MA in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Professional Counseling M.Ed.); Seton Hall University (Counseling Psychology PhD, Marriage and Family Counseling); Monmouth University (MA in Counseling Psychology); Georgian Court University (Masters in Counseling Psychology) and The College of New Jersey (Masters in Counseling Psychology).
5. Minnesota – Minnesota State University Mankato (MS in Mental Health Counseling); University of St. Tomas (MS and PhD Counseling Psychology); Minnesota State University Moorhead (Counseling and Student Affairs); Bemidji State University (MS Counseling Psychology) and Bethel Seminary (Counseling Psychology).
6. North Carolina – Pfeiffer University (MA in Marriage and Family Therapy); Wake Forest University (Masters in Counseling)l University of North Carolina at Pembroke (Masters in Mental Health Counseling); North Carolina A & T State University (Rehabilitation Counseling) and Gardner-Webb Univesity (Mental Health Counseling).
7. Oregon – Southern Oregon University (MS or MA in Mental Health Counseling); Western Seminary, Portland Campus (MA in Counseling); Pacific University (MA in Counseling Psychology); George Fox University (MA in Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and School Counseling).
When you go with online schooling, be sure to find out how to go about the internship that is part and parcel of the program for completion.
Once you’re eligible for licensing, take the examination and you can begin to professional practice and earn a comfortable counseling psychology salary.
Whatever counseling psychology graduate you complete, you only have to put your skills and knowledge to the best use to become a success.
Below find more interesting articles about the different programs, schools, rankings and salaries.