Counseling Psychology (MS/CAGS)

The Master of Science in Counseling Psychology (MSCP) program at Northeastern is committed to the development of competent Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) through the disciplinary studies and contemporary professional practice of counseling psychology. Recent program revisions comply with licensing regulations for Mental Health Counselors in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Program Overview

The MSCP program is unique in that we offer students a choice of specific concentrations within the general Master of Science program. The concentrations offer the opportunity for students to gain additional depth in selected areas. We believe that having a concentration in training will make our graduates especially successful in admission to further graduate study and jobs after graduation. These concentrations take advantage of interdisciplinary training and perspectives in the areas of:

  • Health Psychology
  • Forensic Counseling
  • Early Intervention

  • Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Cultural, Gender, and Political Psychology

Degree Options
Masters of Science

The Master of Science in Counseling Psychology is a 60 credit hours program. In order to complete the program in two years, students will also need to take classes during the summer between the first and second year.

CAGS

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) is a 30 semester hours program for those who already hold a Master’s degree in a closely related field and who want further study to enhance their abilities and career prospects in Counseling Psychology. This includes completion of course and internship requirements for LMHC certification in Massachusetts. This program is individually tailored to the candidate’s specific training needs.

Application Due Date

January 15

Contact Information
William Sanchez
Mary Ballou

Program Co-Directors
Dr. William Sanchez & Dr. Mary Ballou
404 Int’l Village
Tel: 617.373.2485
w.sanchez@neu.edu
m.ballou@neu.edu

Curriculum

Suggested Sequence of Curriculum for Full-time Students

Note: course sequencing is not guaranteed, although we try to enable this schedule unless you are notified of changes. If a course is not offered, or is full in a sequenced semester, please talk to your advisor regarding alternative sequencing.

CAEP Students
Experiential Learning

Boston is one of the world’s foremost centers for health treatment and research, and we have excellent relationships with numerous hospitals, clinics, health centers, shelters, and community service agencies. Over the course of your two years of study, you may choose to return to the same placement site or gain a variety of experiences at different sites.

Your adviser will work with you to find an appropriate placement in a:

Federal Prison, Court Clinic, Victim’s Assistance Program, Battered Women’s Shelter, Rape Crisis Center, Community Service Agency, Mental Health Center, Health Promotion Program, Mind-body Clinic, Complementary Medicine Clinics, or another setting that matches your interests.

Sample Schedule

  • Fall Semester

    • CAEP 6200: Counseling theory in an ecological context
    • CAEP 6201: Introduction to assessment
    • CAEP 6235: Vocational education & career development
    • CAEP 6250: Individual interventions
    • CAEP 6399: Clinical skills in counseling psychology

  • Spring Semester

    • CAEP 6203: Understanding cultural diversity
    • CAEP 6242: Psychopathology and treatment planning
    • CAEP 6380: Seminar in feminist psychology
    • CAEP 8401: Practicum in counseling psychology

  • Summer Semester

    • CAEP 6375: Substance use and treatment
    • Elective (or Qualitative methods in Health and Illness)

  • Fall Semester

    • CAEP 6220: Life span counseling
    • CAEP 6282: Ethics and professional development
    • CAEP 6287: Group counseling
    • CAEP 8501: Internship I in counseling psychology
    • Elective

  • Spring Semester

    • CAEP 6202: Research evaluation and data analysis
    • CAEP 8511: Internship II in counseling psychology
    • Elective

This outline does not need to be followed rigidly with the exception of Clinical Skills and Practicum in the first year and Internship, which is taken during the second year. The second year is more variable depending on selected concentration or selected electives. For further assistance, contact your advisor. When choosing courses, it is important to check in your course description book to see if the course requires or recommends a prerequisite.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the program lead to Licensing as A Mental Health Counselor?

Licensed mental health counselor is a master level licensing for counselors in the State of Massachusetts; other states may use slightly different terms. The NU MSCP program is consistent with the requirements for LMHC. The State, not the University program, is the body that licenses MH professionals. The State licensing regulations do require, in addition to a degree with specified course work and training experiences and an exam, additional post-graduate supervised experience.

Can Part Time students be admitted to the program?

Yes, we accept both full time and part time students. Full time students complete the program in two years; part time students take longer. Many, but not all, of the courses are offered at 4 and 7 o’clock for the convenience of students doing internships and part time students. The program welcomes part time students as long as they can make scheduling arrangements to attend MSCP or CAGS courses as scheduled. Some courses are scheduled at 1:00 and practica and internships are conducted during normal working hours. It is the student’s responsibility to make the necessary changes to their outside work schedule in order to meet the requirements of the MSCP or CAGS program they are enrolled in.

Please see Part Time Curriculum in the Program Handbook (pg. 11)

What are concentrations?

In the MSCP program students can select a concentration or three free electives. The concentrations require course work and one of the two clinical experiences in the designated area. The concentrations are Child & Adolescent Counseling, Forensic Counseling, Health Psychology, and Culture, Gender and Political Psychology. Students with particular interests in and who complete one of these concentrations may find their knowledge and skills as well as employment enhanced.

What is the theoretical orientation of the program?

The orientation of the program is the ecological model which is a perspective or meta-theory that looks to multi-levels of influence on human development and functioning. In keeping with most programs, we present and expect student to know the array of personality and counseling theories. Yet our MSCP program expects and facilitates our students? engagement in the ongoing process of understanding and conceptualizing human nature and human behavior. Additionally, the program seeks to provide competent practitioners with a thorough knowledge base of counseling and applied psychology and who can be evaluative consumers of the research literature that informs applied psychology and counseling.

What are the admissions requirements?

Northeastern’s MSCP program takes a whole picture view of applicants to the program. We expect to see an undergraduate major in psychology or its equivalent (6-8 courses with emphasis on the science of human behavior); an undergraduate GPA in the range of 3.0-3.8 (our average is 3.5); results of some standardized test (e.g., MAT, GRE, TOEFL) above the mean; strong recommendations from at least one former professor and hopefully from a supervisor in a human service setting; evidence of some experience with and commitment to helping relationships; and professional goals and personal development in line with the program as demonstrated in the personal statement and the interview.

What is the admission process?

Applicants should meet the application deadline of January 15. The MSCP faculty then read all the applications and selects those applicants who meet our requirements. Those selected are then invited to come to Northeastern for an interview process. (If distance or cost is prohibitive we will give a telephone interview, but far prefer to meet the applicant.) This is usually held in March. All applicants come to a designated building and room where we introduce the faculty and explain the program in detail. We also provide information about housing and financial aid. Student questions are also addressed. We provide lunch and university tours as well as opportunities to speak with current students. The day ends after individual interviews for each applicant.

How many students does MSCP accept into the Program each year?

We seek to have an incoming class of about 20 students.

What are the course sizes?

They range from internship seminars of 6-8 students to didactic classes of 25 or so.

Does the University place me or do I select my own practicum and internship sites?

Students select their sites from a list of approved agencies and services, with support from faculty and their individual advisors.

How do I get an Advisor?

Advisors are assigned to each student as they enter the program. However, all faculty are available to the students and if interests come to be shared, a new advisor can be selected by any student.

Is the MSCP program expensive and will I get an Assistantship?

Unfortunately in the 21st century, fully funded graduate and professional education is no longer available for Masters Students in Counseling and Applied Psychology. Instead much like law, dental and medical graduate professional school, the student typically borrows tuition and fees through educational loans. There are work-study positions available and very occasionally an assistantship might be found. The program tuition is roughly equivalent to more than a year of undergraduate tuition at a major private university.

Admission Requirements

Candidates for admission are expected to meet the following requirements:

  • Undergraduate major in psychology or its equivalent
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (program average is 3.5)
  • Personal statement of goals and expectations
  • GRE or MAT
  • TOEFL or IELTS (International Students)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal interview with faculty

The program faculty reviews applicant credentials to assess the likelihood of successful completion of the program and the potential for contribution to the field of counseling psychology and the community at large.

Other Information

Practicum

The Practicum occurs in the second semester during the first year and is a cornerstone in preparation for a clinical internship placement during the second year. The purpose of the practicum is to orient first year students to the mental health field, human services agencies, clients and their interrelationships. The students will explore the roles, functions, organizational structure and client’s needs to gain awareness and perspective of the field.

Internship

The second phase of clinical training, known as the Internship, occurs during the second year. Each student will spend a minimum of 20 hours a week at their placement site. The purpose of the internship is to enable the student to refine and enhance their counseling skills, develop more advanced clinical, relational and intervention skills, and integrate professional knowledge during their field placement.

Placement Contracts

Graduates:

If you are scheduled to attend your practicum, internship or advanced fieldwork this coming academic year, a “request for contract,” must be submitted to our department. The University requires a signed contract between the placement site and the University. You are not responsible for the signing or generating of the contract as there is a procedure already in place; however, we cannot generate a contract unless there is a request for one. Please use the link below to submit your request. Please allow up to 2 weeks to process your request.

DO NOT DISREGARD this message. Be advised, without a contract, legally you cannot start your fieldwork.

You may follow up on your request with Monique Clarke at (617) 373 -2485 or m.clarke@neu.edu.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Request a Contract

Apply to the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Program.