Counseling Psychology (MS)

Program Overview

Are you interested in furthering your study of Counseling Psychology?


Our Master of Science in Counseling Psychology (M.S. CP) graduate program at Northeastern develops Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) with the latest training in contemporary professional practice powered by the foundations of Counseling Psychology. The curriculum is inspired by an ecological approach, training students to look at humans in the framework of social and economic systems. Research and clinical practice empower our students to understand urban, preventative, and community-based interventions so that they can effectively work with people of all backgrounds.


The MSCP coursework empowers students to choose a specific concentration to focus on throughout their studies, advancing their resume beyond graduation. This puts our graduates ahead of the curve when applying for further graduate study and employment.


These concentrations take advantage of interdisciplinary training and perspectives in:


  • Child & Adolescent Counseling
  • Early Intervention
  • No concentration
  • Research

Our program complies with all of the most updated licensing regulations for Mental Health Counselors in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

While the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology program prepares students to become highly skilled licensed mental health counselors, this degree can also prepare students for careers in other areas of counseling, such as:

  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Outpatient therapy
  • Family therapy

Northeastern’s 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.

Application Due Date


Contact Information

Please refer to our FAQs for many common questions about our program. Please also note that the contact individual for the program is not directly involved in admission decisions. If you have specific questions regarding faculty research interests, please feel free to contact the faculty member directly. Thank you!
Christie Rizzo, PhD
Program Coordinator
Tel: 617-373-2486
[email protected]

Program Faculty


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
  • 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 6287: Group Counseling
    • CAEP 8401: Practicum in counseling psychology
    • CAEP 6375: Substance use and treatment

  • Summer Semester

    • 2 Electives

  • Fall Semester

    • CAEP 6220: Life span counseling
    • CAEP 6282: Ethics and professional development
    • CAEP 6380: Seminar in feminist psychology
    • CAEP 8510: Internship I in counseling psychology
    • Elective

  • Spring Semester

    • CAEP 6202: Research evaluation and data analysis
    • CAEP 8511: Internship II in counseling psychology
    • CAEP 6260: Community Counseling Psychology

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.

Curriculum subject to change

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.


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
  • 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.

What You Can Do with a Counseling Psychology Degree

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.

Graduates of the MSCP program meet all of the Pre-master’s degree requirements for certification as Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This includes required course work; a Supervised Practicum, Pre-Master’s Degree Clinical Experience; and a Supervised, Internship Pre-Master’s Degree Clinical Experience. Following degree award, candidates are required to complete on their own the Post-Master’s licensure requirements which include passing the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), and completion of a Supervised, Post-Master’s Degree Clinical 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, Research, Early Intervention, and No Concentration. 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)
  • 3 letters of recommendation, including strong recommendations from at least one former professor and hopefully from a supervisor in a human service setting
  • TOEFL or IELTS (International Students)
  • Evidence of some experience with and commitment to helping relationships
  • 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 for fall semester entrance. 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 Zoom 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 30 students.

What are the course sizes?

Class sizes range from 8-10 for internship seminars to approximately 25-35 for didactic classes.

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.

How much is tuition and is financial assistance available?

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.

Other Information


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.


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.

Apply to the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Program.