Academics

Mental Health, MS (online)

*UMass Boston is not currently accepting students for online study who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, or Minnesota, due to regulations in those states. Please contact your state's Board of Education for details.

*If you are applying to the online version of a program, please be aware that your start term should be summer. If you put start term fall on your application, you will be taking summer courses as a non-degree student which means you will not be eligible for financial aid until the fall semester. You cannot amend your application after submitting it. Thank you.

**Please contact your state licensing board to verify that our program meets their requirements for licensure.

Thank you for your interest in our online Mental Health Counseling program at UMass Boston!  We are very eager to hear from you! The following information describes the program. 

The Department of Counseling and School Psychology is offering a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling (MHC) online. This is an academically challenging yet rewarding program that will prepare you for a career in Mental Health Counseling. It is a 60-credit master’s program which meets the academic requirements for licensure in the state of Massachusetts as a Mental Health Counselor for those who complete an approved field placement in the U.S. under appropriate supervision. (There are additional post graduate clinical experience requirements for licensure.)

The online MHC program begins in the summer and continues in the fall and spring semesters.  Our online courses run using both synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods.  For the synchronous meetings, we hold weekly one hour to one and a half hour classes in which students have the opportunity to verbally participate in an online classroom with their peers and professor.  Typically, synchronous meetings are held from 5pm EST onward during the week.  In terms of the asynchronous classes, we use Blackboard in which faculty post course-related information.  Continuing Education has set the online classes to run for a total of 13 weeks.(In some circumstances when the instructional material requires more time, one or two sessions may be added or the live online sessions may be extended.)

General Program Information: Online Master’s of Science in Mental Health Counseling (60 credits)

The online program in mental health counseling follows a cohort model and can be completed in two years.  The program begins in the summer with one online course and two face-to-face courses, which are completed over a two-week period at UMass Dartmouth (although you are always enrolled as a student at UMass Boston).  The rest of the program is completed online with your cohort. 

The MS online program in mental health counseling meets the Massachusetts educational requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor (LMHC).  Additional post-graduate supervised employment hours within the field are required for licensure.  For licensure requirements in other states, we recommend checking the state’s Board of Registration and Licensure website to make sure that you are eligible for licensure in your respective state. Our graduates, fortunately, have been largely successful in obtaining licensure from their local boards; however, they often have to go through an administrative process to do so. To be absolutely certain, we strongly recommend that you check with your local board as such regulation is subject to change.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is regionally accredited through NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges).  To ensure superior quality, the online program is modeled after the on-campus program, offering many of the same instructors teaching the courses.

The program requires a 100-hour practicum in approved placement sites. A 600 hour internship, divided evenly between two semesters, is also required. It consists of supervised field experiences in public and nonprofit mental health treatment facilities.  Upon completion of the program a student will receive the same degree as an on-campus student.

Important information about the in-person summer component:

1. Your application to the program should indicate that your enrollment semester is summer (very important).  

2. During the first summer, the online cohort students take two courses and complete them in two intensive weeks at the UMass Dartmouth campus. There will be 7 hours and 30 minutes of class every weekday. These two weeks are normally held in mid-June and is a required component of the online Mental Health Counseling program.  If you are accepted to the program, you will receive more information about these two weeks via email from the online Graduate Program Director Esmaeil Mahdavi.    

3. During these two weeks in the summer, students have the choice to live on campus in apartment-style dormitories (the vast majority of students have chosen to live on campus).

TRANSFERRING COURSES:  An applicant can only transfer in two 3-credit courses.  Thus, you can take up two classes as a non-degree student before being admitted to the program. These credits will transfer over if you are accepted. Please note that taking and passing these courses does not guarantee admission to the program. You may also register for 6 credits as a non-degree student. The way to sign up for these courses is to contact Kevin Ziomek.

The admissions deadline is January 2nd.  Please click here to learn more about the specific admissions requirements.  

The Financial Aid Office and the College of Advancing and Professional Studies provides information relating to the cost of the online program.

Still have more questions? Here is the Frequently Asked Questions page or email Dan, our Department's admissions coordinator.    


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State Eligibility UMass Boston is not currently accepting students for online study who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, or Minnesota, due to regulations in those states. Please contact your state's licensing board for more details.

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