Degrees, Licensure and Certificates

Degrees, Licensure and Certificates

MS (Masters Degree in Science)

In order for the mental health counseling student to be considered as a candidate for graduation with a Masters Degree in Science (MS) a completion of 60 credit hours, with a grade point average of 3.0 or better, and fulfillment of a culminating, "capstone" experience (as outlined below) are required.

Mental Health Counseling Licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Students who graduate from the Mental Health Program fulfill the academic requirements required by the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions to be licensed as a mental health counseling (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During their last semester of education, students should request an application for licensure from the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions.

Applicants for licensure must have their academic course of study approved by the Board before they can take the licensing examination, which may be taken prior to the completion of their 3,360 hour post graduate work experience. In addition to a complete application, applicants must submit a transcription of 60 academic credits that fulfill specific requirements (Please visit the MA Board of Registration for LMHC requirements).


Board of Registration
Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions

239 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 727-3080

Mental Health Counseling: Forensic Services Concentration

Forensics Services focus on the intersection between the criminal justice and health service systems. This concentration provides training in the complex social issues that appear at this intersection: the origins of mental illness, substance abuse, and crime; the operations of health and law-related services for those affected by these problems; and the impact of relevant social policies. The analytical emphasis and core interdisciplinary approach to forensic services increases understanding of ways in which public health and legal standards, specifically mental health issues and criminality, intersect and diverge. Students who complete the concentration are awarded both the MS in Mental Health Counseling and the Forensic Services Graduate Certificate

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)

The Mental Health program no longer accepts CAGS applications from students who received their master's from outside our department. 

We do accept CAGS applications from students who have successfully completed the MS degree in another program such as Family Therapy, Rehabilitation Counseling, or School Counseling. A minimum of 30 credits post MS is required for the CAGS. Interested applicants should submit three letters of recommendation, a letter of intent describing an understanding of the practice of mental health counseling and detailing personal career objectives, transcripts of all previous college work, undergraduate and graduate. Transcripts must be official (bear the college seal) and be from regionally accredited colleges or universities. Undergraduate and graduate cumulative grade point averages (GPA) should be at least 3.0 overall, and 3.0 in psychology courses as well.

Professional Organizations

Mental Health Counseling students can join AMHCA as a student member and/or MaMHCA.

American Mental Health Counselors Association
801 North Fairfax St. Suite 305
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (800) 326-2642

Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association
Phone: (508) 698-0010

Employment Opportunities

Many of our graduates are offered jobs at their internship site after they graduate!  Community agencies, hospitals, or outpatient facilities serving children, adolescents, and adults or school systems employ graduates from the Mental Health Counseling Program. Graduates are eligible to apply for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts after completing the following requirements:

  1. A 60 credit graduate program at UMass Boston, which includes specific courses designated by the Massachusetts Board of Registration
  2. A passing score on the national licensing examination
  3. Completion of approximately two years (3,360 hours) of supervised employment

Once graduates are licensed, there are many job opportunities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for mental health counselors. In addition, a licensed mental health counselor is eligible for clinical membership in the American Mental Health Counselors Association.


Commonwealth of Massachusetts Licensure Requirements for Mental Health Counselors (LMHC)

Board of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions Licensing Requirements

Course Requirements & Courses
University of Massachusetts Boston

  • Completion of a 60 credit program from a recognized educational institution.
  • Successful completion of the three graduate
    level courses in each of the following areas:
  • Program requirements meet both licensure requirements for a Mental Health Counselor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

1. Required Course Areas:

  • Counseling Theory
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Psychopathology Identification
  • Social Cultural Foundations
  • Helping Relationships
  • Group Work
  • Special Treatment Issues
  • Appraisal
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Professional Orientation

Click here to visit the list of required MHC courses

2. Electives

Examples: COU 664 Child Abuse and Neglect; COU 617 Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents; COU 622 Theories of Family Therapy

3. Practicum

COU 688 Mental Health Counseling Practicum (100 hours)

4. Internship  (600 hours)

COU 698 Mental Health Counseling Internship (600 hours starting 2013)

We require 600 hours to insure that our students are well-trained and competitive for jobs when they graduate

5. Post-Master's Clinical Field Experience

Total of 3,360 hours required; up to the student to fulfill after graduation