Counseling Psychology Masters & PhD Degree Programs in Colorado

What is a Master’s in Counseling Psychology Degree?

A Master’s in Counseling Psychology degree centers on working with patients. You may learn how to assess mental health challenges and plan a treatment approach. And, you'll explore how to build respectful relationships with diverse people.

Studying Counseling Psychology is not just about understanding others. Most programs help you get to know yourself, too. Expect to evaluate your own strengths and how you can use them to counsel patients in an ethical manner.

Colorado counseling psychology masters & phd degree programs infographicwritten by Shannon Fandler

What Can You Do with a Masters in Counseling Psychology?

Master’s in Counseling Psychology graduates could pursue various roles in Community and Social Service occupations. This industry is growing faster than average, with 14% more jobs projected between 2016 and 2026. Areas like drug abuse and rehabilitation counseling may have the most need.

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor roles may grow 23% between 2016 and 2026. That’s much faster than average, with an expected 60,300 new jobs. Many of these new roles will likely relate to addiction and mental health counseling. In fact, the largest employers for counselors are outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers.

One trend worth noting is the use of integrated care in the mental health field. This means a group of specialists work together to treat many kinds of problems. Integrated care has led to fast growth for roles like Marriage and Family Therapist.

Do I Need a Master’s Degree to Become a Counseling Psychologist?

27% of Counseling Psychologists said they needed to earn a Master’s degree for their jobs. But, most Counseling Psychologists earn a doctoral degree.

Steps to becoming a Counseling Psychologist include (according to

  1. Earn a Ph.D. in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree.
  2. Complete clinical experience. In most cases, that includes an internship and one to two years of supervised professional experience.
  3. Earn licensure. Check your state’s requirements through the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.
  4. Pursue continuing education courses. In some states, you’ll need continuing education to maintain your license.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Masters Counseling Psychology Graduate Degree?

Earning a Counseling Psychology graduate degree could be a step toward a career in Psychology or Community and Social Services.

For instance, most Counseling Psychologists must earn a doctoral degree in Psychology. These professionals help people understand and manage personal challenges. They guide patients through issues at home, work, or the community. And, they help patients access the strengths and resources they need to live more fulfilling lives.

Marriage and Family Therapists usually earn a Master’s degree in Psychology or a related field. They help patients work through personal and interpersonal challenges. They may use techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy. And, they may help patients cope with everything from divorce to addiction.

A Counseling Psychology graduate program could help you prepare for these and other career paths.

Occupation Average Salary Employment

Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists



Marriage and Family Therapists



Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers



Psychologists, All Other



Top States for Employment: Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

State Employment Annual Mean Wage




New York












Top Metro Areas for Employment: Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

Top Salary Metro Areas in Colorado: Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
Pueblo, CO$88,06090
Grand Junction, CO$87,28040
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO$84,0301,540
Fort Collins, CO$78,580150
Colorado Springs, CO$75,000360

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Demand for Counseling Psychologists is growing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Psychologist roles are projected to grow 14% between 2016 and 2026. That’s faster than average for all occupations.

Prospects may be best for those who have earned a doctoral or education specialist degree, along with postdoctoral work experience. And, there may be more opportunities for Psychologists who specialize in rehabilitation psychology or working with the elderly.

Popular Counseling Psychology Degrees in Colorado

Counseling Psychology degrees are reported by the National Center for Education Statistics under the category of Psychology.

In the most recent update of the data (2009/10), across the U.S, there were 32,762 Psychology degrees awarded to graduate students. The majority (82%) of these programs were at the Master’s level.

ProgramInstitutionDegree Awarded
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of ArtsUniversity of Northern ColoradoMA
Master of Arts in Transpersonal Art TherapyNaropa UniversityAM
Counseling Psychology Program - MasterUniversity of DenverMS
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology - Substance-Related and Addictive DisorderNational UniversityPhD
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in TraumaGrand Canyon UniversityMS
Graduate Certificate in AddictionsPurdue GlobalN/A
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What is the Difference Between a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and a Master’s in Counseling?

Masters in Counseling Degree Guide

Masters in Counseling Psychology

Masters in Counseling

Sponsored Degree Example: MA in Counseling Psychology

Sponsored Degree Example: Online MA in Counseling – Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Specialization

Length of Program: A minimum of 60 credits (licensure track)

Length of Program: 60 credits

About the Program: The MA in Counseling Psychology covers theory, practice, and advocacy. You’ll study contexts of counseling – from the scientific to the cultural. Rigorous coursework and field experience teach key counseling skills.

About the Program: This program covers the theory and practice of rehabilitating patients. You’ll learn how to help patients with disabilities, addictions, or other differences. And, you could study skills like case management and performing interventions.

Courses include:

  • Lifespan Development
  • Clinical Assessment and Evaluation
  • Psychopathology
  • Counseling Families

Courses include:

  • Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disability
  • Counseling Theories
  • Addictions in Counseling

No specific program accreditation

No specific program accreditation. The curriculum is designed based on CACREP standards.



If your career goal is to become a Counseling Psychologist, you may need to earn a doctorate. PhD in Counseling Psychology programs often use a scientist-practitioner model. Candidates explore the science of psychology and even conduct research. They also study professional skills needed to work with patients. These include communicating effectively, performing interventions, and understanding diversity.

A PhD program in Counseling Psychology is not only more comprehensive than a Master’s program. It may also be a standard for earning psychology licensure, depending on your state. Some PhD programs need candidates to have earned a Master’s degree in psychology, counseling or a related field. Others accept students with a Bachelor’s degree.

What Are the Requirements for a Master’s in Counseling Psychology Degree?

Most Master’s in Counseling Psychology programs require between 30 and 50 credits of coursework. Programs designed to prepare students for counselor licensure may require more credits.

Expect to take courses on both the theory and practice of counseling. You’ll study how to assess people in different contexts – like families and groups. You’ll learn about mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. And, you’ll explore evidence-based treatments to help patients work through their challenges.

Common courses include:

  • Counseling Theory and Techniques. Expect to take one or more courses that delve into the how and why of counseling. Case-studies and role-playing may help you learn techniques for working with patients.
  • Multicultural Counseling. Most programs touch on the importance of cultural sensitivity. A course like this could explore biases related to race, sex, age, and more. You’ll prepare to build stronger counseling relationships with patients of diverse backgrounds.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling Psychology. Many programs offer a course on professional standards, laws, and ethics. You may study issues like patient confidentiality, licensure, and mental health laws.

Finally, most Master’s programs also include a practicum and one or more internships. The goal is for students to gain supervised experience while practicing counseling skills.

What Should I know About APA Accredited Programs?

For certain Psychology careers, some states require you to graduate from an APA-accredited program. (This may be a criterion for earning professional licensure in your state.) The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits doctoral Psychology programs. They also accredit internship and postdoctoral residency programs.

APA bases accreditation on standards like curriculum quality and the skills students learn. Choosing an accredited program can help ensure your education aligns with industry practices.

Other accrediting organizations include:

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Master’s in Counseling Psychology?

Earning a Master’s in Counseling Psychology may take around two years for full-time students. Program length varies by school. Earning a doctorate, like a PhD in Psychology, takes much longer. Most programs are between four and six years in length.

Psychology Counseling Graduate Degrees in 3 Years or Less

University # Of Credits Required Start Dates Minimum Months to Complete

California Baptist University


Fall, Spring, Summer

24 months

City University of Seattle



24 -36 months

Lesley University


Fall and Spring

36 months

California Institute of Integral Studies


Fall, Spring, Summer

24 months

Hope International University




What Is The Cost of a Master’s in Counseling Psychology?

The average cost of a graduate degree from a public institution is $11,617 per year. You could find programs both more affordable and more expensive than the average.

This chart shows graduate tuition for four schools with Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs. We compared those costs to the most affordable and most expensive college options.

                  Instate/Out Of State Tuition


$11,617 Average Public Institution University
$14,784 Average Private For Profit Institution Tuition
$26,551 Average Private Nonprofit Institution Tuition

What Are The Costs Per Credit for Masters in Counseling Psychology?

Cost per credit varies by institution. Remember that state universities may charge different rates for in-state vs. out-of-state students. Below are a few examples of cost per credit, reported by various schools.

University # Of Credits Required Cost Per Credit Total Tuition Cost

California Institute of Integral Studies





Walden University

90 quarter credits



Wake Forest University


$8,520, per 6 credit hours of part-time enrollment


Top 52 Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs in Colorado

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