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School Counseling

  • Info Session Wednesday, March 21, 6:00 p.m.Register

The M.Ed. in School Counseling program prepares candidates for rewarding careers in school-or community-based counseling, college readiness, career guidance, or transitional services.

Featuring a dynamic combination of course work and field work, the M.Ed. in School Counseling will empower you to confidently meet the needs of today’s youth.

Our program is designed with both recent college graduates and experienced practitioners in mind. It is ideal for human development or social service professionals, and career changers who wish to work in school environments. Current teachers, social workers and master’s degree holders may be able to customize their program to meet their needs.

This program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education for guidance counselor licensure for grades K-8 and 5-12.

About our program

Our program offers an accessible yet rigorous curriculum aligned with Massachusetts licensure requirements and the American School Counselors Association standards. Merit scholarships are available for graduate school counseling applicants.

Depending on your professional goals, the M.Ed. in School Counseling at Merrimack offers you several options:

Master of Education in School Counseling: In this 48-credit degree program option, you will complete 44 hours of advanced coursework in counseling and youth program implementation. The remaining four credits of the program are saved for field experiences, including three pre-practicums and a full-year, single school placement practicum that exceeds Massachusetts requirements in hours. The lower credit amount for the practicum reduces tuition costs for you.

Master’s PLUS program in School Counseling: This option allows you to earn an additional 12- 16 credits BEYOND the master’s. It is a comprehensive 60-62 credit program of study in school counseling that enables you to prepare for second licensure area (K-8 or Gr 5-12) or advance your skills in a specialty area, such as trauma, substance use, special education, juvenile justice, higher education or community engagement.

License Only: If you already hold a master’s degree in counseling or psychology, Merrimack College offers a customized program to assist you with meeting licensure requirements for school counseling in Massachusetts.

Field experience is the hallmark of our program

An ongoing, progressively intense field experience requirement is the hallmark of our program. Through 75 hours of
pre-practicum and 500 hours of field experience in schools and community-based organizations, you will develop a valuable, more holistic understanding of the school counseling profession. This field experience includes a full year practicum for 4 credits. You will learn from experienced faculty and develop the rich understanding of varied backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives you need to work with diverse youth populations.

Benefits of the M.Ed. in School Counseling Program

  • Prepare for your career in school- or community-based counseling with rigorous core courses and rich field experiences
  • Meet the Massachusetts requirements for endorsement for this license upon graduation
  • Develop a holistic counseling approach built on our values of diversity, community engagement, and social justice
  • Put course work into real-world practice through a choice of engaging field work settings
  • Pursue your desired role in school-based counseling, college readiness, or community services
  • Choose from full- or part-time tracks

Follow Your Path to a Career That Makes a Difference

U.S. News & World Report recently included school counseling on its 100 Best Jobs list. By 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the field will see nearly a 12 percent increase in demand—resulting in over 31,000 new job openings. School counselors continue to be drawn into the field by the satisfaction of working with youth from elementary school through college entry, and watching them achieve. The program is not only focused on school based counseling, graduates will also have the skills and knowledge competencies to work in the field of community services and higher education advising and student support.

Program Format

Courses are offered in the evenings to accommodate students who work or intern during the day. By choosing from our full- or part-time schedules, you can complete your degree at a pace that works for you:

  • Full-time students can complete our program in two years. This option is ideal for human development or social service professionals, or career changers who wish to work in school environments.
  • Part-time students can complete our program in three or more years. This option is designed for current teachers or social workers, or master’s degree holders who need course or field work for a school guidance license.

Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Human Development, Psychology, or related major is required. Individuals with other majors may request a transcript audit to determine if their course work meets the minimum course content in: Introduction to human development or psychology; Human behavior; Developmental psychology (Ex. child development, adolescent development, lifespan); and Research or statistics.
  • Passing scores on MTEL communication tests (both reading and writing)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Possible interview

 Check Out Our Program Brochure


For questions about the program, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at or 978-837-3563.

Take it to the next level - the graduate level - at Merrimack.