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Program at a Glance

The online Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling is designed to put your goals within reach. Three start dates each year and a manageable course load of just two classes during each accelerated session enables you to earn your degree in as few as two years — all while maintaining an ideal work/school/life balance. This 60-credit program prepares you to work with individuals across the lifespan and treatment spectrum.

Program Coordinator: Sandy Gibson,


  • full time: 2 years
  • part time: up to 6 years


  • online
  • (mix of asynchronous
    and synchronous courses)


  • generalist practice
    addiction counseling


  • courses


  • credits


  • per credit*

*This represents a discount of 17% off of TCNJ’s standard tuition rate. Paraprofessionals working in HPSA communities and HBCU graduates are eligible for a further discounted rate of $514.50 per credit.

Who should pursue this program?

A counseling degree will offer you a wide variety of career pathways; many counselors work in community agencies, hospitals, or private practices and provide care directly or serve as administrators. Upon graduation, you will meet the requirements to take the National Counselor Exam to be a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and be eligible to apply to be a Licensed Association Counselor (LAC) or its equivalent. Prospective students who live near the TCNJ campus are encouraged to apply to the in-person program.

Engaged Faculty

What sets our faculty apart? It’s their academic prowess and active engagement as practicing counselors. Our faculty members are immersed in the current landscape of mental health counseling, bringing firsthand experience and a practical perspective to the classroom.


The clinical mental health field is experiencing an unprecedented surge in job opportunities, reflecting the increasing recognition of mental health as an integral component of overall well-being. Employment in the field is expected to grow by 18% between 2022 and 2032, according to the latest national data . Our programs will prepare you for success, enabling you to confidently enter the workforce and command a salary that reflects your expertise and dedication.

This program consists of three 16-week terms a year, each of which is divided into two carefully curated eight-week sessions. The practicum/field experience will span a full term, and the internship will span two terms.

Courses are offered online in a blend of asynchronous and synchronous work, meaning you will do most of your work on your own time, whenever it best fits your schedule. Most classes will have a weekly live presentation that will also be recorded for those who cannot attend. (Note that while most courses do not require synchronous attendance, it is required for group counseling as well as for your practicum and internship.)

Full-time students can take two classes per term and finish in two years. Part-time students can decide how many classes to take each term but must finish within six years.

This online program leverages cutting-edge technology to enhance the learning experience and to provide essential skills for your future counseling practice. Through interactive virtual classrooms, multimedia resources, and real-time collaboration tools, you’ll be a part of a dynamic and engaging online environment that mirrors the richness of in-person instruction. Participate in simulated counseling sessions; access diverse case studies; and engage in immersive, experiential learning.

Our instructional designers have developed a no-cost introductory module to prepare you to successfully engage in the online learning environment. In addition, we’ve standardized the online classroom experience to ensure a seamless transition from course to course, even for those who might be new to online education.

Our dynamic curriculum is designed by national experts and aligned with the newly released 2024 CACREP standards. There are two tracks available: generalist practice and addiction counseling. In both you will supplement your classes with community-based engagement, independent studies, or faculty research.

Generalist practice track: Customize your course of study by pursuing the generalist practice track and choosing electives that offer a broader clinical experience.

Addiction counseling track: This track embraces multiple pathways to recovery, preparing you to work across the addiction treatment spectrum and providing a strong foundation in harm reduction.

Our application process is simple and efficient; GRE scores aren’t required, and rolling admission ensures you can start as soon as you want — even the very next term. You need to provide the following:

  • Essay (personal statement)*
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty or employers only
  • Copy of resume
  • Official undergraduate transcript

You can also use code “GROWTCNJ” to waive the $75 application fee.

*Share with us how your lived expertise integrates into your desire to be a mental health counselor, including your aspirations for creating meaningful change in individual lives and communities.

As this is a new program, CACREP accreditation cannot be secured until the first cohort of students is ready to graduate. The CACREP application will be submitted at that time, and everyone who graduates within 18 months of the date that accreditation is secured will be deemed to have graduated from a CACREP-accredited program.