Best Online Mental Health Counseling Psychology Programs

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More and more people are interested in online mental health counseling programs. These are slightly different from other online programs, mainly because they will often require some actual practicums. The degree programs vary in length from 60 to 90 credit hours and it is generally required to take part in a residency of at least two weeks. With most universities, students will be encouraged to choose a specialization or take part in a number of specialized courses. For instance, they can look at marriage and family, forensics or trauma counseling.

Another big difference is that most universities will require online students to take two or more classes at the same time, and that they do so in a specific order. With traditional universities, on the other hand, students would be able to determine their own course of study. The most important thing, however, is to ensure that the university you have chosen is fully accredited, which is necessary if you want to become a licensed practitioner and if you want to have transferable credits towards your continuous professional education. Let’s take a look at the five best online mental health psychology degree programs.

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Antioch University

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling through Antioch University features online courses; two, week-long intensive, residential colloquiums (at the university’s Keene, NH campus), and an experiential learning fieldwork experience. This CACREP-accredited counselor program includes coursework in the following key areas: human growth and development, group counseling and group work, assessment and testing, social and cultural diversity, ethical practice, and career development. Students of this program also have the opportunity to personalize their degree through their choice of electives in trauma, military counseling, or substance abuse/addiction.


The cost of the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is $656 per semester hour.


Prescott College

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Prescott College’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is offered as an online program that includes one, on-campus orientation and one on-campus colloquium per semester. This combination of online and in-person requirements ensures a rich, well-rounded program for students seeking to become licensed mental health counselors or licensed professional counselors. Students can personalize this program through a choice of emphases in Addictions Counseling; Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling; Social Justice in Counseling; or Somatic Counseling. Additional, post-master’s certificates are also available in Adventure-Based Psychotherapy, Ecotherapy, Expressive Art Therapy, or Equine-Assisted Mental Health.


The cost of the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is $904 per credit hour.


University of Massachusetts

Mental Health Counseling, MS (online)

At the University of Massachusetts, students can take part in a mental health counseling degree that is offered almost fully online. It does include a two week residency, but the school ensures that housing rates are kept very low for those students that want to remain on campus for that period. The program includes 60 credit hours and does require students to take part in a practicum if they want to graduate.


The tuition for the degree varies depending on the course of study and whether you are an in state or out of state student.


Southern New Hampshire University

BA Psychology: Mental Health Online Degree

The online psychology degree at Southern New Hampshire University concentrates on mental health. It is a theoretical course, which allows you to get to work in a community based setting while preparing to take part in a graduate study afterwards. It is a course that focuses on pre-professional experience, allowing you to move on to counseling or clinical psychology afterwards. It helps students to gain a greater understanding of human behavior. The university encourages students to continue to learn by taking part in master’s degree programs afterwards. The BA does not prepare students to become licensed in the field of psychology, but it does give them a greater understanding of the field itself and it allows them to get to know the ins and outs of the profession before deciding whether they want to gain leadership skills in it or not.


$960 per course


Northcentral University

MA in Psychology Online

Northcentral University is a popular for-profit, private and online school. It was the first university to offer accredited Ph.D. degrees online. Every week, new classes will start. At this point, a student is matched to a specific faculty member and each course is delivered by a mentor to ensure the best educational journey. They offer a range of different specialties, including health psychology, gender diversity, mental health policy and practices, general psychology and industrial organizational psychology. They have a particularly strong focus on ethics and cultural diversity.


$675 per credit hour

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About the Author: Ann Steele

This website is co-authored by Ann Steele, a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego with extensive experience with children and adolescents. Ann Steele attended American School Of Psychology & Argosy University Online. She especially enjoys using music therapy for mental and emotional well-being.

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