Published June 2016
Welcome to our ranking of the 11 top master’s degrees in counseling in New York.
If you’re thinking about earning your master’s or Ph.D. in counseling and you live in New York, take a look at these top-ranked schools. It’s hard to go wrong in a state like New York; between the suburban (and university-filled) upstate regions and the overflowing metropolis of the big city, there are more than enough options for students of all ages, interests, and backgrounds. And for counseling master’s degree students, New York is a treasure trove of employment opportunities that will open the door to satisfying work in NYC public schools, mental health clinics, hospitals, universities, or even private practice.
Click here to see the methodology we used for this best master’s in counseling degree ranking.
The University of Rochester’s accredited counseling graduate degrees in Counselor Education, School Counseling, and Mental Health Counseling represent the height of advanced counselor education in upstate New York. Students at Rochester benefit from an integrated, comprehensive curriculum in each area of study, all of which will prepare them for state licensure and a diverse array of meaningful careers in human services. Regardless of concentration, you’ll also acquire fundamental research skills that assist you in becoming a well-informed practitioner of proven therapeutic techniques. For students who would like to make research a central focus of their studies, Rochester’s doctoral tracks in Counseling and Counselor Education provide a fruitful opportunity for them to contribute their own ideas and become advanced scholars in their own right.
Tuition and Fees: $36,116/yr
School counselors are vital professionals in growing public and private school administrations throughout the state of New York. With a part-time, affordable master’s degree in counseling from CUNY’s Lehman College, students from a variety of educational and occupational backgrounds can join the nationwide initiative to improve young people’s lives in and out of the classroom. This program should be particularly attractive to working students, who can complete their degree in just three years while maintaining regular employment. Lehman’s bilingual extension programs are another attractive feature that appeal to aspiring counselors who would like to work in a bilingual educational setting.
Tuition and Fees: $14,855/yr
Advanced education—especially at the professional level—can be a financial burden even for students who are working full-time. Fortunately, Alfred University helps students in their accredited counseling master’s degree programs subsidize their education through graduate assistantships. In addition to being an exceptional opportunity to work more closely with top faculty members, these assistantships reduce students’ tuition by 50% for less than 10 hours of work per week. Coupled with on-location internship and practicum requirements, Alfred’s emphasis on applied education affords students a tremendous advantage when applying for work after graduation.
Tuition and Fees: $31,490/yr
Hunter College CUNY’s breadth of counseling education programs makes it easy to find your niche in this highly valuable segment of the human services industry. From School Counseling (MSEd) and Educational Psychology (MA) to Mental Health and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling (both MSEd), Hunter is a great resource for students looking to pursue academic research as well as those aiming for careers in schools, juvenile detention centers, rehabilitation clinics, hospitals, and community organizations. Although only Hunter’s School Counseling program has earned CACREP accreditation, each of these affordable counseling graduate degree programs feature the practical experience students need to find job placement in the career of their choice.
Tuition and Fees: $14,733/yr
Students in the Department of Counseling and Human Services at Canisius College aren’t just looking to earn a degree; they’re looking to fulfill their passion. The department’s Vision Statement describes both students and professors as being “personally inspired” to improve “the broader social condition of men and women.” If you feel similarly enthusiastic about the idea of working as a professional counselor, Canisius will provide the resources to turn this dream into a reality. Specializations in both School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepare students for a variety of careers in the field. Speaking of career preparation, Canisius’ affordable counseling master’s degrees also provide training to become a NYS OASIS Credentialed Alcohol Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) or U.S. Department of Defense TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselor (TCMCH).
Tuition and Fees: $14,684/yr
People from many different backgrounds find their way into counseling, including teachers, community leaders, and administrators. This diversity lends strength to academic programs that emphasize cultural sensitivity and multiple perspectives. This is exactly what you’ll find at St. John’s University, where students from all over the socioeconomic and ethnic spectrum come together to build the interpersonal, sociological, and psychological skills they need to excel in their careers. Although not everyone shares the same set of interests (St. John’s offers both a 48 credit-hour MS in School Counseling and a 60-credit MSEd in Clinical Mental Health Counseling), they do share a generous sense of compassion. And once you graduate, you and your classmates will have something else in common, too: one of the best master’s in counseling degrees in New York!
Tuition and Fees: $24,264/yr
The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh is one of the state’s—if not the nation’s—finest leaders in accredited graduate degrees in counseling. With three distinct graduate programs featuring CACREP accreditation (the gold standard for counseling education in the U.S.), there’s no denying that Plattsburgh deserves a place very high on our list. In addition to its accredited School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs, Plattsburgh also offers a less common option in Student Affairs and College Counseling. This latter degree is a huge draw for students looking to guide young people as they navigate some of the most important years – and decisions – of their lives on a college campus.
Tuition and Fees: $17,920/yr
Mental health counseling is one of the most valuable palliative and therapeutic developments in mental healthcare of the 20th century. Thanks to programs like St. John Fisher College’s accredited counseling master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, human service workers are gaining the evidence-based psychological insights as well as the requisite diversity and sensitivity training to adequately respond to the challenging needs of today’s mental health patients. Through an array of unique teaching methodologies, including role-play, classroom simulations, and case-study analysis, SJFC prepares counseling students for whatever they may encounter in their subsequent work in clinics, hospitals, or community health centers.
Tuition and Fees: $15,660/yr
Contrary to popular belief, counselors’ skills aren’t limited to providing damage control when something goes wrong. As experienced helping professionals and experts in human behavior, they also provide valuable support services to assist their clients in becoming more self-aware and more self-assured versions of themselves. With an accredited graduate degree in counseling from Long Island University, you can join the ranks of professional counselors working every day to impact someone’s life in a positive way. LIU’s School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs are both nationally accredited by CACREP, which ensures not only meaningful theoretical and practical training, but also wide recognition from schools, clinics, and hospitals around the country.
Tuition and Fees: $29,588/yr
With multiple campuses in Olean and Hamburg – as well as online course offerings – St. Bonaventure University makes earning a nationally recognized degree in counseling a convenient and stress-free experience. It also makes it an affordable one; SBU’s #2 top counseling graduate degree ranking is a reflection of its competitive tuition and generous scholarship programs through the School of Education. For most students, these merit- and need-based scholarships can comprise up to 20% of tuition every year, while those who work in “Catholic schools or organizations” could see a full 30% taken off their tuition bills!
Tuition and Fees: $12,798/yr
The College at Brockport State University of New York is another contender on this master’s in counseling degree ranking that offers an unusual variety of program options. But it takes much more than that to rise through the ranks and clinch the 1st place spot on our list. With two counseling degrees that earned CACREP accreditation back in 1987 (plus a more recent addition in 2009); perfect 100% completion, job placement, and exam pass rates for students in all three degree programs; and one of New York’s most affordable tuition rates, there’s really no contest. Brockport’s longstanding tradition of excellence and obvious commitment to value make it easy to identify as the home of New York’s best counseling graduate degrees.
Tuition and Fees: $16,500/yr
This concludes our ranking of the best graduate degrees in counseling in New York.