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M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services

Lead in counseling and psychology with Minnesota's premier master's program.

Elevate your career with the most sought-after master’s program in counseling and psychology services in Minnesota. Embrace your aspiration to help others conquer life’s challenges, cultivate mental well-being, and foster resilience. Advance your journey toward becoming a mental health professional, making a meaningful impact.

The comprehensive program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is specifically designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue a rewarding career as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in Minnesota.

The demand for counselors and mental health experts has skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, a staggering 41.7 million adults in the U.S., or one in four adults aged 18-44, sought counseling or received treatment for their mental health within the past two years By enrolling in our M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services program, you can help meet this growing demand and positively impact your community.

Our program offers a dynamic curriculum that combines rigorous coursework taught by experienced faculty, who are compassionate and skilled practitioners in the field. You’ll also gain invaluable practical experience through hands-on practicum placements within the community. This comprehensive approach ensures that you develop a deep understanding of the complexities of human behavior and social interaction, enabling you to make a difference in the lives of your future clients.

At Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, our Lasallian Catholic mission will guide you as you learn to serve changing and diverse communities, accept and empathize with others, and find innovative ways to connect with clients. Enroll in our program to be a catalyst for change, empowering individuals to create meaningful and lasting transformations in their lives.

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per credit


start dates

2.5 years

completion time





per credit


start dates

2.5 years

completion time


Program Highlights

  • Choose from a diverse range of elective courses that align with your career interests. Explore specific populations, counseling approaches/techniques, and delve into health psychology topics to deepen your knowledge and skills in your desired specialization.
  • Gain hands-on experience and provide counseling and psychological services to the community during a comprehensive 700-hour practicum. Under the guidance of a licensed mental health professional, you’ll develop practical skills and make a positive impact in real-life settings.
  • Simultaneously pursue your master’s and doctorate degrees, saving valuable time and resources. As an early entry student, you can seamlessly transition from your master’s program to our esteemed Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology, propelling your education and career forward.
  • Expand your career opportunities and expertise by pursuing the Dual Track: M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services and Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies program option. This unique pathway allows you to train simultaneously as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPC/LPCC) and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), equipping you with the specialized skills needed to address mental health and addiction challenges.

What You'll Learn

  • Counsel clients of diverse backgrounds with social justice, cross-cultural competency, and multicultural communities
  • Provide mental health diagnosis and treatment interventions based on current theories, clinical reasoning, and empirical support
  • Apply the fundamentals of research in counseling psychology to practice
  • Uphold ethical standards in the provision of mental health services incorporating the rules and regulations of the profession, critical thinking skills, and compassion.
  • Apply knowledge and skills in counseling and psychology to facilitate compassionate client centered services.
  • Utilize knowledge of psychological assessment tools and data to determine client symptoms, attributes, and strengths.

Grow through the challenges.

“I learned I’m resilient and strong”


Ready to apply? Learn about taking the next steps.

    • We review applications as they are completed and early applications are encouraged. Space in the program courses is limited and we cannot guarantee acceptance to your preferred semester if classes fill up.
    • Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year.
    • Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. 
    • Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework.
    • Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

  • Students with transcripts from universities outside the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada (except for the Quebec Province) must take and pass English proficiency testing.

    Saint Mary’s accepts:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • We also accept the SAT with a minimum composite score of 1000 (minimum 480 in English) and Duolingo with a minimum score of 100.


  • Your application must include the following items:

    • A completed application form
    • $25 non-refundable application fee
      Note that Saint Mary’s alum, students seeking readmission, or active military personnel and their immediate family are exempt from this application fee
    • All official transcripts issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from all previous institutions attended with a minimum of 30 semester credits with a basic English composition course.  
      • An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution.
      • Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards.
        Note: Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.org) will also be accepted.
      • A reflective essay which includes the following:
        • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
        • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
        • description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
        • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
      • Three recommendations that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
      •  current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
      • Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or Duolingo accepted.)


    Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission

    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
    2500 Park Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55404

    Or electronically: tcadmission@smumn.edu

    Please reach out with any questions about the application process.

    Phone: (612) 728-5100

    Toll-free: (866) 437-2788

    E-mail: tcadmission@smumn.edu

    • Online: February 15
    • On-Campus – Minneapolis: 
      • Fall: July 1
      • Spring: November 15
      • Summer: March 1 
    • On-Campus – Rochester:
      • July 1

    • Online: Fall 2023: Aug. 28
    • On-Campus – Minneapolis: Fall 2023: Aug. 28
    • On-Campus – Rochester: Fall 2023: Aug. 28

  • You can expect to be notified about your acceptance approximately two weeks following the admission interview.

Tuition & Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make your education affordable.

Course Catalog

In addition to foundational courses, you’ll take courses such as:

  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Ethics and Professional Issues
  • Psychophysiology

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements

Careers & Salary

Pursue a career providing counseling and psychological services in outpatient clinics, private practices, hospitals, social service agencies, or addiction treatment centers. Plus, you’ll be ready to pursue Saint Mary’s Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology program.

Substance Abuse/Behavioral Disorder/Mental Health Counselor

$52,850 per year*

Licensed Professional Counselor

$57,777 per year*

Counselors (all other)

$42,320 per year

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Students are allowed to apply for a location change one time while enrolled in the program to an on-ground location. Students are not allowed to transfer into the online cohort after starting the program.

  • Yes! Contact one of our enrollment counselors to learn more.

Sources and Disclaimer

  1. Lightcast, 2021, degree conferrals.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Mental Health Treatment Among ADults Aged 18-44: United States, 2019-2021 at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm (visited May 16, 2023).
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Minnesota at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm (visited May 16, 2023).
  4. Salary, Licensed Professional Counselor Salary in Minnesota at https://www.salary.com/research/salary/recruiting/licensed-professional-counselor-salary/mn#:~:text=How%20much%20does%20a%20Licensed,falls%20between%20%2451%2C914%20and%20%2464%2C726.(visited February 14, 2023).
  5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2022 21-1019 Counselors, All Others at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211019.htm (visited May 16 2023).