Psychology, B.A. – Counseling, M.A. (Accelerated, Direct-Entry)

Fast-track your master’s degree in counseling and get a head-start on a life-changing career helping others

USJ’s accelerated B.A. in Psychology to the M.A. in Counseling will launch you into the high-demand and impactful field of Professional Counseling. Earn your master’s degree in six years instead of seven, saving you one full year in tuition, and start practicing as a school and/or clinical mental health counselor one full year sooner. Complete the requirements for your bachelor’s degree in Psychology in three years and begin work toward your master’s degree in the fourth, joining the ranks of licensed professional counselors and certified school counselors in just six years.

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Fast Facts

  • Earn your advanced degree in just six years
  • Save time and a full year’s tuition cost
  • Earn 12 graduate credits during your fourth year
  • Full-time, afternoon and evening graduate level classes starting after 4 p.m. to accommodate your busy schedule
  • Job growth for counselors is projected to grow 18% between now and 2032 (much faster than national average)


Students can declare one of the following counseling pathways —or both— during the first year, or you can wait to choose once beginning the graduate portion of the program.


The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the following programs within the Department of Counseling and Applied Behavioral Studies at the University of Saint Joseph: School Counseling (M.A.) and Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.)

Internships and career opportunities

Counselors are in high demand in this booming field with children, adolescents, and adults across the lifespan in environments such as:

  • K-12 Schools
  • Community mental health 
  • Hospitals and intensive outpatient programs
  • Private practice

Counseling Program Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Case conceptualization: Counseling students employ a holistic wellness framework and a multicultural, developmental, and ecological lens to understand diverse individuals in the context of their families and communities.
  • Counseling skills: Counseling students develop empathic and collaborative working alliances with students and clients and employ theory-based, evidence-informed, and culturally responsive assessment tools and counseling techniques to support their growth.
  • Social justice: Counseling students apply a social justice mindset and serve as an advocate and champion for clients and students in historically marginalized populations while promoting inclusivity- and equity-driven individual, group, and systems interventions.
  • Professional skills and dispositions: Counseling students demonstrate responsible and professional behavior, application of ethical standards as delineated in the professional codes, compliance with state and federal laws, and appropriate consultation and collaboration skills with other professionals.
  • Research: Students use current knowledge to inform their practice or contribute to the knowledge base of the counseling professions through innovation and research.
  • Self of the counselor: Students practice self-reflection, self-care, and cultural humility to support healthy and effective professional counseling relationships.
  • Data-driven practice: School Counseling Students empower P-12 students and their families for academic, social, emotional, college and career success through the design, implementation, and evaluation of data-driven comprehensive counseling services in elementary, middle, and high schools


Kristin Henkel Cistulli, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Chair, Department of Psychology, Family & Justice Studies
Phone: 860.231.5437
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Marte Ostvik-de Wilde
Associate Professor, Counseling Program Director
Department of Counseling and Applied Behavioral Studies 
Phone: 860.231.5324
Email: [email protected]

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