Online Master’s in Mental Health Counseling


While mental health awareness is growing, it largely remains taboo. As society increasingly pressures people into being more productive and excelling in every sphere of their professional and personal life, more and more of us become prone to developing mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, and other conditions.

The role of a mental health counselor is both challenging and fulfilling. They teach individuals to navigate their day-to-day life in a healthier and more meaningful and mindful way. A master’s degree in mental health counseling can provide the right start toward this rewarding career.

These mental health counseling master’s programs generally comprise 60 to 90 credits and are taught by experienced faculty members, many of whom are renowned authors and licensed mental health professionals. The courses help students develop an understanding of counseling techniques, promote mental health and well-being, and learn counseling skills.

The programs prepare graduates to earn their license as mental health counselors and practitioners. These professionals can work with children or adults, with groups or individuals and in a wide range of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, addiction centers, and other treatment facilities.

The following guide profiles six exceptional master’s programs in mental health counseling as well as three notable faculty members teaching them.

Professors to Know in Master’s in Mental Health Counseling Programs

  • Shabnam Javdani, PhD, New York University

    Dr. Shabnam Javdani is an assistant professor of applied psychology at NYU. She teaches courses on the introduction to behavioral research, the introduction to community psychology, risk and resilience, and research methods in applied psychology.

    Presently, Dr. Javdani's research is focused on community collaboration, examinations of human behavior from an ecological point of view, intervention development, and adolescent health disparities. A member of the American Psychological Association and Association for Psychological Science, she has published her research in top journals, such as the Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, the American Journal of Community Psychology, and the Journal of Adolescent Health. She is the recipient of the NYU Steinhardt Research Development Award and the NYU Steinhardt Gabriel Carras Research Award.

    Dr. Javdani completed her doctorate and master's degree in clinical-community psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Arien Muzacz, PhD, Oregon State University

    Dr. Arien Muzacz coordinates the clinical mental health counseling program at Oregon State. She teaches courses in the hybrid master’s of counseling in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling programs. Before joining OSU, she worked at various other institutions such as Lewis & Clark College, Montclair State University, and the City College of the City University of New York.

    Dr. Muzacz is a member of several professional organizations including the American Counseling Association and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. She has published her research in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling and the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality. She also has received several awards, including the Mental Health Counseling Student Scholar Award and the Children’s Aid Society’s Staff Excellence Award.

    Dr. Muzacz completed her doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Oregon State University, her master of arts in mental health counseling from the City College of the City University of New York, and her bachelor of arts in psychology and political science from Columbia University.

  • Steven Vannoy, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Boston

    Dr. Steven Vannoy is an associate professor in the mental health and in the counseling psychology doctoral program at UMass Boston where he teaches abnormal psychology, research in counseling psychology, and advanced career and group counseling, as well as an independent study course and a practicum in counseling.

    Dr. Vannoy's primary research covers suicide prevention, alternative and evidence-based psychotherapies, and mental health care in medical settings, which has appeared in the Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, the Journal of Head and Trauma Rehabilitation, and the Journal of Neurotrauma. He is a part of the American Association of Suicidology and American Psychological Association and has won the Department of Counseling Psychology Dissertation Research Award and the Ray W. Strowig Award.

    Dr. Vannoy earned his doctorate and master's in counseling psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; his master of public health from the University of Washington; and his associate degree from the Florida Institute of Technology.

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