Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Maryland

Pursuing a counseling career in the state of Maryland can be a rewarding professional choice. Individuals seeking to establish a counseling career within the state can expect to find many job opportunities due to the state’s proximity to the diverse population of the Washington, DC metro area, as well as the number of challenges burdening the Maryland healthcare system.

Challenges to the state healthcare system include long waiting times for both behavioral health patients and patients with complex needs, a shortage of inpatient psychiatric hospital beds, workforce shortages, and a problematic funding model. Low reimbursement rates from insurance providers, the lingering mental health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and a shortage of providers holding significant cultural competence also present significant challenges. 

Furthermore, limited resources available to youth and college-age adults are a particular problem. Recent graduates entering the workforce will thus find significant opportunities to fulfill the mental health needs of varied populations.

The state of Maryland currently features several accredited master’s-level counseling degree programs. Read on to discover how to pursue various counseling careers in Maryland, including detailed information about academic programs and licensing.

Featured Counseling Programs
Wake Forest University Online MA - Clinical Mental Health CounselingVisit Site
Wake Forest University Online MA - School CounselingVisit Site
Bradley University MAC - Clinical Mental Health CounselingVisit Site
Bradley University MAC - Professional School CounselingVisit Site
University of North Dakota Online MA in Counseling - Addiction CounselingVisit Site
University of North Dakota Online MA in Counseling - Community Mental Health CounselingVisit Site
Lamar University M.Ed. - Clinical Mental Health CounselingVisit Site
Lamar University M.Ed. - Counseling & Development - Marriage, Couple & Family CounselingVisit Site
Southern New Hampshire University Online BA in Psychology - AddictionsVisit Site
Southern New Hampshire University Online BA in Psychology - Mental HealthVisit Site
Sponsored
×

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN Southern New Hampshire University Online MS - Construction Management

Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Maryland

Bowie State University

Bowie State University offers a master of arts in mental health counseling and a master of education in school counseling.

The master of arts in mental health counseling is a 60-credit program designed to provide graduates with the skills necessary to become licensed in Maryland. After completing foundational coursework and a comprehensive exam, students move on to advanced coursework. This advanced coursework features three field experiences totaling 1,000 pre-degree field hours. These field hours are also necessary for license eligibility. Students may attend on a full or part-time basis.

The master of education in school counseling is a 48-credit program designed to prepare graduates for work with children pre-K to grade 12. Successful graduates possess a comprehensive understanding of human identity and skills in data analysis, program development, and counseling methods.

  • Location: Bowie, MD
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $439 per credit for residents; $723 per credit for out-of-state students

Hood College

The Hood College Department of Psychology and Counseling offers a master of science in counseling degree featuring one of two specialties: clinical mental health counseling and school counseling. Both programs also offer training in the fields of thanatology and gerontology.

The clinical mental health counseling specialty is a 60-credit program featuring core courses, specialization courses, electives and a 700-hour practicum. Graduates of this program may seek not only state licensure but also seek to become National Certified Counselors (NCCs) through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

The school counseling specialization provides the training to become a certified school counselor in Maryland. The curriculum is also a 60-credit program and features coursework similar to that of the clinical mental health specialization; the primary distinction is the content of specialization courses. All school counseling specialty students must also complete a three-credit hour course on the topic of special education. 

Graduates work with individuals and school systems to support the academic, career, and social-emotional growth of students. School counselors may work in a variety of settings, including multi-disciplinary teams in K-12 schools as well as school-based mental health programs. 

  • Location: Frederick, MD
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $745 per credit

Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University School of Education offers a 60-credit master of science degree in counseling. Students select one of two concentrations: clinical mental health counseling or school counseling. 

The programs feature evidence-based curricula aligned with both national and state standards, designed to provide graduates who will be skilled, ethical, and culturally sensitive counselors. Both programs include a 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship requirement. Students of either concentration must complete the program within five years.

The clinical mental health counseling concentration fulfills the licensure requirements to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Maryland and other states. Graduates of the school counseling concentration hold the skills to work in K-12 school environments and may also seek certification as school counselors from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). 

School counseling concentration students must also pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) before or during their last semester.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Duration: Two to three years; students must complete within five years
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $936 per credit; $991 per credit for online courses

Loyola University Maryland

The Loyola University Maryland School of Education offers a 60-credit master of arts degree in school counseling. This program is recognized by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). It meets both the requirements necessary to become a licensed professional counselor in Maryland and certification as a school counselor. 

The curriculum provides the training necessary to become professional and culturally competent school counselors who will be advocates for both mental health and social justice in a variety of educational environments. School counselors provide not just mental health support but also nurture the social-emotional, career, and educational development of students.

Upon completing courses required by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors, graduates may become licensed clinical professional counselors (LCPCs). 

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Duration: Two to three years
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $675 per credit

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland School of Public Health offers a 48-credit master of science degree in couple and family therapy. Students selecting a thesis option complete a total of 51 credits. The curriculum has three primary elements: didactic coursework, clinical practice, and supervised work with clients. 

Graduates may pursue several career paths, including working as couple and family therapists, agency administrators, substance abuse counselors, and researchers.

Clinical students accrue experience in supervised client contact beginning in their first semester. Of the 500 contact hours required, 400 must be face-to-face contact and 200 of those hours must be working with couples or families. Students are expected to complete this program requirement by the end of the spring semester of their second year of study.

  • Location: College Park, MD 
  • Duration: Two to three years; students must complete program within five years 
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • Tuition: $811.90 per credit for in-state students; $1,769.38 per credit for out-of-state students

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore offers a 60-credit master of science degree in rehabilitation counseling (MSRC). The curriculum is designed in alignment with standards provided by the Council of Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). 

Graduates complete various coursework, a final written examination, and an internship. Successful exam completion is necessary before students can begin their internship component. Successful graduates may become Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRCs).

This program prepares graduates to help individuals with disabilities achieve the greatest level of vocational, psychological, economic, and social independence possible. The program conceives of rehabilitation as being a holistic process in which trained professionals recognize, value and incorporate the multiple aspects of an individual’s life into the rehabilitation services and planning they provide to clientele.

  • Location: Princess Anne, MD
  • Duration: 2.5 years
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $346 per credit for Maryland residents; $476 per credit for Eastern Shore Region students; $641 per credit for all other students

Washington Adventist University

The Washington Adventist University Department of Psychology and Counseling offers two master of arts degrees focused on counseling. One program offers a counseling psychology curriculum, while the other, the clinical mental health counseling degree, offers the training necessary to seek licensure.

The master of arts in counseling psychology is a 39-credit, non-licensure program. Graduates of this program may work under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

The 60-credit master of arts in clinical mental health counseling is similar to the counseling psychology program but features an additional 21 hours of coursework. This curriculum provides graduates the training necessary to seek one of two licenses. Graduates may become Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPCs) or specialize in substance abuse counseling and ultimately become Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADCs). Students become eligible to seek licensure after completing program requirements, which include 2,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.

  • Location: Takoma Park, MD
  • Duration: Two to three years
  • Accreditation: Institutional accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $625 per credit

How Much Do Counselors Earn in Maryland?

These numbers represent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2021—the latest data available as of September 2022. In cases where no BLS data were available, Ziprecruiter and Salary.com were consulted to find current information.

Clinical and Counseling Psychologist Salaries

United StatesMaryland
Number employed58,100820
Average annual salary (mean)$99,640$93,330
10th percentile$47,010$47,850
50th percentile (median)$82,510$82,710
90th percentile$167,460$147,340

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors Salaries

United StatesMaryland
Number employed310,8805,520
Average annual salary (mean)$53,490$56,700
10th percentile$30,870$36,650
50th percentile (median)$48,520$55,480
90th percentile$77,980$78,310

Marriage and Family Therapist Salaries

United StatesMaryland
Number employed54,800880
Average annual salary (mean)$59,660$56,840
10th percentile$37,050$38,580
50th percentile (median)$49,880$49,630
90th percentile$96,520$80,560

Rehabilitation Counselor Salaries

United StatesMaryland
Number employed90,3101,980
Average annual salary (mean)$44,740$42,990
10th percentile$28,890$29,090
50th percentile (median)$38,560$38,320
90th percentile$65,880$62,420

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselor and Advisor Salaries

United StatesMaryland
Number employed57,1106,170
Average annual salary (mean)$82,770$72,730
10th percentile$49,260$46,910
50th percentile (median)$78,780$64,280
90th percentile$124,950$102,230

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Maryland

  • Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists
  • Maryland Counseling Association
  • Maryland School Counselor Association
  • Maryland Association of Addiction Professionals
  • Mental Health Association of Maryland

Mental Health Counseling (LMHC) Licenses in Maryland: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists

Mental health counselors in Maryland are licensed as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPCs) or Licensed Graduate Professional Counselors (LGPCs).

Candidates first apply to be LGPCs. The requirements include:

  • A master’s in counseling of 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits or doctorate in counseling of 90 semester credits or 135 quarter credits.
  • A 125-hour supervised clinical experience, internship, or practicum
  • Passing the Maryland Law Assessment exam
  • A $200 application fee
  • A $200 licensing fee
  • Passing the NCE exam

To transition from LGPC to LCPC, candidates must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete three years of supervised clinical work experience with a minimum of 3,000 hours. Two of those years and 2,000 hours must be post-graduate. Also, 1,500 hours must be direct client contact and 100 hours must be under supervision. If a candidate has earned a doctoral degree, then only 2,000 hours and two years of experience are required.

Counseling licenses in Maryland expire two years after the date they were issued. It costs $301 to renew a counseling license. Counselors must complete 40 continuing education units per renewal.

School Counseling Licenses in Maryland

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Maryland State Department of Education

The Maryland State Department of Education issues certification for school counselors. The five options for qualification for this certificate are:

  • Complete a master’s in school counseling or school guidance and counseling and have a National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) certificate, as well as two years of work experience as a school counselor or teacher
  • Complete a state-approved master’s in school counseling or school guidance and counseling and have two years of work experience as a school counselor (or teacher) or complete 500 hours of a supervised practicum in school counseling or school guidance and counseling
  • Complete a CACREP-accredited master’s in school counseling or school guidance and counseling
  • Complete master’s in school counseling or school guidance and counseling from an approved program under the Interstate Contract agreement for support service and have two years of work experience as a school counselor (or teacher) or complete 500 hours of a supervised practicum in school counseling or school guidance and counseling
  • Complete a master’s degree and have a valid school counselor certificate from another state, as well as 27 months of work experience as a school counselor in the last seven years

School counselor certificates issued in Maryland are valid for five years. To renew, counselors must:

  • Complete six semester hours of acceptable credit (these hours must include the importance of intervention and referral of major mental illnesses)
  • Complete three years of satisfactory experience
  • Complete a professional development plan

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Maryland

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Maryland State Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists

The Maryland State Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists credentials ​Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LCADC) and Licensed Graduate Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LGADC). They also certify Certified Supervised Counselors-Alcohol and Drug (CSC-AD), Certified Associate Counselors-Alcohol and Drug (CAC-AD), and Alcohol and Drug Trainees (ADT).

To earn an ADT certification, applicants must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $150 application fee
  • Be pursuing a CSC-AD or CAC-AD certificate (or an LCADC or LGADC license)
  • Have either an associate in a health and human services counseling field or complete 15 semester (or 25 quarter credit hours) in addiction and counseling related courses
  • Have verification of supervision
  • Complete a criminal background check

To earn a CSC-AD certification, applicants must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $150 application fee
  • Have an associate in a health and human services counseling field or have an associate in a substantially related field meeting the coursework requirements and complete a six-semester internship
  • Pass the NCAC Level I exam from NAADAC
  • Pass the Maryland Law Assessment
  • Complete a criminal background check

To earn a CAC-AD certification, applicants must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $150 application fee
  • Have a bachelor’s in a health and human services counseling field or have an associate in a substantially related field meeting the coursework requirements and complete a six-semester internship
  • Complete one year and 2,000 hours of supervised work experience in drug and alcohol counseling
  • Pass the NCAC Level II exam from NAADAC
  • Provide three professional references
  • Pass the Maryland Law Assessment
  • Complete a criminal background check

LGADC license candidates must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $200 application fee
  • Have a master’s degree in a health and human services counseling field from a regionally accredited institution (at least 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours, and an internship that is at least 1,000 hours)
  • Pass the MAC exam from NAADAC Pass the Maryland Law Assessment
  • Complete a background check

LCADCs must meet all the requirements for LGADCs, as well as:

  • Complete two years and 2,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience (1,500 hours must be direct client contact and 100 hours must be supervision, with at least 50 of those hours being individual supervision)
  • Have a master’s degree in a health and human services counseling field from a regionally accredited institution (at least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours, and an internship that is at least 1,000 hours)

Licenses and certificates issued by the Maryland State Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists expire every two years. Renewals for certificate holders or trainees are $200, while renewals for license holders cost $301.

All certificate and license holders must complete 40 continuing education hours, of which 30 hours must be formal courses, classes, or lectures.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Maryland

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists

Rehabilitation counselors in Maryland are credentialed as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPCs) or Licensed Graduate Professional Counselors (LGPCs).

Candidates first apply to be LGPCs. The requirements include:

  • A master’s in counseling of 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits or doctorate in counseling of 90 semester credits or 135 quarter credits.
  • A 125-hour supervised clinical experience, internship, or practicum
  • Passing the Maryland Law Assessment exam
  • A $200 application fee
  • A $200 licensing fee
  • Passing the NCE exam

To transition from LGPC to LCPC, candidates must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete three years of supervised clinical work experience with a minimum of 3,000 hours. Two of those years and 2,000 hours must be post-graduate. Also, 1,500 hours must be direct client contact and 100 hours must be under supervision. If a candidate has earned a doctoral degree, then only 2,000 hours and two years of experience are required.

Counseling licenses in Maryland expire two years after the date they were issued. It costs $301 to renew a counseling license. Counselors must complete 40 continuing education units per renewal.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Maryland

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists

Behavior Analysts in Maryland are licensed by the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists. Requirements for licensure are:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $200 application fee
  • Hold either BCBA or BCBA-D certification
  • Complete a criminal history records check

Renewals for licenses in Maryland are required every two years. The fee is $301.

To renew, analysts must submit a completed application, as well as proof of current BCBA or BCBA-D certification.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Maryland

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists

The Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapist credentials Licensed Graduate Marriage & Family Therapists (LGMFT) and Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapists (LCMFT).

LGMFT candidates must:

  • Have a master’s from an accredited institution of at least 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (at least 45 credits in six core areas)
  • Pass the Maryland Law Assessment exam
  • Pay a $250 application fee
  • Pay a $150 licensing fee
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam
  • Pass a criminal records check

To transition from an LGMFT to LCMFT, candidates must meet the above requirements, as well as:

  • Complete two years of supervised clinical work experience with a minimum of 2,000 hours (1,000 hours must be direct client contact and 100 hours must be under supervision)

Marriage and family therapy licenses in Maryland expire two years after the date they were issued. It costs $301 to renew a counseling license.

Counselors must complete 40 continuing education units per renewal.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Maryland

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists

Child therapists in Maryland are credentialed as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPCs) or Licensed Graduate Professional Counselors (LGPCs).

Candidates first apply to be LGPCs. The requirements include:

  • A master’s in counseling of 60 semester-credits or 90 quarter-credits or doctorate in counseling of 90 semester credits or 135 quarter-credits.
  • A 125-hour supervised clinical experience, internship, or practicum
  • Passing the Maryland Law Assessment exam
  • A $200 application fee
  • A $150 licensing fee
  • Passing the NCE exam
  • Passing the Maryland Law Assessment exam

To transition from LGPC to LCPC, candidates must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete three years of supervised clinical work experience with a minimum of 3,000 hours. Two of those years and 2,000 hours must be post-graduate. Also, 1,500 hours must be direct client contact and 100 hours must be under supervision. If a candidate has earned a doctoral degree, then only 2,000 hours and two years of experience are required.
  • Pay a $200 application fee and $150 licensing fee

Counseling licenses in Maryland expire two years after the date they were issued. It costs $301 to renew a counseling license. Counselors must complete 40 continuing education units per renewal.

Bernd Geels

Bernd Geels

Writer

Bernd Geels is a Berlin, Germany-based freelance writer and artist. He holds an undergraduate degree in atmospheric science and two graduate degrees. He completed his most recent graduate degree in international environmental studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 2011. He is interested in healthcare, climate change, marine conservation, indigenous science and refugee issues. You can reach him directly at berndgeels@gmail.com.