MA in Mental Health Counseling Program

Earn your M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Marylhurst

Well-respected university known for its creative arts therapies programs

Ready to join a profession focused on helping people? Earning your mental health counseling degree will open doors to a career that’s at the center of helping people heal, overcome trauma and become self-reliant, strong individuals. Marylhurst – a university known for its creative arts therapies programs – offers a comprehensive, in-depth master’s program in mental health counseling that prepares you to be a caring, professional counselor.

Convenient ONLINE class schedule with two short visits to campus each year.

Career outlook for counseling professionals is strong

Job growth expected for mental health counselorsThe mental health counseling profession is expected to grow by 19% over the next decade, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This will create approximately 30,000 additional jobs in that same time frame.

In Oregon, that growth rate is even greater at 22% with approximately 110 annual job openings.

Why Choose the Marylhurst M.A. in Mental Health Counseling Program?

Accreditation iconACCREDITED
Marylhurst University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Courses are offered online with two on-campus sessions per year in Portland. Each session lasts 4-5 days with one hosted in the Fall and one in the Spring.

Marylhurst graduates are highly employable with more than 90% of the university’s alumni network employed full-time. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the Oregon Licensed Professional Counselor and National Counselor exams.

No GMAT required for admissions. Clear pathways to graduation. Complete the program in 2 years.

Small classes (even online) with expert faculty, and an extensive university alumni network connected to respected professionals working in creative therapies.

Rigorous Mental Health Counseling Curriculum

Marylhurst has a strong, national reputation within the field of creative arts therapies. In fact, our Art Therapy Counseling program and our undergraduate Music Therapy program are top-ranked in the nation. Courses within the M.A. in Mental Health Counseling build on this solid reputation and the program  was designed in compliance with CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) standards.

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Cost of the Program

Current graduate tuition for the M.A. in Mental Health Counseling program is $641 per credit. Most courses are four credits. The counseling program is 90 credits in length for an approximate total program cost (based on current tuition) of $57,690.

Compared to other regional graduate schools, Marylhurst is considered an affordable value with our relative low cost, high quality experiential learning opportunities and services.

Marylhurst has little-to-no fees (for example, parking is free on campus) and offers extensive financial aid management services.

Mental Health Counseling Admissions Requirements

Students pursuing the MA in Mental Health Counseling are expected to have earned 18 quarter credits in psychology, including 6 credits of general psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Human Development and Theories of Personality or Research Methods. Most students have already fulfilled these requirements through an undergraduate degree, including psychology, music therapy and more. If you have questions relating to these requirements or are ready to get started, contact a Marylhurst admissions counselor at

\\View full details of our graduate program admissions requirements and application deadlines

\\ Ready to apply? Get started with our ONLINE APPLICATION.

World Class Faculty

Tara McGarry, Psy.D.

Tara McGarry is a licensed clinical health psychologist and specializes in behavioral health, working with physicians and medical staff to assist patients with health and mental health concerns. In addition to her continued work with patients in the medical field, Dr. McGarry is the interim program director of Marylhurst’s new MA program in Mental Health Counseling. She also leads Marylhurst’s undergraduate psychology department. Read more…

Mary Andrus, DAT, ATR-BC, LPC

Laura Beer, Mary Andrus, Sally Giles, Marylhurst University

Mary directs the Art Therapy Counseling Program at Marylhurst and supports an art therapy practice in Chicago with a Professional Doctorate in Art Therapy from Mount Mary University. Mary also is an active member of the Art Therapy Licensure Task Force. Read more… 

Laura Beer, Ph.D., MT-BC, ACMT

Music Therapy in the NICU, Marylhurst UniversityAs one of the leading voices in music therapy, Dr. Laura Beer has extensive clinical experience as a music therapist, having trained with Clive and Carol Robbins at the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center in New York City and worked in the field for over 24 years. She is a nationally recognized therapist for her work in hospice care and her research interest is focused on creative use of music in qualitative studies. Read more …

Greg Crosby, M.A., LPC, CGP, FAGPA

Greg Crosby, Marylhurst University

Greg Crosby has seved the Marylhurst community since 1980 and is a sought after trainer in community mental health and managed care organizations, residential treatment, drug and alcohol prisons and within continuing education. When not teaching, Greg maintains a private practice in therapy supervision, Adult ADHD and life transitions. Greg has authored several articles and manuals about group therapy and is in the 2012 Wiley text book, Handbook of Group Psychotherapy, edited by Klineberg. His new co-authored book with Tonya Lippert is Transforming ADHD. Read more…

Funding & Scholarships

Marylhurst is committed to the financial literacy of our students and provides a supportive team of advisors to help you consider all financial opportunities available in pursuit of a higher education. Don’t overlook available scholarships and financing for graduate students. Request more information to learn about all funding opportunities.

Alumni Scholarship

Did you receive your bachelor’s degree at Marylhurst? You’re eligible for our Alumni Scholarship of $2,500 toward your first graduate class at MU and the $150 matriculation fee is waived.

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Join us – the first Tuesday of every month for an open art studio hosted by Marylhurst Art Therapy Counseling faculty.

The Open Studio is designed to be a nonjudgmental space, where you can explore making art to release stress and find new meaning in your life. This event is open to M.A. in Mental Health Counseling students and the larger counseling community who wish to use art to know self. No previous experience with art making is necessary. Learn more.

Get More Information

Ready to further discuss whether or not the Marylhurst MA in Mental Health Counseling is right for you? Connect with one of our admissions counselors who can answer your questions, email you more information and share steps to get started.

Or, Explore the MA in Mental Health Counseling Further