Pre-Master's Program in Counseling

William James College Partnership Program

Prepare for graduate study in Counseling Psychology or Forensic & Counseling Psychology while you earn your bachelor's degree

William James College logoDo you want to help improve the lives of children, families, and others by providing mental health counseling? Then consider becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). These professionals help individuals, groups, and organizations manage mental illness, addiction, abuse, trauma, and other stressors. They assess, diagnose, and treat clients in a variety of settings, such as schools, hospitals, and community agencies.

Wheelock College's Pre-Master's Program in Counseling offers you the opportunity to begin preparing for a career as an LMHC by earning your bachelor's degree at Wheelock and gaining early acceptance to a graduate program at the highly competitive William James College in Newton, MA (formerly Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology). An accelerated track enables you to complete both degrees in five years.

Program Options

  • For your undergraduate studies at Wheelock, you can major in Psychology and Human Development or any other arts and sciences program. 
  • For your graduate studies at William James College, you may choose one of the Counseling Psychology graduate programs: the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Couples and Family Therapy, Master of Arts in Forensic and Counseling Psychology, Master of Arts in Counseling and Health Psychology, Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy, or Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Global Mental Health. All programs fulfill the educational requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts.

In addition, the MA in Counseling Psychology and Couples and Family Therapy meets the educational standards for dual licensure as both a Mental Health Counselor and a Marriage and Family Therapist.

The MA in Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy is among a few programs in New England to meet the educational standards for becoming a Mental Health Counselor and a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist.


The accelerated track offers you the opportunity to earn your bachelor's degree in three years-six traditional semesters (fall and spring), plus two summer semesters. The traditional track follows the same course of study, but you will complete your bachelor's degree in the usual four years.

In both tracks, you can complete your master's degree at William James College in two years, including four traditional semesters (fall and spring) and one summer semester.

Application Process

Apply online to William James College in January (see application deadlines on the William James website) of your sophomore year at Wheelock and you will learn of your admission status by April of that year.

To gain early acceptance into William James College, you will need a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 at the time of application and a demonstrated commitment to a career in mental health through your coursework, extracurricular activities, and a strong commitment to community service.

If you are admitted to William James College, you must complete four required psychology courses at Wheelock and graduate from Wheelock in good standing.

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