Masters Degree

I've been thinking about going back to school for a Masters in counseling. My question is....

Since I graduated with a BA in Sociology, minor in psychology can I go ahead and pursue a Masters in counseling....OR....

Would I have needed to graduate with a BA in counseling to pursue a Masters in counseling?

Basically, Is a BA in counseling or your major a prerequisite for a Masters?

I'm confused....nobody every explained this to me.
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I would think it depends on the school/program. I have a BS and I was looking at possibly getting my masters in the same general field of science. The grad school I was looking at gave me pre-requisites of what I needed and I was short 3 undergrad credits in organic chemistry.
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It completely depends on the school. My school doesn't have a BA in counseling, but a psychology degree is strongly preffered for the Masters counseling program. The one here is also a very small program and extremely difficult to get into.
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I don't think very many schools offer a bachelor's degree in counseling. My sister has a BSW (bachelor's in Social Welfare) and is a family therapist with an MSW also, but BSWs are very rare. I think most people with MSWs have BS or BA in psych or even something unrelated to counseling. I am guessing you will not have a problem.
Like the others, I don't think many schools offer a BS/BA in counseling. I would guess that your background will not be a problem. At the very least, you might need to take one or two more classes to meet an individual school's requirements but nothing major.


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my friend is doing her ma in counseling right now. she did her undergrad in mexico in womens studies. i think she had to take a class or two before starting her masters work, but i was nothing extensive.

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My sister is in a Master's program in counseling right now. She has a BA and an MA in Sociology. I don't think she had any problem getting into her program.

My guess would be at the most, you'd have to take a few undergraduate prerequisite classes at the school you want to attend before beginning the graduate program. My mom had to do that when entering a Master's program in communication disorders with a BA in psychology from 30 years before.

Check out the websites of the school(s) you're interested in and see if they list the prereqs. Or call their graduate office and talk to someone there.
Everyone's advice was good so far. I had an undergraduate degree in English with a Psych minor and there were no requirements about that for the M.A. in Counseling (which I now have). If I wanted a masters in Social Work, I would have had to take an anatomy course and possibly another course as a prerequisite before entering the program (since I didn't have them as an undergraduate). I didn't want to do that and was on a set timeline, so I didn't do that degree. I would say to check what the school's requirements are. HTH

I would also say to do a lot of research on counseling. I am still not sure I want to do counseling, even after earning the degree. Talk to the professors even before entering the program, and ask lots of questions about what you can do with your degree. Take advantage of the professors who will have you interview professionals in the field early on. If you can, work with people with mental issues/disabilities (for instance, as a volunteer in group work). I didn't really get a real taste for what counseling is until I worked in my internship, and at that point I wasn't sure I wanted to pursue a career in counseling. It's a lot different from what you may think. Now I have a masters degree I may not use. Not trying to scare you away from it, but it's always good to gather as much information as you can and experience the job to some degree before committing to it. On the bright side, I enjoyed going back to college and the classes I took, and I feel I learned a lot. Just my 200 cents

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Maybe it would help if I list some of the jobs my sister has had over the past 30 years with her training in social work and counseling.

With a BSW:

Social work in an agency for disabled people
Social work in partnership with Legal Assistance

With additional training as a paralegal:

Several paralegal positions with Legal Assistance (providing legal work for people with low incomes)
Paralegal assistance in helping people qualify for winter heating grants

At this point she detoured a bit and got certified as an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter and worked at a college for the deaf for several years. During that time she obtained an MSW. With the MSW:

Internship with Planned Parenthood, working 1-1 and in groups, mostly with pregant teenagers
Agency for urgent intervention: this was working intensively in the homes of families whose situation was so bad that the children were on the point of being placed in foster care. This was a very stressful and difficult job.
Mental health agency, doing family therapy. This was her favorite job. However, she moved to another state when she got married.
Another intervention agency, equally stressful.
Private practice with a partner, mostly family therapy.
Mental health clinic, working mostly with people with more serious disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality. These clients were outpatients and were being treated with medication but were in need of talk therapy.
Various programs and groups in the high school and middle school.
"Talk" therapy with deaf children.

At this point she got training to be a school guidance counselor and did a 1/2 time internship in the high school, but the job fell through.

Now she is back to interpreting full time for two middle school students.

I may have missed a few jobs! The point is that there's a lot you can do with this training, but it's not always the kind of work you can keep doing year after year. Pay tends to be low and burnout is always a risk. Clearly my dear sis is a very socially-concerned person and this is the kind of work that she is happy with.

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