Can I Get a Master’s in Counseling With Only an Undergrad Minor in Psychology?

Interested parties can obtain their masters in counseling with only an undergrad minor in psychology. Some people believe that employment options are extremely limited with a bachelor of psychology, leading them to major in other areas. According to collegiate career counselors, supplementing some majors with a psych minor can make students more attractive to graduate school programs because they have the tools to decipher human thought processes in regards to certain situations.

Counseling versus Clinical

It is incredibly important to understand how counseling psychologists work. Unlike clinical staff that deals with emotionally disturbed individuals, counselors help average citizens learn to handle everyday stressors and offer moderate levels of emotional therapy. Counseling psychologists receive more generalized training and do not specialize in particular disorders. Due to a lack of formal medical knowledge, counselors do not have the authority to prescribe medications.

Employment Specifications

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that counseling psychologists earn an average annual salary of $67,650 United States dollars (USD). Work environments include healthcare facilities, schools and government agencies. Experts predict above-average industry growth until the year 2020.

Minor Logic

Members of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, express frustration at a common misconception. For years, people thought the only profitable jobs for psychology majors existed at the graduate level. With many waiting until their early 30s to pursue graduate studies, a major in business or other popular areas helps undergraduate students feel they can save for their future and avoid tremendous debt.

Psych Minor Classes

Campuses are flexible in regards to courses that fulfill psychology minors, but most require the completion of selected classes that typically include:

– Introduction to Psychology

– Statistics or research

After successfully completing any required coursework, students select from a series of additional classes to complete their minor. The following is a list of courses offered by many well-known institutions.

– Psychology of learning

– Drugs and behavior


– Abnormal psychology

Graduate Studies

Masters degree programs in counseling psychology typically take between two and three years to complete. Most schools adhere to minimum grade point average (GPA) and graduate record examination (GRE) requirements. Admissions staff interview potential candidates and request writing samples to evaluate communication skills. Letters of recommendation provide an in-depth look at each applicant.

According to the American Psychologist medical journal, most masters programs in counseling psychology admit students who successfully complete the following five courses during their undergraduate studies.

– Statistics

– Experimental or research

– Abnormal

– Developmental

– Personality

Data revealed that programs without documented academic requirements preferred to enroll students with similar academic backgrounds. Administrators also ranked cognitive, social, testing and learning classes as having similar importance in the admissions process.


Based on information provided to medical journals and psychology professionals, people who minor in psychology can pursue graduate level studies in counseling psychology. Admissions staff looks at individual pieces of the puzzle instead placing emphasis on an entire major. Taking the right classes within an undergraduate minor is the real key to entering a graduate program.

Additional Resources:

Big Future by the College Board

Which psychology courses do graduate programs require?