Can You Get a Master’s Degree in Counseling With A Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology?

Master's in CounselingThe behavioral sciences fields share a number of similarities, which means that you can get a master’s degree in counseling with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Sociology is essentially the study of people and why they behave and act in different ways. As an undergraduate, you have the chance to conduct research and work with people of different backgrounds, which can help you as a counselor. Counseling lets you help people get better control over their lives, thoughts, feelings and emotions, and you can better understand where they come from thanks to your undergraduate background.

How to Choose the Right Counseling Program

Before you can get a Master’s in Counseling degree with a Bachelor’s in Sociology degree, you need to choose the right program. These programs offer different concentrations or areas you can emphasize in, including marriage and family therapy, substance abuse counseling, rehabilitation therapy and career counseling. When looking at different colleges and universities, look at the concentrations that each one offers and the added benefits for students. If you want to work as a career counselor, you want a program that offers that concentration and will let you work at the career counseling center on campus or at an off-campus internship.

Applying to Graduate School

Counseling graduate programs are highly selective, and most programs have an application deadline, which gives you a limited time to get a copy of your transcript, complete the application and mail in your application fee. You also need to secure two or more letters of recommendation from people who have experience working with you. Ask your former sociology professors and employers to write those letters. According to US News and World Report, asking your professors and including a copy of your resume to give them a better understanding of you as a person and more information that they can use in their letters.

Paying for Graduate School

You already know that you can use student loans, grants and scholarships to pay for your education, but did you know that graduate schools pay students to teach courses and research various topics? These programs are open to counseling students and include positions as research assistants and teaching assistants. If you plan to work with college students later, apply for an RA position. Some universities hire graduate students to live in the dormitories and residence halls and keep an eye on students.

Using Your Sociology Skills

To get a Master’s in Counseling with a Bachelor’s in Sociology background, you need to use the skills that you picked up as an undergraduate. Sociology courses teach you research methodologies, how to interview groups and individuals, how to efficiently write papers based on your research and even how to identify different groups of people. Use your background to apply for internships off campus that will let you gain some experience counseling students and others in the community. You can also effectively use your skills to pick a topic for your thesis and later write that thesis.

Related Resource: Community Counselor

Not many colleges offer undergraduate degrees in counseling, but you’ll learn the skills that you need in graduate counseling programs when you study one of the social or behavioral sciences. You can easily get a master’s degree in counseling with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and most colleges will view your behavioral science background as a reason to give you a spot in their programs.