Top 30 Public Universities for Master’s Degrees in Counseling

A master’s degree in counseling is a popular choice for students looking to help others in their future careers. It ranks among the top specialties within the field of professional psychology. They train and prepare students to support their prospective patients with their social, psychological, and other issues. The top mental health counseling graduate programs focus on varied topics like:

  • stress
  • relationships
  • family issues
  • addiction

Graduate degrees in counseling create a pathway for therapy practice and to become a licensed practitioner. They also provide foundational knowledge so that students can pursue doctoral studies in counseling and psychology.

Counseling psychologists work in a range of settings, from mental health facilities to research departments of academic institutions. These include private practices as well as self-employment. Some counseling students become licensed mental health professionals and help clients cope with social and emotional problems as well as life changes. They help in situations like:

  • domestic violence
  • substance abuse and rehabilitation
  • family therapy
  • anger management
  • career guidance
  • mental health and PTSD, disabilities
  • anxiety
  • corporate counseling.

Graduates who hold a master’s degree in counseling degree may choose to seek employment opportunities in government agencies or private research facilities or pursue doctoral studies instead of becoming a therapist. Others go on to pursue academic careers and teach at the college or university level, work to improve and implement public education and knowledge about the field of professional psychology.

A public university is a state-owned or state-funded institution that offers a wide range of academic programs at associate, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. They offer programs at affordable rates and a high credibility factor due to their recognition by the state, various accrediting bodies, and licensing organizations. In this article, we have narrowed down some of the highest-rated, nationally recognized graduate degrees in counseling psychology in the nation.

If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in counseling psychology, then this article will give you some insights. We have provided information about the departments, the recognition they have received, their affordability, and the range of programs along with the specializations they offer. While they all provide phenomenal programs, we have ranked them in order of tuition affordability to help you get a clear picture of the costs involved in graduate study. We have focused on master’s degrees offered, the program’s quality, faculty, accreditations, and the courses covered.

Methodology:

Net Price (as reported by the NCES):

  • Under $10,000: 5 points
  • Under $12,000: 4 points
  • Under $14,000: 3 points
  • Under $16,000: 2 points
  • Under $18,000: 1 point

Program Flexibility (asynchronous course delivery, hybrid options, part-time/full-time schedule, etc. ) – 1 point per item

Online Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, etc.) — 1 point per item

Accreditation: 2 points for regional, 1 point for national

Program recognition or alignment with recognized standards: 1 point for each

 
 

#30 University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Visit Website
Points: 7

The University of Denver is a private research university in Denver, Colorado. It offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) program in Counseling Psychology with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration via its Morgridge College of Education. The 90-quarter credit program prepares students for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado and many other states. The comprehensive curriculum for this master’s degree in counseling includes courses like psychopathology, human development, ethics, multicultural approaches to counseling theories, among others. Electives include Addictions Counseling, Adolescent Counseling, Couple and Family Counseling, Diversity, and Social Justice Counseling, along with a Blended Option. The required Practicum, in-house clinic, and various internship opportunities provide students with diverse, real-world training. Students learn the therapeutic skills to practice counseling psychology covering areas like individual, group, and career counseling. The University of Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association. The MA in Clinical Mental Health is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC).
Tuition per credit: $1,222

#29 University of Texas Austin

Austin, Texas

M.Ed. in Counselor Education

Visit Website
Points: 8

The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas. It offers a Counselor Education master’s degree (M.Ed.) program via its College of Education. The top-ranked master’s degree in counseling program is designed to effectively meet the increasing demand for counselors in educational and community settings. The 48-hour coursework focuses on the rigorous study of education, psychology, and counseling. Graduates are prepared to work in schools and universities as:

  • academic advisers
  • career counselors
  • student affairs officials

They are also well-prepared to pursue certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor or School Counselor as well as doctoral studies in counseling psychology or other related fields. Applied work during practicum placements provides students with optimal opportunities to train for future work in academic settings. The graduate degree in counseling program is accredited by the APA. The University of Texas at Austin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Ranked #48 (tie) in National Universities (tie) and #14 (tie) in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking. The College of Education ranks #13 in the U.S. News & World Report.
Tuition per credit: $1,068

#28 University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

M.S. in Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 9

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin. It offers a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling via its School of Education. The 60 credit hour program includes courses like:

  • Developmental Processes Across the Lifespan
  • Crisis and Trauma Counseling
  • Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Counseling Theories
  • Clinical Rehab & Mental Health Counseling-Assessment
  • Group Dynamics Processing and Counseling
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Helping Relationships and Techniques
  • Counseling Psychology Techniques with Families
  • Social and Cultural Foundations
  • Lifestyle and Career Development
  • Abnormal Behavior and Psychopathology
  • Addictions Counseling
  • Professional Development
  • Clinical Practice

In addition, students must complete the Professional Integration Exercise (PIE), Practicum, and internship courses. UW-Madison is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ranked #46 (tie) in National Universities (tie) and #13 (tie) in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per credit: $780.92

#27 University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

Counseling – M.Ed.

Visit Website
Points: 9

The University of North Texas is a public research university in Denton, Texas. It’s College of Education offers M.Ed. in Counseling with two tracks – school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. The School counseling track covers areas like school counseling and guidance services and prepares students to become K-12 school counselors. The Clinical mental health counseling track offers the option to specialize in work with children, adolescents, college populations, or adults, thus preparing students to counsel a broad range of clients. The master’s degree in counseling programs meet academic specifications for state certification as a school counselor or licensure as a professional counselor. They are ranked among the top counselor preparation programs in the nation. The counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The University of North Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Ranked #281 in National Universities (tie) and #140 in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $22,568

#26 North Carolina Central University

Durham, North Carolina

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MA

Visit Website
Points: 10

North Carolina Central University is a public, historically black university in Durham, North Carolina. The MA in Counselor Education offers three separate degree options within it:

  • career counseling
  • mental health counseling
  • school counseling

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA provides students with comprehensive curricular and supervised experiences for initial licensure with N.C. Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and qualification as a National Certified Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors. The 60 credit hours program also has the option of taking three additional addiction courses, making them eligible for licensure as a Clinical Addiction Specialist. Graduates work as professional counselors in clinical mental health settings such as:

  • agencies
  • private practice
  • hospitals
  • prisons

This master’s degree in counseling program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling & Related Programs (CACREP) and is an endorsed member of the International Registry of Counselor Education Programs (ICREP). North Carolina Central University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It is ranked as #22 in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report.
Tuition per semester hour: $604.38

#25 Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 10

Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan, whose rehabilitation counseling graduate programs are among the top-ranked in the United States. Offered by the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education, the unique, specialized program prepares students to use their knowledge and skills to collaborate in a professional relationship with people who have disabilities. The 48-credit curriculum helps them develop expertise in:

  • counseling
  • case management
  • the social and psychological aspects of disability
  • independent living
  • the transition from school to work
  • career development
  • vocational assessment
  • disability management

The distinguished program has a proud history of graduates becoming leaders at the state, national and international levels. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP). MSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The rehabilitation counseling graduate programs are ranked number one among rehabilitation counseling programs in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Tuition per year: $755

#24 University of Akron

Akron, Ohio

Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 10

The University of Akron is a public research university in Akron, Ohio. U.A.’s graduate-only School of Counseling, part of the College of Health Professions, offers three 60-credit master’s degree programs:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Marriage & Family Counseling/ Therapy
  • School Counseling

The STEM-focused institution promotes inter-professional activities, state-of-the-art technology offered through an in-house mental health clinic, and a holistic approach to mental health care through accomplished faculty. It boasts of high licensure examination and job placement rates and prepares graduates to work in varied settings like:

  • mental health agencies
  • counseling centers
  • research
  • academic teaching

The University of Akron is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The graduate degrees in counseling programs are accredited by CACREP. The school ranks #189 in Psychology per the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $17,384

#23 Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

M.A. Counseling and Career Development

Visit Website
Points: 11

colorado-state-university

Colorado State University is a public research university in Fort Collins, Colorado. It offers a Master of Arts Counseling and Career Development with specialization options in:

  • career counseling
  • clinical mental health counseling
  • school counseling

Each coursework blends theory and practice so that graduates are prepared to help people of all ages develop self-awareness, decision-making, and self-advocacy skills needed to live successful lives. The program includes a 48-credit-hour core curriculum, a 12-credit-hour specialization curriculum, a 100-hour clinical practicum, and a 600-hour internship. All graduates are licensure-eligible and eligible to become National Certified Counselors. All specializations provide students with relevant, interpersonal, and technology-rich learning experiences, preparing them to work in professional settings. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Colorado State University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. The school has ranked #70 (tie) in Top Public Schools and #140 (tie) in National Universities in the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $15,130

#22 University of Louisiana Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

Master of Arts in Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 11

university-of-louisiana-monroe

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is a public university in Monroe, Louisiana. It offers a 60-credit Master’s in Counseling degree with two concentration options – clinical mental health counseling and school counseling. The former includes topics like:

  • Psychopharmacology in Counseling
  • Trauma Counseling
  • Addiction Counseling
  • Crisis Intervention Counseling
  • Play Therapy
  • Introduction to Marriage
  • Couples, and Family Counseling
  • and a Practicum

The latter includes topics like:

  • School Counseling
  • Principles of Administration of School Counseling Programs
  • Counseling Theories, Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Career Counseling
  • Maladaptive Psychopathology
  • Group Counseling
  • Multicultural Populations

The first-year coursework focuses on foundational content, while the second year coursework mainly focuses on advanced clinical content and internship experiences. The University of Louisiana at Monroe is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The MS in Counseling program is accredited by CACREP. Ranked #230-#301 in National Universities by the U.S. News & World Report.
Tuition per credit: $500

#21 Southern Illinois University

Carbondale, Illinois

Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 11

Southern Illinois University is a public research university in Carbondale, Illinois. It offers a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling that has continuously ranked in the top 5% of all rehabilitation education programs for over fifty years. The 51 semester hours program blends academic, clinical, and research experiences. Graduates are prepared to assist people with disabilities to achieve optimum psychological, vocational, social, economic independence, and quality of life. Students gain advanced skills in:

  • interpersonal communications and counseling
  • job placement
  • case management
  • assessment procedures
  • coordination of services
  • understanding of psychosocial and medical aspects of disability

They work closely with people with physical, mental, or emotional disability and their family members. They are trained in interpersonal skills so that they can easily confer with their peers in related fields like:

  • medicine
  • occupational and physical therapy
  • audiology

The program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education. Southern Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and through the Open Pathway. It ranks #129 (tie) in Top Public Schools and #226 (tie) in National Universities in the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $14,085

#20 University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Masters of Education/Education Specialist

Visit Website
Points: 11

The University of Florida is a public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university in Gainesville, Florida. It offers an entry-level program that leads to Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Education Specialist (Ed.S.) dual degrees. The 72 credit hour program is primarily designed for students interested in further developing their research skills and want to pursue a doctoral degree. It also exposes them to a variety of theoretical frameworks and prepares them to enter the counseling profession and pursue licensure or certification. Students can choose a specialization to tailor their master’s degree in counseling per their career goals and interests. These options include:

  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • School Counseling
  • Mental Health Counseling

The coursework consists of these specialty areas:

  • general content
  • applied clinical experiences
  • practicum
  • internship

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). All programs fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Ranked #34 in National Universities (tie) and #7 in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $12,740

#19 University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 12

The University of Iowa is a public research university in Iowa City, Iowa. It offers an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling via its College of Education. The 60 credit program prepares students to become competent professional counselors who can assist people with mental health conditions in their needs. Graduates are ready to work with clients across a spectrum of mental and emotional disorders in couples, families, or group settings. The master’s degree in counseling program provides a broad range of community and clinical experiences that makes graduates clinically skilled, knowledgeable, and committed to becoming mental health counselors. It also qualifies them for national certification through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). The program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Professions (CACREP). The University of Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Ranked #89 (tie) in National Universities (tie) and #38 (tie) in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $11,890

#18 Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Master of Counseling (MC)

Visit Website
Points: 12

arizona-state-university

Arizona State University is a public metropolitan research university and one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the U.S. It offers a Master of Counseling (MC) program that makes students eligible for licensure to practice as professional counselors in Arizona other states with comparable licensure requirements. The 60-credit hour program prepares graduates to work in a variety of mental health settings or pursue doctoral-level studies. The coursework lays a strong emphasis on multicultural counseling across the lifespan; students learn to promote the health of individuals, families, groups, and organizations in a diverse society. It boasts of a high licensure/certification exam pass rate and an employment rate of 93%. The program is approved under the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (AZBBHE) and accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Ranked #115 in National Universities (tie) and #52 in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $11,720

#17 University of Maryland

College Park, Maryland

School Counseling, Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Visit Website
Points: 12

The University of Maryland, College Park, is a public research university in College Park, Maryland. It offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling via its College of Education. The 60 credit program includes courses like:

  • Counseling Theories
  • Counseling Skills: Introduction to Practicum
  • Human Development in the Counseling Context
  • Family & Social Support Systems
  • Multicultural Issues in Counseling
  • Group Counseling in Schools
  • Career Development: Theory/Programs
  • School Consultation
  • Research in Counseling
  • Special Education for School Counselors
  • Counseling the Chemically Dependent
  • Introduction to Mental Disorders
  • along with capstones, internships, and Practicum

Students of this master’s degree in counseling program are prepared to become leaders, advocates, and a force for change in K-12 urban educational settings. Graduates are eligible for certification as school counselors in Maryland and other states. The University of Maryland College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The University of Maryland, College Park is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Ranked #64 (tie) in National Universities (tie) and #24 (tie) in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $11,340

#16 University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Counseling (M.A.)

Visit Website
Points: 12

university-of-north-dakota

The University of North Dakota is a public research university in Grand Forks, North Dakota. It offers a Master’s Degree in Counseling that prepares students for a dynamic career as a counselor. They learn to make positive changes in their community as they work in various settings like:

  • mental health centers
  • addiction treatment clinics
  • family service organizations
  • rehabilitation offices

The 60-credit program offers students the option to tailor their degree per their interests. They can choose from various specialization options like:

  • Addiction Counseling
  • Community Mental Health Counseling
  • Child & Adolescent Counseling
  • Rehabilitation Counseling

The program uses a training model blending evidence-based practices and multicultural competence anchored in the science of psychology. The program is accredited by CAEP and approved by ESPB. The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Ranked #263 in National Universities (tie) and #128 in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $11,060.40

#15 University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

Counseling, M.Ed.

Visit Website
Points: 12

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a public research university in College, Alaska. It is a flagship campus of the University of Alaska system. It offers an M.Ed. in Counseling via its School of Education. There are two tracks to choose from; both prepare students to become culturally responsive, competent counseling practitioners. The 48-credit-hour school counseling track makes students eligible to be certified as school counselors in Alaska. The School Counselor certification requires 45 credits for completion. The 60-credit-hour clinical mental health counseling track makes students eligible for licensure as professional counselors with additional post-degree requirements. Both curricula require a mandatory summer intensive program on campus. Both tracks are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. UAF is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Ranked #263 in National Universities (tie) and #128 in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $10,824

#14 University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

M.S. in Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 12

The University of Kansas is a public research university with its main campus in Lawrence, Kansas. It offers a master’s degree in counseling psychology that provides a broad and general introduction to counseling psychology theory, research, and clinical practice. Graduates are prepared to work as counselors and related professions or proceed to doctoral training. The 60-credit hour program includes courses like:

  • Human Development Through the Lifespan
  • Understanding Research in Education
  • Educational Measurement
  • Counseling and Interviewing Skills
  • Counseling Theory and Techniques
  • Individual and Group Assessment
  • Group Theory and Process
  • Career Development
  • Advanced Counseling Skills
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Theory of Couples and Family Counseling

In addition, there is a required Practicum in a counseling setting, generally in the northeast Kansas or Kansas City metropolitan areas. The program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology & Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ranked #129 in National Universities (tie) and #61 in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $10,385

#13 Illinois State University

Normal, Illinois

M.A./M.S. degrees in Clinical-Counseling Psychology

Visit Website
Points: 13

Illinois State University is a public university in Normal, Illinois. It offers a master’s degree in Clinical-Counseling Psychology that makes graduates eligible to sit for both the Illinois Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor Examinations. The 48 credit hour program provides rigorous training in essential areas of psychology and their application in assessment, counseling, and psychotherapeutic treatment. The master’s degree in counseling program prepares students to provide counseling services in varied settings like:

  • mental health centers
  • employee assistance programs
  • family service agencies
  • community colleges
  • substance abuse treatment

Students benefit from collaboration with expert faculty members who have been trained in Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology. Illinois State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Aligned with the APA standards.
Tuition per year: $9,676

#12 University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

MEd in Professional Counseling (Mental Health Counseling)

Visit Website
Points: 13

The University of Georgia is a public research university with its main campus in Athens, Georgia. It offers an MEd in Professional Counseling (Mental Health Counseling) that prepares graduates to serve in a variety of community mental health settings. It requires 60 semester hours of academic credit for completion and covers a broad range of topics for working with many different populations. Students have the option to choose a concentration, the options for which include:

  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Juvenile offender counseling
  • Women’s studies

Students develop practical counseling skills and gain broad-based expertise to serve in:

  • hospitals
  • community mental health agencies
  • juvenile justice settings
  • drug and alcohol treatment facilities
  • outdoor therapeutic programs
  • private practice

They are also prepared for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) in Georgia. This master’s degree in counseling program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). The University of Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS). Ranked #46 (tie) in National Universities (tie) and #13 (tie) in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $8,716

#11 University of Southern Maine

Portland, Maine

M.S. in Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 13

The University of Southern Maine is a public university in the U.S. state of Maine. It offers a Master’s Degree in Counseling (MSC) degree with a Concentration in Clinical Mental Health that provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to excel as clinical mental health, school, and rehabilitation counselors. The 63-credit program includes courses like: human development and behavior

  • group theory and dynamics
  • research methodology
  • individual counseling theory
  • psychological measurement and evaluation

Students have the option to take the Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community (MHRT/C) post-bachelor’s certificate program independently of the master’s degree. Current counselors interested in pursuing advanced coursework may apply and enroll in the post-master’s certificate program of advanced study in counseling. The clinical mental health and school counseling concentrations are accredited by Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), and the rehabilitation concentration is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). The University of Southern Maine is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Ranked #129-#170 in Regional Universities North by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $8,430

#10 University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Counseling Psychology (M.A.)

Visit Website
Points: 13

The University of Missouri is a public research university in Columbia, Missouri. It offers a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology via its Department of Educational, School & Counseling Psychology. The 51-credit program provides students training and education in the scientist-practitioner philosophy that prepares them to practice as well as pursue doctoral programs. Courses include:

  • Counseling Methods and Practices
  • Multicultural Issues in Counseling
  • Lifespan Development
  • Theories and Techniques of Counseling
  • Foundations of Career Psychology
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychological Practice
  • Methods in Group Counseling
  • Foundations of Educational and Psychological Measurement
  • Interviewing, Diagnosis, and Assessment
  • Overview of Research Methods
  • Qualitative Methods in Educational Research
  • Quantitative Foundations in Educational Research
  • Research in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology Practicum

The program is accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ranked #129 in National Universities (tie) and #61 in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $8,078

#9 University of Houston at Victoria

Victoria, Texas

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

Visit Website
Points: 14

The University of Houston–Victoria is a public research university in Victoria, Texas. It offers a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology requires 60 credit hours of coursework for degree completion. It prepares students to become Licensed Professional Counselors and help provide counseling or psychotherapy to people in need. The coursework includes topics like:

  • multicultural psychotherapy
  • lifespan development psychology
  • advanced social psychology
  • advanced research methods
  • a nine-semester-hour counseling psychology practicum

Along with the core curriculum, 30 semester hours of specialization studies are also mandatory. The program boasts a strong clinical component and prepares students well to take the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential exam in Texas. The University of Houston-Victoria is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Counselor Education programs are accredited by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs).
Tuition per year: $7,900

#8 Angelo State University

San Angelo, Texas

Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

Visit Website
Points: 14

Angelo State University is a public university in San Angelo, Texas, and is the second-largest campus in the Texas Tech University System. It offers an M.S. in Counseling Psychology with both thesis and non-thesis options. The 60-credit-hour program includes core subjects like:

  • counseling theories
  • group counseling
  • marriage and family counseling
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • research methods
  • ethics and law
  • counseling methods and techniques
  • nine hours of a supervised practicum

The program coursework prepares students to become licensed psychological associates or licensed professional counselors. Graduates are eligible to sit for the state licensing exams from either the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors or the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Angelo State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Princeton Review has ranked the school as one of the nation’s “Best Colleges” every year since 2010. The College of Education is accredited by CAEP.
Tuition per year: $7,034

#7 Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

Master of Science (M.S.) in School Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 14

Kansas State University, also known as K-State, is a public research university in Manhattan, Kansas. It offers an accredited Master of Science (M.S.) in School Counseling that prepares dynamic, professional school counselors to positively affect students’ lives. The 48 credit hours curriculum includes topics like:

  • Mental Health in Schools
  • Issues and Best Practices in Secondary School Counseling (online)
  • Counseling Theory, Career Development for School Counselors
  • Issues and Best Practices in Elementary School Counseling
  • Counseling Program Management
  • Consultation for Counselors (online)
  • Development Across the Lifespan for School Counselors (online)
  • Multicultural Counseling (online)
  • Principles of Assessment and Using Tests in Counseling

Graduates emerge as team leaders ready to implement comprehensive school counseling programs. Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Tuition per year: $6,099

#6 University of Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

Master of Arts (M.A.)-Counseling Psychology

Visit Website
Points: 14

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is a public research university in Lincoln, Nebraska. It offers a Master of Arts-Counseling Psychology with two tracks – community counseling and school counseling. Provided via the College of Education and Human Sciences, the program allows students to choose a track matching their career goals right when they are accepted into the program. The School Counseling option requires a total of 48 credits and can be completed in two years. The program meets the academic requirements for endorsement through the state office of education in school counseling. The Community-based Counseling Specialization is designed to provide the academic requirements for licensure as a mental health practitioner in Nebraska. It takes an average of 2 ½ years to complete. The programs are CACREP-accredited (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs). The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). It has been ranked #129 (tie) in National Universities and #61 (tie) in Top Public Schools by the U.S. News & World Report.
Tuition per year: $5,976

#5 University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Hilo, Hawaiʻi

M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Visit Website
Points: 14

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo or U.H. Hilo is a public university in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. It offers an M.A. in Counseling Psychology with a specialization: Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The 60-credit program integrates theory, research, and practice to help students focus on regular developmental issues and to problems associated with physical, emotional, and mental disorders. They study courses like:

  • Applied Multivariate Statistics
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Professional Identity
  • Ethics
  • Lifespan Human Development
  • Career Development
  • Psychopathology over Lifespan
  • Counseling Theories
  • Group Work & Counseling
  • Social & Cultural Foundations
  • Counseling Skills
  • required Practicum and Internships

Graduates go on to help people improve their well-being, resolve crises, alleviate distress and maladjustment, and increase their ability to live more highly functioning lives. The program meets the requirements for licensure in Hawaiʻi and is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). U.H. Hilo is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Ranked #293-#381 in National Universities (tie) by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $5,868

#4 University at Albany

Albany, New York

Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

Visit Website
Points: 15

The State University of New York at Albany, also called SUNY Albany, is a public research university. It offers a Mental Health Counseling MS via the School of Education, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology. The 60-credit program is approved by the New York State Office of Professions as preparation for licensure. It prepares students to help individuals and families gain emotional well-being, facilitate personal growth and development by focusing on client strengths, and use therapeutic methods to prevent and remediate individual and interpersonal conflict. They learn to integrate behavioral science with practical counseling skills in supervised settings. Graduates are prepared to appear for state-licensed mental health counselors (LMHC) exams. UAlbany is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The MS in Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the Masters in Counseling Accreditation Council (MCAC). It has been ranked #70 (tie) in Top Public Schools and #140 (tie) in National Universities by the U.S. News & World Report.
Tuition per year: $5,655

#3 University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

Visit Website
Points: 15

The State University of New York at Buffalo is a public research university and the flagship campus of the SUNY system. The MS in Mental Health Counseling blends theory, Practicum, research, and other empirical evidence support to help students develop essential counseling knowledge and skills. The 60 credit hours of coursework includes:

  • Introduction to Mental Health Counseling
  • Foundations of Counseling Theory
  • Intro to Rehab of Substance Abuse
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • Principles of Counseling Practice
  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Introduction to Group Counseling
  • Psychopathology & Evidence-based Interventions
  • Family Counseling
  • Human Growth and Development

Graduates are prepared to meet the requirements for being license-eligible as a mental health counselor in New York State. The program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). The University at Buffalo is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It is ranked among the top 40 public universities and the No. 1 public school in New York State by the U.S. News & World Report Ranking.
Tuition per year: $5,655

#2 University of Tennessee at Martin

Martin, Tennessee

Master of Science in Education with Major in Counseling

Visit Website
Points: 15

The University of Tennessee at Martin is a public university in Martin, Tennessee. It offers a Master of Science in Education with a Major in Counseling that prepares students to earn licensure as either a Clinical Mental Health Counselor or a School Counselor. The school counseling concentration requires 48 credit hours of study for degree completion, while the clinical mental health concentration requires 60 credit hours. Both concentrations aim to prepare socially ethical and competent professionals in clinical mental health and school settings. The program develops counselors who are enhancers of human development. They believe counselors should know how to improve learning through the use of a wide variety of materials, including human and technological resources. Students are well-prepared to take their state-mandated testing and be licensed in the area of their chosen degree. The University of Tennessee at Martin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Master of Science in Education with a Major in Counseling is aligned with the TN EPP and CACREP Standards. The school has been ranked as #14 (tie) in Top Public Schools and #44 in Best Value Schools by the U.S. News & World Report.
Tuition per year: $5,308

#1 Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Master of Education Degree in Counseling and Development

Visit Website
Points: 16

Lamar University is a public university in Beaumont, Texas, that offers a comprehensive Master of Education Degree in Counseling and Development. The degree emphasizes the Coordinated School Health Model in Texas and the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Model. The 60 credit hours of coursework prepares students well for a career and certification as a Professional School Counselor. Students learn about essential counseling techniques inclusive of mental health promotion and positive youth development, early mental health intervention and development, substance abuse prevention and intervention, and suicide prevention in the school setting. Since it also aligns with the national and state credentials for Texas Education Agency, students are eligible to appear for these licensing exams. Lamar University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The counseling programs are regionally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Tuition per year: $4,087

Related Rankings: