Published September 2016
Welcome to our ranking of the four top master’s degrees in counseling in Missouri.
Missouri’s institutes of higher education are no stranger to the helping professions. In fact, the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis is one of the best in the world, while St. Louis University and the University of Missouri Columbia both earn top scores for their nursing programs. But that has done little to crowd out the multiple counseling programs available across the state – if anything, this sense of community and service that permeates higher education in Missouri has only made the programs stronger! From Springfield to St. Louis, would-be counselors in Missouri will never be at a loss for options.
Click here to see the methodology we used for this best master’s in counseling degree ranking.
Hands-on experience is the name of the game at Missouri State University – and the Department of Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education isn’t playing around when it comes to graduate programs in counseling. To prepare for a successful career in the field, you’ll have opportunities to take workshops and receive training through MSU’s in-house Center City Counseling Clinic. Students who want to work with children and adolescents might also seek a supervised training opportunity at the Institute for Play Therapy, which provides targeted techniques to help communicate with young patients and stimulate their mental and emotional development. As if that’s not enough, MSU also takes home first prize as the most affordable master’s in counseling degree program in Missouri.
Tuition and Fees: $7,804/yr
At the University of Central Missouri, you’ll find multiple accredited master’s degrees in counseling that not only meet CACREP professional standards, but also adhere to the guidelines of Missouri’s own Standards for Teacher Education Programs (MoSTEP). Programs address everything from social and cultural diversity to research and assessment, and of course all degree options include a mandatory internship, too. Aspiring school counselors also have the opportunity to concentrate in either Elementary or Secondary School Counseling by completing work experiences in their academic environment of choice. And although UCM doesn’t officially have the most affordable counseling master’s degrees in the state, it does offer designated counselor education scholarships to defray its already low tuition costs.
Tuition and Fees: $10,726/yr
The University of Missouri in St. Louis, or UMSL, has no shortage of graduate degrees in counseling. With three distinct options for master’s students plus the only accredited Ph.D. in Counselor Education in Missouri, UMSL pretty much has something for everyone. The university’s Career Counseling program is particularly uncommon – and also particularly impressive. Data posted on the department’s web page indicates that career counseling students achieved a 100% pass rate on the national licensure exam as well as a 92% employment rate after graduation. But there’s plenty to gain from UMSL’s other top counseling master’s degrees, too; the school counseling track offers specializations in elementary and secondary education, while the clinical mental health track provides optional specializations in addictions/substance abuse, couples and families, rehabilitation, and more.
Tuition and Fees: $17,818/yr
Rounding out our list as the school with the best master’s in counseling degrees in the state is Southeast Missouri State University, which boasts reasonable tuition rates coupled with a top-notch track record of student success. This includes completion, job placement, and exam pass rates all north of 90% – and two of SMSU’s degrees have only been accredited since 2014! Southeast Missouri State is another place where you can pick up a not-so-common career counseling degree, or even an Education Specialist degree in Counseling (if you already have a master’s). But regardless of your intended career path, you’ll be able to acquire all the job experience you need at SMSU’s on-campus Counselor Education Training Clinic.
Tuition and Fees: $9,928/yr
This concludes our ranking of the best graduate degrees in counseling in Missouri.