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16 Top Value Counseling Master’s Degrees in Ohio
Top Counseling Schools - Best Value - 2016

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Published September 2016

Welcome to our ranking of the 16 top master’s degrees in counseling in Ohio.

Ohio earns the distinction of being one of the most abundant sources of counselor education programs in the Midwest. There are nearly two-dozen colleges and universities across the state that house accredited master’s degrees in counseling, and many of these institutions provide counseling graduate programs for Ph.D. students as well. Given the quantity (and quality) of options, we have split the Ohio ranking into two distinct lists. Stick around for information on top master’s degrees, or visit our Ohio Ph.D. counseling degree ranking to read about your options at the doctoral level.

Click here to see the methodology we used for this best master’s in counseling degree ranking.


University of Dayton Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

The cohort-based degree format and uniform curriculum creates a supportive community for counseling master’s degree students at the University of Dayton.

16. University of Dayton

Dayton, OH

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.Ed.; School Counseling, M.Ed.

Website
The University of Dayton offers one of Ohio’s top counseling master’s degrees, with highly structured programs for both Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Although students have access to relatively few electives compared to some of the other programs on this counseling graduate degree ranking, many will appreciate the straightforward schedule, which enables them to obtain either degree in just two and a half years. That tight format also enables the school to utilize a cohort-based course structure and small, close-knit class sizes to provide plenty of opportunities for collaboration and networking with fellow students.
Tuition and Fees: $15,764/yr
Score: 50

Kent State University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

From the oldest in the region to one of the best in Ohio, Kent State has worked hard to preserve its status as a source of top counseling graduate degrees over the past several decades.

15. Kent State University

Kent, OH

School Counseling, M.Ed.; Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.Ed.

Website
Kent State’s was the first counselor preparation program in northern Ohio when it began in 1946, and over the past 70 years the school has built a strong reputation as one of the best master’s degrees in counseling in Ohio. That long history has enabled Kent State to develop one of the largest in-house counseling centers in the nation: the Counseling and Human Development Center, which allows master’s students in the school’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling degree programs to obtain first-hand experience working with Kent State students.
Tuition and Fees: $14,622/yr
Score: 53

Franciscan University of Steubenville Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

With a religiously grounded curriculum and a concentration in Christian Counseling, the Franciscan University of Steubenville positions itself as one of the best counseling master’s degree programs for students of faith.

14. Franciscan University of Steubenville

Steubenville, OH

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

Website
Like many of the other schools on this accredited master’s in counseling degree ranking, the Franciscan University of Steubenville uses a cohort-based structure to encourage close relationships between its students. This two-year, 60-hour program requires all students to take two faith-based courses: Pastoral Counseling and Family Counseling. Those hoping to enter the ministry or work as a counselor in a Christian setting will appreciate the ability to graduate with a concentration in Christian Counseling with just two additional courses in Pastoral Counseling and Human Sexuality and Christian Marriage and Family Counseling.
Tuition and Fees: $12,618/yr
Score: 55

Cincinnati Christian University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

Cincinnati Christian University houses another top master’s in counseling degree option for students who want to link their education to their faith.

13. Cincinnati Christian University

Cincinnati, OH

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

Website
If you’re looking for a more intensely Christian-based counseling education, check out Cincinnati Christian University’s affordable master’s in counseling degree. CCU designed its program expressly to prepare students to enter careers as faith-based counselors, and accordingly there are biblical studies and basic theology prerequisites for entering the program. The coursework for the degree itself includes only one explicitly faith-based course, in Spiritual Formation and Counseling. But with extensive on-campus worship opportunities, CCU’s top graduate degree in counseling provides plenty of opportunities for future counselors to explore the link between their faith and their careers.
Tuition and Fees: $11,880/yr
Score: 56

Wright State University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

Both of Wright State’s accredited master’s in counseling degrees include separate tracks for students who wish to pursue a thesis along with their standard coursework.

12. Wright State University

Dayton, OH

School Counseling, M.Ed.; Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

Website
Wright State is one of the few programs on this Ohio counseling graduate degree ranking to offer both thesis and non-thesis tracks in its M.Ed. in School Counseling and M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs. Despite requiring only 54 credits, the School Counseling M.Ed. includes a two-semester internship, one-semester practicum, and a year and a half of supervised professional training. This efficient and inexpensive program is worth a close look, especially for students who are short on time but interested in exploring a particular subject area without committing to a doctoral degree.
Tuition and Fees: $17,506/yr
Score: 57

Xavier University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

If career flexibility is what you are after, Xavier University has a counseling graduate program that will qualify you for licensure in both Ohio and Kentucky.

11. Xavier University

Cincinnati, OH

School Counseling, M.A.; Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

Website
Xavier University offers highly flexible and affordable counseling master’s degrees that enable students to obtain the training they need to work in either the clinical mental health field or in academic environments with adolescents. In addition, XU has designed its program so that students can apply for licensure from the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board or the Kentucky Board of Licensed Professional Counselors. They can even obtain an Ohio Chemical Dependency Counselor license. Few other programs on this list provide such a variety of professional options at such a low cost.
Tuition and Fees: $10,920/yr
Score: 60

Malone University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

All of the schools on this Ohio master’s in counseling degree ranking are reasonably priced, but with annual tuition set at just over $10k, Malone University is one of the cheapest.

10. Malone University

Canton, OH

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.Ed.; School Counseling, M.Ed.

Website
The accredited master’s in counseling degree at Malone University is perfect for working professionals; students take just one class at a time, with each class six or eight weeks in length, and can even take some online courses for additional flexibility. Malone is one of only a few Quaker institutions to offer such a career-focused and affordable graduate degree in counseling, making it a great choice for Christian professionals looking to move into faith-based counseling careers. Whether Malone students choose the Classroom-Based Counseling and Advocacy, School Counseling, or Clinical Counseling track, they’ll benefit from Malone’s many spiritual growth opportunities.
Tuition and Fees: $10,260/yr
Score: 66

Walsh University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

Students in the accredited counseling master’s degree program at Walsh University enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences, including a possible study abroad trip to Uganda!

9. Walsh University

North Canton, OH

School Counseling, M.A.; Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

Website
One unique feature of the top counseling graduate degree at Walsh University is the school’s international experience program in Uganda, which enables students to obtain elective credits while helping to establish counseling services in the East African republic. The opportunity for studying abroad isn’t the only unusual element in WU’s program — the school also operates a peer mentoring program that pairs new students with those further along in the program to help provide guidance, advice, and networking. That kind of one-on-one guidance is invaluable for such a career-focused degree and makes Walsh’s one of the best counseling graduate degrees in Ohio.
Tuition and Fees: $11,710/yr
Score: 67

Cleveland State University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

Cleveland State University’s top counseling graduate program is both fast-paced and flexible – the perfect combination for busy adult learners.

8. Cleveland State University

Cleveland, OH

School Counseling, M.Ed.; Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.Ed.

Website
Cleveland State offers master’s degrees in both Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling, the former in a three-year accelerated program and the latter in a two-year accelerated format. That makes either of these accredited master’s degrees in counseling a great option for students who want to obtain their degree quickly and have enough flexibility for a full-time schedule. Despite its accelerated format, the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree still requires 60 credit hours, meaning there is plenty of room for electives, a practicum, and two field-based internships. For students interested in chemical dependency counseling and early childhood mental health counseling, CSU also offers two certificate programs in those subject areas.
Tuition and Fees: $13,833/yr
Score: 70

John Carroll University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

The counseling master’s degrees at John Carroll University feature a thoughtful and diverse curriculum that will prepare students for a wide range of careers in the field.

7. John Carroll University

University Heights, OH

School Counseling, M.Ed.; Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

Website
John Carroll University’s highly career-focused accredited master’s in counseling degree qualifies graduates for a whole range of professional licensures, ensuring that they can work in supervisory positions, maintain private practices, and treat patients without supervision. Students can also augment the 60-credit program with a concentration in Substance Use Disorders, which makes them eligible to take the Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor exam upon graduation. What’s more, students interested in pursuing their doctoral degrees can take the counseling department’s Preparation for Doctoral Studies course. JCU offers a wide variety of options for counseling students, all of which are designed to provide clear paths to career advancement or additional education.
Tuition and Fees: $14,377/yr
Score: 71

Ashland University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

A combined university and seminary, Ashland houses a counselor education program based on biblical principles – and it also happens to be the most affordable master’s in counseling degree in Ohio!

6. Ashland University

Ashland, OH

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

Website
The Ashland Theological Seminary offers the school’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which aims to teach students how to apply biblical principles to the counseling field. Ashland is the least expensive school on this Ohio master’s in counseling degree ranking, but graduates from the 64-credit program are eligible for the same Buckeye State licensure as the other programs on this list. Ashland’s degree offers a full set of counseling courses and practicum and internship experiences, and all students take classes in Biblical Interpretation and Christian Theology.
Tuition and Fees: $5,713/yr
Score: 74

University of Akron Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

Students who are intent on securing plenty of hands-on practice as a part of their counseling graduate program should look to the University of Akron’s modern, on-campus counseling clinic.

5. University of Akron

Akron, OH

Community Counseling, M.A.Ed/M.S.Ed.; Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy, M.A.Ed/M.S.Ed.; School Counseling, M.A.Ed/M.S.Ed.

Website
Counseling students at the University of Akron are spoiled for choice, with affordable counseling graduate degrees in Classroom Guidance for Teachers, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, and School Counseling. Not many of the other schools on this Ohio graduate degree in counseling ranking offer such a variety of degree programs. All programs benefit from the school’s state-of-the-art Clinic for Individual and Family Counseling, a 30 year-old institution that offers residents low-cost care and graduate students the opportunity to treat patients in a supervised setting before graduation.
Tuition and Fees: $12,068/yr
Score: 75

Youngstown State University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

Youngstown State University is home to the best master’s in counseling degree for student affairs and college advising – although it’s also the only school in Ohio to offer such a program!

4. Youngstown State University

Youngstown, OH

Student Affairs and College Counseling, M.S.; School Counseling, M.S.Ed.; Addiction Counseling, M.S.Ed.; Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.Ed.

Website
Youngstown State is the University of Akron’s only rival when it comes to variety; in addition to degrees in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling, the school offers unique programs in Addiction Counseling and Student Affairs and College Counseling. The latter is the only such program in Ohio, and it provides a 66-hour licensure option that enables graduates to begin work immediately upon graduation. This unique mix of counseling and administrative instruction means students graduate from this top counseling master’s degree program prepared to enter into a variety of careers involving the guidance and treatment of college-aged students.
Tuition and Fees: $10,940/yr
Score: 76

University of Cincinnati Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

The University of Cincinnati has one of the best master’s degrees in counseling in Ohio for students who are interested in helping patients who have experienced personal trauma.

3. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH

School Counseling, M.Ed.; Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

Website
The University of Cincinnati offers one of the best master’s in counseling degrees in Ohio because of its long history – it was established over half a century ago – and its unusual focus on research. The school works hard to involve both master’s and doctoral students in research, and graduate students can take advantage of the school’s cutting-edge Center for Traumatic Stress Research. That institution is especially focused on investigating trauma in children, families, and communities due to cultural hegemony in education, natural and human-made disasters, and child sexual abuse, so students interested in working in any of those areas should look closely at the University of Cincinnati.
Tuition and Fees: $20,339/yr
Score: 80

Bowling Green State University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

One of the top schools on this counseling master’s degree ranking, Bowling Green State University offers an affordable yet comprehensive curriculum for both School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling students.

2. Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, OH

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.; School Counseling, M.Ed.

Website
Bowling Green State’s low cost, flexible structure and variety of elective courses make it one of the best master’s degrees in counseling in Ohio. Despite being incredibly affordable, BGSU offers more diverse coursework and a larger number of elective options than many other more expensive programs. The School Counseling program is particularly robust, with courses in everything from Play Therapy to Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment. In addition, the school is one of the few on this Ohio counseling graduate degree ranking to make it possible for students to become eligible for state licensure in both School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling with just a few extra courses.
Tuition and Fees: $11,822/yr
Score: 88

Heidelberg University Best Counseling Graduate Degrees Ohio

Not only is Heidelberg University the #1 school on this best counseling master’s degree ranking, but it is also one of the most affordable in Ohio!

1. Heidelberg University

Tiffin, OH

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.; School Counseling, M.A.

Website
Like Bowling Green State, Heidelberg University offers students the option to become eligible for licensure in both clinical mental health and school counseling. But unlike BGU and the other schools on this counseling master’s degree ranking, Heidelberg’s Master of Arts in Counseling is actually a single degree with optional concentrations in both Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. That means the school offers a shared core coursework most semesters and has plenty of experience preparing students for licensure and careers in both fields. Heidelberg’s extremely affordable price, unusual dual-licensure program, and career-focused curriculum make it the best master’s degree in counseling in Ohio.
Tuition and Fees: $9,025/yr
Score: 100

This concludes our ranking of the best graduate degrees in counseling in Ohio.

Sources:
College Navigator
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators

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