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6 Top Value Counseling Master’s Degrees in Wisconsin

Top Counseling Schools - Best Value - 2016
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Published September 2016

Welcome to our ranking of the six top master’s degrees in counseling in Wisconsin.

If you’re thinking about earning your master’s or Ph.D. in counseling and you live in Wisconsin (or you would like to), take a look at these top-ranked schools. It’s worth noting that half of the top counselor education programs in Wisconsin come out of public schools, proving that affordable education doesn’t have to mean a compromised future. Of course, the low cost of living in Wisconsin ensures that private colleges also keep their costs low. In fact, the cheapest tuition rate on this list belongs to a private Catholic school! But however the dollars and cents shake out, Wisconsin residents and neighboring Northerners can rest assured that a counseling master’s degree from a university in Wisconsin makes a lot of sense.

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

6. Viterbo University

La Crosse, WI

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

Though Viterbo University comes in sixth on this top master’s in counseling degree ranking, it places first in affordability with a tuition rate so cheap, you could pay for two or three years of school for less than many students pay for one semester at an expensive private college. And in exchange for such a minor sum, Viterbo’s School of Health and Human Behavior offers a quality education that emphasizes the biological, psychological, and social aspects of a person’s well-being. Evidence-based practices and scientific data drive the curriculum, ensuring that you receive relevant, up-to-date training for the modern world.
Tuition and Fees: $7,600/yr
Score: 57

5. University of Wisconsin-Stout

Menomonie, WI

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

The first of three UW schools on our top counseling master’s degree ranking, the University of Wisconsin Stout is a solid choice for graduate students of any interest. For aspiring school and mental health counselors, UW Stout is an ideal launching pad into a successful career. The CMHC program in particular is surprisingly comprehensive; unlike many other schools, UW Stout provides an extensive array of concentration options within the field of clinical mental health. You can hone your expertise in alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, or career guidance; focus on a particular population, like children and adolescents or senior citizens; or use your electives to acquire a collective mix of techniques across the spectrum.
Tuition and Fees: $11,319/yr
Score: 71

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4. Mount Mary University

Milwaukee, WI

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

At Mount Mary University, graduate students have just one option for an accredited master’s degree in counseling. But don’t mistake the school’s lack of variety for low quality. Rather, Mount Mary’s singular focus has helped it develop an in-depth, far-reaching program that can meet a diverse range of interests and aspirations. This brand of focused versatility is evident in the CMHC curriculum, which includes specialized coursework in targeted topics like psychopharmacology, addictions, and trauma and provides initial training for both Licensed Professional Counselors and Substance Abuse Counselors. And to ensure that all students are adequately prepared for the future that awaits them postgrad, Mount Mary requires the completion of a comprehensive exam or research-based thesis paper.
Tuition and Fees: $12,734/yr
Score: 81

3. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Oshkosh, WI

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

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh undoubtedly has some of the best master’s degrees in counseling in Wisconsin, but the school didn’t earn that title overnight. The Department of Professional Counseling at UW Oshkosh – along with two of its three current counselor education programs – have been accredited since 1992. That means the department has built up more than two decades of experience in the field – far more than any other counseling master’s degree on this list. The result is an academic program that has few, if any, flaws. Students complete service-learning experiences, develop assessment portfolios, and demonstrate their wealth of newly acquired skills on comprehensive final exams – all while enjoying extremely reasonable tuition rates.
Tuition and Fees: $13,563/yr
Score: 82

2. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Whitewater, WI

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

The last of three public UW schools on this list, the University of Wisconsin Whitewater ranks the best of the bunch. Whitewater’s College of Education and Professional Studies a solid history in the field (both of its graduate degrees in counseling have been CACREP-accredited since the year 2000) with consistently high student performance on the national licensure exam – and in the job market, for that matter. At the root of this success is a truly comprehensive program; the 51-credit school counseling emphasis includes options for current teachers as well as non-teachers and grants eligibility for a K-12 school counselor license, while the CMHC emphasis features a flexible course structure that includes specific training options in Trauma, Higher Education, and Career Counseling, among others.
Tuition and Fees: $13,406/yr
Score: 88

1. Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI

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

Any of the institutions on this counseling graduate degree ranking would make a great site for your future education. But for the best of the best, you should turn to Marquette University, a school that has quickly risen as a force in counselor education in just a few short years. At Marquette, you’ll have access to all the same resources that distinguish other top programs – including multiple specialization options for mental health counselors and a rigorous set of internships and practica opportunities in both tracks. But you’ll also enjoy a few extra perks, such as the ability to utilize the College of Education’s unique, online Early Pathways Program in partnership with the nearby Penfield Children’s Center.
Tuition and Fees: $18,900/yr
Score: 100

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

See also: 5 Top Value Counseling Master’s Degrees in Michigan

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Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
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