counseling - featured

25 Most Affordable Grad Schools for a Master’s in Counseling (MC) in 2020

Certified/licensed or professional counselors encompass a diverse variety of specializations or concentrations. They typically help people with family and marriage/relationship challenges, health issues, and dealing with critical life decisions. Prospective graduates, who prefer working directly with clients and see themselves pursuing a profession in independent practice, academic institution, or a healthcare facility, can pursue a master’s degree in counseling program.

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According to the report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment projection for school and career counselors has an 8% faster than average growth between 2018 to 2028. The admission of students in higher institutions of learning is also rising, and many schools are hiring counselors to cater to the growing demands.

A Master’s program in Counseling is generally the minimum requirement for becoming a certified or licensed counselor in most states. Combining practical training and classroom strategies, it is aimed at imparting essential skills and expertise for treating patients or clients, as well as setting the legal and ethical guidelines that govern Counseling as a field of study. That said, we highlight 25 of the most affordable schools for a master’s degree in counseling programs.

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Check out the 25 Most Affordable Schools for Master’s in Counseling in 2020! Use these quick links:

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Husson University
Plymouth State University
University of Saint Joseph
Rhode Island College
Edinboro University
St. Bonaventure University
Fort Valley State University
Delta State University
Carson-Newman University
Northeastern State University
Lindsey Wilson College
Columbia International University
University of Holy Cross
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Marshall University
Central Washington University
University of Phoenix
Salve Regina University
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
California University of Pennsylvania
Corban University
Oklahoma State University
Ashland Theological Seminary
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Caldwell University

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Husson University

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Bangor, Maine

Tuition Fee: $642 per credit

Husson University offers an affordable on-campus Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program that combines training for licensure and certification in mental health counseling with practical experiences. The program requires at least 63 credit hours of graduate-level counseling coursework. Before starting graduate students’ internships, they are required to complete a comprehensive examination. Prospective graduates will complete core courses such as Assessment in Counseling, Social and Cultural Diversity, Marriage and Family Counseling, Crisis Intervention, and Counseling Young Children and Adolescents.

Types of Aid: Scholarships, Direct PLUS Loans, and Private Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Candidate interview
  • Immunization records

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • New England Commission of Higher Education

Husson University offers financial aid options for its graduate students. As a result, they can complete their graduate studies without accumulating a hefty amount of debt. They may be eligible to apply for loans and scholarships offered at Husson University.

Learn more about Husson University’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

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Plymouth State University

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Plymouth, New Hampshire

Tuition Fee: $550 per credit hour (Resident) | $765 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

Plymouth State University has an affordable on-campus Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program designed to prepare graduate learners to work as licensed clinical mental health counselors. The program requires them to complete the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination as a demonstration of graduate students’ mastery of the program. Some of the core required courses include Research Design for the Helping Professions, Advanced Human Development, Social Behavior and Diversity, Theories of Counseling and Personality, and Addictions Treatment Modalities. Aside from required graduate-level coursework, prospective graduates must complete a 600-hour internship and a 100-hour practicum in a mental health counseling environment.

Types of Aid: Merit-Based Scholarships, Loan Options, and Graduate Assistantships

Admission Requirements:

  • $75 application fee
  • Accomplished application form
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of professional recommendation
  • Current resume
  • Statement of interest
  • Group interview
  • N.H. Residency Verification form

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • New England Commission of Higher Education

Plymouth State University’s financial aid programs help graduate students to minimize the costs of their graduate program. Once they have submitted the complete requirements of FAFSA, prospective graduates can qualify for scholarships and loan options at Plymouth. Graduate students can also apply for assistantship programs that allow them to earn stipends.

Learn more about Plymouth State University’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

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University of Saint Joseph

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

West Hartford, Connecticut

Tuition Fee: $742 per credit hour

The University of Saint Joseph’s affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program trains counselors to become frontrunners who compassionately and effectively serve the mental health needs of different individuals. The program is delivered part-time or full-time in a cohort format. Sixty credit hours are required for students to graduate from the program. Mental Health Diagnosis, Ethics and Standards of Practice, Developmental Theories and Applications, Group Process and Dynamics, and Theoretical and Practical Sources for Career Development are some of the program’s core courses. Aside from course completion, all prospective graduates should complete a 600-hour internship and a 100-hour practicum. Once they’ve completed courses and clinical hours, students are qualified to take the comprehensive examination as a demonstration of their mastery of the counseling program.

Types of Aid: Federal Student Loans, Graduate Assistantships, Tuition Reimbursement, Academic Scholarships, Veterans Services, and Yellow Ribbon Program, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Professional letters of recommendation
  • Proof of immunization
  • Program essay

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • New England Commission of Higher Commission

With a diverse range of financial aid options, the University of Saint Joseph provides graduate students the opportunity to earn their graduate degrees without accumulating too much debt. As a military-friendly university, USJ has a wide range of financial assistance programs for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their eligible dependents.

Learn more about the University of Saint Joseph’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Rhode Island College

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Providence, Rhode Island

Tuition Fee: $502 per credit hour (In-State) | $938 per credit hour (Out-of-State)

The affordable on-campus Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program offered at Rhode Island College requires 60 credit hours to be completed. The program is designed to enable prospective graduates to become qualified as licensed mental health counselors. They will complete 39 semester hours of graduate-level courses, including one elective course. As part of the practical component of the counseling program, a total of 12 semester hours is required for a practicum experience and 600 hours of the internship program. Depending on the students’ preference, they can complete the program within three years. They will take required courses such as Human Development across Cultures, Vocational Counseling and Placement, Biological Perspectives in Mental Health, Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice, and Cross-Cultural Counseling.

Types of Aid: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Work-Study Programs, Merit-Based Scholarships, Tuition Waivers, Military and Veterans Benefits, Short-Term Loans, and External Aid

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • $50 application fee
  • Three professional references
  • Official transcripts
  • GRE/MAT scores
  • Professional goals essay
  • Resume
  • Performance-based evaluation

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • New England Commission of Higher Education

Aside from affordable tuition rates, Rhode Island College has numerous financial aid options for both undergraduates and graduates. Once they have accomplished their FAFSA requirements, graduate students may be qualified for different types of grants, scholarships, student employment opportunities, and tuition waivers.

Learn more about Rhode Island College’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Edinboro University

MA in Counseling with Five Concentrations

Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Tuition Fee: $516 per credit (Resident) | $774 per credit (Non-Resident)

Edinboro University’s School of Graduate Studies offers an affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Counseling program that has garnered numerous national recognitions for affordability and excellence. The program prepares counseling professionals to serve diverse individuals and communities in different human service settings. It has five concentrations to choose from, namely Art Therapy, Clinical Mental Health, College Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and School Counseling. For prospective graduates pursuing the School Counseling program, they will require 60 credit hours so they can graduate from the program. Some of the program’s core courses include Group Processes, Crisis and Trauma Counseling, Career Development and Life Planning, Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling, and Counseling and Consultation Theories. Both practicum and internship requirements are needed for graduation.

Types of Aid: Graduate Assistantships, Scholarships, Grants, Loans, Student Employment and Work-Study Options, and Military and Veterans Benefits

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Completed online application
  • Three references
  • Official transcripts
  • Writing Sample
  • Interview

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Edinboro University helps graduate students to fund their graduate studies. With a diverse range of financial aid programs, students can apply for scholarships, work-study options, grants, and loan programs. To be eligible, prospective students must first complete their FAFSA requirements.

Learn more about Edinboro University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program.

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St. Bonaventure University

MS in Education – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

St. Bonaventure, New York

Tuition Fee: $785 per credit hour

St. Bonaventure University has an affordable on-campus Master of Science in Education – Clinical Mental Health Counseling program that provides extended research-based skillsets and expertise in the areas of individual and group counseling, treatment planning, diagnosis, and testing. The program requires graduate students to complete 60 credit hours for graduation. They can generally earn their graduate counseling degrees in three years. If they prefer completing it in an accelerated format, students can finish in as little as 2.5 years instead. Psych Testing and Assessment, Research Methods in the Education Profession, Career Counseling, Abnormal Psychology, and Advanced Human Growth and Development are some of the core required courses to be accomplished by students. A comprehensive examination culminates in the counseling graduate program.

Types of Aid: Scholarships, Assistantships, Loans, Employer Tuition Benefits, Veterans Educational Benefits, Federal Work-Study, Grants, and Graduate Student Work Program

Admission Requirements:

  • Application for admission
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of intent/writing sample
  • GMAT/GRE score
  • Resume or CV
  • Interview

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Graduate students at St. Bonaventure University are provided with the opportunity to help them lessen the expenses of their graduate education. With the accomplishment of FAFSA requirements, they can apply for scholarships, work-study programs, and loan options. The university also offers educational benefits for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their dependents. For professional students, they may avail employer tuition benefits if they’re qualified.

Learn more about St. Bonaventure University’s Master of Science in Education – Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Fort Valley State University

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Fort Valley, Georgia

Tuition Fee: $776 per credit hour (In-State) | $1,267 per credit hour (Out-of-State)

Through the College of Education and Professional Studies, Fort Valley State University offers an affordable on-campus Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. The program provides graduate students with the essential skills, experiences, technical competencies, and knowledge to perform efficiently as clinical mental health counselors. They will complete required courses such as Fundamentals of Statistics and Measurement, Counseling Theories and Process, Behavior Assessment/Modification, Multicultural Counseling, and Case Management. Aside from graduate-level coursework, students must comply with the three field experiences, such as two internship programs and a practicum. After graduation, they are qualified for licensure in the state of Georgia.

Types of Aid: Work-Study Programs, Loans, Scholarships, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Non-refundable $20 application fee
  • Resume
  • 550 to 660 words of a statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Personal and professional essay
  • Baccalaureate degree

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Fort Valley State University provides graduate learners with the opportunity to finance their studies. FVSU offers scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment opportunities are some of the ways on how graduates can minimize their graduate program expenses.

Learn more about Fort Valley State University’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Delta State University

M. Ed. in Counseling Degree Program with Specializations in Clinical Mental Health & School Counseling

Cleveland, Mississippi

Tuition Fee: $3,975.50 per semester

Delta State University offers an affordable on-campus Master of Education in Counseling program at its Division of Counselor Education & Psychology. The program’s two specializations are Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Prospective graduates pursuing the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track are trained to work in mental health counseling facilities anywhere in the country. The program allows graduates to be qualified for the National Counselor Exam. The courses required for the graduate counseling program include Assessment Techniques in Counseling, Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Introduction to Counseling & Professional Ethics, Counseling Skills, and Career Development & Placement.

Types of Aid: Student Employment, Scholarships, Loans, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed graduate studies admission application
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Personal essay
  • Three professional references
  • Group interviews
  • Bachelor’s degree

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Delta State University helps graduate students to fund their graduate studies through several loans, scholarships, federal work-study programs, and grants. Aside from standard admission requirements, applicants must also process their FAFSA requirements so they can avail of Delta State’s financial aid options.

Learn more about Delta State University’s Master of Education in Counseling Program.

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Carson-Newman University

MC – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Jefferson City, Tennessee

Tuition Fee: $475 per credit hour

Carson-Newman University’s Adult and Graduate Studies offer an affordable on-campus Master of Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. The program is designed to prepare prospective graduates who want to train in family, group, and individual counseling. Depending on the students’ pace, full-time students generally complete their CMHC degrees in seven semesters. Sixty credit hours are required. Prospective graduates will complete core required courses such as Holistic Counseling in a Diverse World, Career Development & Counseling, Life-Span Development: Implications for Counseling, Group Counseling Processes, and Helping Relationships & Counseling Skills with Individuals and Families. Both practicum and internship programs are also required from the CMHC graduate degree.

Types of Aid: Military and Veterans Benefits, Federal Work-Study Programs, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal TEACH Grant, and Private/Alternative Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Professional resume
  • Interview
  • Two recommendations
  • Background Record Check

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Aside from affordable tuition fees, Carson-Newman University offers a wide range of financial aid opportunities. Through grants, student employment options, and loans, prospective graduates can reduce their academic expenses. To be qualified for financial aid, the first step is to complete their FAFSA requirements.

Learn more about Carson-Newman University’s Master of Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Northeastern State University

MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Tuition Fee: $283.40 per credit hour (Resident) | $588.90 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

The affordable on-campus Master of Science in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Northeastern State University prepares graduate students for a counseling profession or advanced studies in Counseling. The rigorous CMHC program requires 600 clock hours of a supervised internship experience. It meets the educational requirements for becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor in Oklahoma and the rest of the U.S. With 60 credit hours, graduates can already earn their CMHC degree.

Psychopharmacology: Dual Diagnosis, Professionalism & Ethics, Personality Assessment, Foundations of Clinical Counseling, and Advanced Life Span Psychology & Adjustment are some of the required courses of this program. Students residing in Broken Arrow will meet every Monday and Wednesday nights, while Tahlequah students will meet every Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Types of Aid: Year-Round Pell, Oklahoma’s Promise at NSU, Study Abroad, Scholarships, Loans, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • MAT/GRE/GMAT scores

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Higher Learning Commission

With less than $300 per credit hour tuition, Northeastern State University is one of the most affordable universities around the country. To supplement, NSU also has a wide variety of grants, loans, scholarships, and other types of financial aid options for prospective students to apply. As a standard prerequisite, they must complete their requirements for FAFSA before becoming eligible for financial aid at NSU.

Learn more about Northeastern State University’s Master of Science in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Lindsey Wilson College

M. Ed. in Counseling & Human Development

Columbia, Kentucky

Tuition Fee: $690 per credit hour

Lindsey Wilson College offers an affordable on-campus Master of Education in Counseling and Human Development program with a specialization in mental health counseling. It is an application-oriented experience developed to enhance the skills of undergraduate practitioners planning to pursue or employed in a professional career as counselors. The program doesn’t lead to P-12 school counselor certification. The CHD graduate program requires 60 credit hours for graduate students’ completion. It consists of 30 credit hours of core courses, nine credit hours of clinical requirements, and an additional 21 credit hours of mental health counseling specialty requirements. Prospective graduates will take core counseling courses such as Personal Growth and Development Group, Psychopathology, Multicultural Counseling, Group Counseling Techniques, and Individual and Group Assessment.

Types of Aid: Loans, Grants, Federal Employment Work-Study Programs, Academic Scholarships, Veterans Educational Benefits, External Scholarships, and Federal/State/Institutional Aid

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Essay, letters of recommendation, and resume (Optional only)

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Lindsey Wilson College helps graduate students to fund their graduate studies through grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study programs. For active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their spouses/dependents, they may enjoy tuition discounts and other educational perks. The accomplishment of FAFSA will determine the type of financial aid to be earned by prospective students.

Learn more about Lindsey Wilson College’s Master of Education Counseling and Human Development Program.

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Columbia International University

MA in Counseling

Columbia, South Carolina

Tuition Fee: $550 per credit hour

Columbia International University’s affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Counseling program is the only Christian university in South Carolina with accreditation from CACREP. It is designed to administer the growth of Christian students into eligible and professional clinical mental health counselors. Applied Biblical Foundations of Counseling, Foundations of Marriage, Family Counseling, Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Multicultural Counseling, and Personal and Spiritual Development are some of the required courses for this program. To complete the program, 60 credit hours must be achieved. A 150-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship are also required for graduation.

Types of Aid: Tuition Discount Partners, Military and Veterans Benefits, Grants, Scholarships, Student Employment, Federal Aid, and State Aid

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Undergraduate degree
  • $25 application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Professional references
  • Maximum of 800 words application essay
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Graduate students may be eligible for grants, scholarships, federal/state aid, and tuition discount partners at Columbia International University. Once prospective students have accomplished their FAFSA, they may be qualified to apply for the numerous financial aid options at CIU.

Learn more about Columbia International University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program.

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University of Holy Cross

MA in Counseling with Specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling, and School Counseling

New Orleans, Louisiana

Tuition Fee: $705 per credit hour

The University of Holy Cross has an affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Counseling program offered in three specializations. These specializations include Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling, and School Counseling. All counseling graduate programs at UHC nurture prospective graduates and helps them to become competent professionals that are assets to the community!

All specializations require students to complete at least 60 credit hours. Some of the core required courses include Human Growth and Development, Research Methodology and Program Evaluation, Social and Cultural Foundations, Professional Orientation/Ethics, and Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders. The rigorous program requires 900 hours of internships divided into three Internship Counseling courses and a minimum of 100 hours of supervised counseling practicum.

Types of Aid: Military and Veterans Educational Benefits, Federal Pell Grants, State Grants, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans, and Private Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Accomplished graduate application form
  • $150 application fee
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal goal statement
  • Satisfactory academic standing

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The University of Holy Cross has a dedicated team of financial aid experts that readily help students by offering financial aid information and services. They may be eligible for grants, loans, and other types of financial aid. For active-duty military personnel, they can apply for additional financial assistance through the university’s federal and state student financial aid opportunities.

Learn more about University of Holy Cross’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program.

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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

MS in Educational Psychology – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tuition Fee: $835.50 per credit hour (Resident) | $1,662.53 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s affordable on-campus Master of Science in Educational Psychology – Clinical Mental Health Counseling program requires around 60 credit hours. A School Counseling specialization is also available if students prefer this track of Counseling. Prospective graduates will complete core counseling courses, including Group Counseling Theory, Foundations of Career Development, Family Systems Theory, Research and Practice, Essentials of Counseling Practice, and Multicultural Counseling.

The university is strategically located in the career, cultural, and economic capital, ensuring ample networking and internship opportunities. For students interested in pursuing a Substance Abuse Counselor certificate, UWM’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling curriculum is integrated with specialized elective courses from the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. The electives are approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services to fulfill the academic requirements of a Substance Abuse Counselor certification.

Types of Aid: Military Education Benefits, Work-Study Programs, Loans, Grants, Scholarships, Summer Aid, Winter Aid, and Study Abroad

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Proficiency in the English language
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcripts
  • Reasons Statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • $75 non-refundable application fee

Accreditation:

  • Master’s in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council
  • Higher Learning Commission

UWM’s diverse range of financial aid opportunities makes it easier and more affordable for students to complete a program without accumulating too much debt. Aside from the standard admission requirements at UWM, prospective students must accomplish their FAFSA to determine the right type of financial aid for them.

Learn more about the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Master of Science in Educational Psychology – Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Marshall University

MA in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling & School Counseling

Huntington, West Virginia

Tuition Fee: $4,414 per semester (Resident) | $10,581 per semester (Non-Resident)

The affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Counseling program at Marshall University is offered through its College of Education and Professional Development. The program is offered in two emphases, namely Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Graduates from the Clinical Mental Health emphasis are qualified to apply for the Licensed Professional Counselor credential via the West Virginia Board of Examiners in Counseling. For School Counseling graduates, they may be qualified for the Pre-K Adult School Counseling Certification. Prospective graduates must comply with the 60-credit hour course completion of the graduate counseling program. Aside from clinical experience and coursework, they will be required to pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam before graduation. For internship requirements, students must have at least 600 hours, while practicum requirements must have at least 100 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Types of Aid: Scholarships, Grants, Student Employment, and Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • Minimum graduate GPA of 3.0
  • Writing sample
  • Two written references

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Aside from inexpensive tuition fees, Marshall University helps graduate students through loans, student employment opportunities, grants, and scholarships. Before qualifying, prospective students must accomplish their requirements for FAFSA so they will receive the suitable type of financial aid available for them.

Learn more about Marshall University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program.

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Central Washington University

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Ellensburg, Washington

Tuition Fee: $3,923.06 per semester (Resident) | $8,320.58 per semester (Non-Resident)

Through the College of the Science, Central Washington University offers an affordable on-campus Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. It prepares prospective graduates to work efficiently and collaboratively in a diverse range of mental health settings. The rigorous program requires 90 quarter hours and generally takes two years to complete, depending on the students’ level of commitment. They must complete core required courses such as Counseling and Assessments: Strategies for Adults, Human Growth and Development, Professional Orientation: Mental Health Counseling, Current Issues in Counseling, and Design and Statistical Analysis for Applied Research. Aside from core courses, they must complete one elective course consisting of 4 credit hours. The graduate CMHC program requires three practicum experiences with close supervision from faculty in the department’s training facility. Also, they must complete a full-time 4-month internship experience before graduation.

Types of Aid: Graduate Assistantships, Study Abroad, Grants, Scholarships, Work-Study Options, Loans, Summer Aid, and Military and Veterans Benefits

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Completed two background Statistics courses
  • $75 application fee
  • Accomplished graduate school admission application
  • Personal statement
  • Current Resume or CV
  • Official transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Central Washington University has numerous financial aid options to help graduate students to fund their graduate studies. A team of financial aid experts is readily available to help students so they can maximize their financial aid until they complete their degrees.

Learn more about Central Washington University’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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University of Phoenix

MS in Counseling

Murray, Utah

Tuition Fee: $698 per credit hour

University of Phoenix’s affordable on-campus Master of Science in Counseling program that trains and develops graduate students on how to clinically assess clients coping with substance abuse and abuse, military transition, marriage and family issues, and anxiety and depression. Depending on the students’ pace and timeframe of learning, they can complete their degrees in 3 years and six months. Students must have 60 to 66 credit hours so they can complete this program. All students must complete one practicum and two internship courses. For Nevada residents, a third internship is mandatory. Career and Vocational Counseling, Personality Theories and Counseling Models, Psychopharmacology, Basic Clinical Assessment and Psychometrics, and Individual Counseling are some of the program’s core required courses.

Types of Aid: Pell Grant, Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Tuition Deferment Plan, Military and Veterans Educational Perks, Private Student Loans, and Third-Party Billing Plan

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.5
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume or CV

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Higher Learning Commission

With a variety of financial aid options, the University of Phoenix helps graduate students to lessen the fees incurred while pursuing a graduate program. They can avail of the university’s grants, loans, and other types of financial aid. To qualify, they must first accomplish the requirements needed for FAFSA.

Learn more about University of Phoenix’ Master of Science in Counseling Program.

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Salve Regina University

MA in Holistic Counseling

Newport, Rhode Island

Tuition Fee: $625 per credit hour

Salve Regina University has an affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Holistic Counseling program with an integrated approach of the best in counseling education training with a holistic approach. Under this program, two degree tracks are offered, namely the 48-credit hour Holistic Counseling and a 60-credit hour in Holistic Clinical Mental Health Counseling. For prospective graduates completing the Holistic CMHC, they will complete courses including The Body/Mind Connection, Holistic Foundations, Cultural Awareness in Counseling, Interpersonal Helping Skills, and Understanding Trauma in Counseling.

Aside from completing the core courses, students must take up five elective credits in Holistic Leadership or Holistic Counseling. Rhode Island Board of Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists requires graduates to have two years or 2,000 hours of significant counseling experience in the workplace before graduation. Also, they should complete the 100-hour supervised practicum requirement with approval from the board.

Types of Aid: Military and Veterans’ Benefits, Graduate Student Loans, Federal Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Scholarships, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Completed online application
  • $50 application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Current resume
  • Two letters of professional recommendation

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • New England Commission of Higher Education

Aside from affordable tuition fees, Salve Regina University offers numerous financial aid options for both undergraduates and graduates. The accomplishment of the requirements of their FAFSA will determine the type of financial aid to be earned by them. They may be eligible for graduate student loans, grants, scholarships, and military/veterans’ benefits.

Learn more about Salve Regina University’s Master of Arts in Holistic Counseling Program.

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Indiana University of Pennsylvania

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Indiana, Pennsylvania

Tuition Fee: $516 per credit hour (In-State) | $774 per credit hour (Out-of-State)

The affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania prepares prospective graduates for certification with extensive hours of field experience. Students enrolled in the graduate CMHC program will finish 60 credit hours so they can graduate from the program. It requires core courses such as Counseling and Consulting within Systems, Basic Counseling Skills, Assessment Procedures for Clinical Mental Health Counselors, Elements of Research, and Group Counseling Theory and Experience.

Types of Aid: Graduate Assistantships, Scholarships, Tuition Waivers, Grants, Loans, Federal Work-Study, Transfer Student Aid, Summer Financial Aid Programs, and Winter Financial Aid Programs

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8
  • Goal statement

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Higher Learning Commission

The Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers graduate assistantships for its graduate counseling students. Through this program, graduate students earn stipends and partial funding for their tuition fees. Aside from assistantships, they may be eligible for tuition waivers, student employment opportunities, loans, and grants. To qualify, they must first accomplish their requirements for FAFSA. A team of financial aid experts readily assist students in helping them maximize their financial aid options at IUP.

Learn more about Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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California University of Pennsylvania

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

California, Pennsylvania

Tuition Fee: $516 per credit hour (Resident) | $774 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

The California University of Pennsylvania delivers an affordable on-campus Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program that needs 60 credit hours. The program fulfills the requirements for prospective graduates to become a Nationally Certified Counselor. It also provides the required courses essential to pursue a career as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States.

You will need to complete the required core courses and credit hours for subjects that include Counseling Skills and Techniques, Developmental Group Counseling, Diagnosis and Treatment in Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Addiction, and Cross-Cultural Counseling. Whether you’re studying full-time or part-time, there’s a plan of study that is suitable for you when pursuing the CMHC degree at Cal U!

Types of Aid: Summer/Winter Financial Aid, Graduate Assistantships, Work-Study Options, Loans, Grants, Scholarships, and Private/Alternative Loan Options

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • $35 non-refundable application fee
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.90
  • Two professional recommendations
  • One-page resume
  • Maximum of 1000 words of psychobiography essay

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

California University of Pennsylvania’s affordable tuition rates are supplemented with a variety of financial aid options for both undergraduates and graduates. With the completion of their requirements for FAFSA, they may be eligible for loans and scholarships. Also, the university is one of the recipients of the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program and the Health Resources & Services Administration program. That said, the university provides graduate students with the opportunity to gain a $1,000 stipend while accomplishing their mandatory field or practicum experience.

Learn more about California University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Corban University

MA in Clinical Health Counseling

Salem, Oregon

Tuition Fee: $570 per credit hour

Corban University has an affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Clinical Health Counseling program that is considered a comprehensive program that lays the core foundation for students to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. The program made up of 60 credit hours, which includes six credit hours in Theology. It is developed on a cohort-based curriculum, and students will attend classes on campus once per week while pursuing the degree. Some of the core required courses include Counseling, Theory and Skills, Social and Cultural Foundations, Introduction to Family Counseling, and Crisis, Disaster & Trauma Counseling. A 600-hour internship is also a requirement of the program completion.

Types of Aid: Military Benefits, Employer Educational Assistance, Payment Plan, Oregon Student Access Commission, Alumni Scholarships, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Pell Grants, TEACH Grants, Federal Work-Study Options, Education Tax Credits and Deductions, State Loans, Institutional Aid, and Private Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • $50 application fee
  • Completed online application
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcripts
  • Christian Character Reference
  • Professional Reference
  • Completed essays
  • Admission interviews

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Aside from affordable tuition rates, Corban University has numerous financial aid options for its student community. The university has a comprehensive one-stop-shop portal for all there is to know about its financial aid programs. To know the suitable financial aid for you, accomplish your FAFSA form!

Learn more about Corban University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Health Counseling Program.

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Oklahoma State University

MS in Counseling: Mental Health Counseling & School Counseling

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Tuition Fee: $230.45 per credit hour (Resident) | $876.40 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

The affordable on-campus Master of Science in Counseling program at Oklahoma State University is offered through its College of Education and Human Services. The program has two degree options, namely, Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. For students pursuing the Mental Health Counseling option, they must have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours. It already includes a 100-hour practicum experience and a 600-hour internship. The Master’s in Counseling program requires 63 credit hours, which would then allow students to pursue the Licensed Professional Counselor credential. With on-campus learning experience, OSU-Tulsa and OSU-Stillwater both have high-quality training clinics. Theories of Counseling, Vocational and Career Information, Human Development in Psychology, Multicultural Counseling, and Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling are some of the counseling courses to be completed.

Types of Aid: Assistantships, Scholarships, Fellowships, Awards, Grants, Tuition Waivers, and Loans

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Completed graduate admission application
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • Current CV/resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores
  • Personal statement

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Higher Learning Commission

Oklahoma State University helps graduate students to lessen their graduate school expenditures. For full-time students, they may be qualified for graduate assistantships or tuition waivers. With less than $300 per credit hour, OSU makes it easier and more affordable for graduate students to complete their program without accumulating hefty debt.

Learn more about Oklahoma State University’s Master of Science in Counseling Program.

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Ashland Theological Seminary

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Ashland, Ohio

Tuition Fee: $650 per credit hour

Ashland Theological Seminary’s affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program has met the necessary approvals and accreditations to meet educational requirements for the Professional Clinical Counseling and Professional Counselor licensures. Prospective graduates must have 64 credit hours for program completion, which already includes a 4-credit hour religious heritage core. They will complete core counseling courses such as Lifestyle and Career Counseling, Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Professional Ethics and Responsibilities, Counseling Techniques, and Differential Diagnosis. Aside from graduate-level coursework, graduate students must complete both practicum and internship requirements.

Types of Aid: Institutional and External Scholarships, Federal Graduate PLUS Loans, Private Education Alternative Loans, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed online application
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Essay questions
  • Personal interview

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Commission on Accreditation of The Association of Theological Schools

Ashland Theological Seminary upholds its commitment to providing affordable Christian education for its student community. With numerous financial aid options, both undergraduates and graduates can lessen the financial costs of their education. To qualify, prospective students must submit the complete requirements of FAFSA.

Learn more about Ashland Theological Seminary’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke

MA in Education in Professional School Counseling

Pembroke, North Carolina

Tuition Fee: $841.97 per credit hour (Resident) | $2,349.87 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

The affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Education in Professional School Counseling program at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke is offered through its College of Health Sciences. It is designed for preparing students and mentors them to become competent, committed, and collaborative professional school counselors.

Prospective graduates must accomplish 60 credit hours so they can graduate from the program. Clinical field placements in the form of internships and practicum are all required as a culminating experience. Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling, Professional and Ethical Issues, Groups in Counseling, Research, and Program Evaluation and Career Counseling and Development are some of the program’s core counseling courses.

Types of Aid: Military and Veterans’ Benefits, External Scholarships, Graduate Assistantships, Graduate Student Travel Grant, Graduate School Tuition Scholarship, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Completed online application
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8
  • Essay
  • Three references
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume or CV
  • Interview

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

With a diverse range of financial aid options, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke helps graduate students to fund their graduate studies. Before qualifying, they must first complete their requirements for FAFSA to determine the type of financial aid they will receive. Graduate students may also be eligible for military and veterans’ benefits.

Learn more about the University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Master of Arts in Education in Professional School Counseling Program.

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Caldwell University

MA in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling with Art Therapy, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, or School Counseling

Caldwell, New Jersey

Tuition Fee: $995 per credit hour

Caldwell University’s affordable on-campus Master of Arts in Counseling program offers three specializations to choose from. The specializations include Clinical Mental Health Counseling with Art Therapy, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and School Counseling.

The university’s unique Clinical Mental Health Counseling with Art Therapy specialization is the first CACREP-accredited program of its kind in the country. Its coursework requirements fulfill the credentials as an Art Therapist with AATA and license as a Professional Art Therapist in New Jersey.

Program completion requires 63 credit hours. Prospective graduates will complete required courses such as Art Therapy Methods, History and Development of Art Therapy, Theory and Application, Intro to Mental Health Counseling, and Lifespan Development. Aside from coursework, prospective graduates must complete both internships and practicum requirements for graduation.

Types of Aid: Direct PLUS Loans, Direct Stafford Loans, Private Educational Loans, Scholarships, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2
  • Minimum of 15-credit hour undergraduate Psychology coursework
  • 18 credits in studio art
  • Official transcripts
  • Writing sample
  • 10 to 15 pieces of an art portfolio
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal interview

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Caldwell University helps graduate students to fund their graduate education through scholarships, loans, and grants. Prospective graduates must first complete their requirements for FAFSA so they may be eligible for financial aid.

Learn more about Caldwell University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program.

FAQs
Businessman showing wooden block displaying FAQ word. Questions and answers concept.

What factors shall I consider in choosing a Master’s program in Counseling?

In terms of selecting a master’s program in Counseling, prospective graduates must weigh down the essential factors involved. As a graduate student, you should start by considering whether distance-learning or on-campus learning is suitable for you. Flexibility, schedules, and professional/personal duties are some of the crucial factors that you must need to consider. Also, you should decide on how many financial resources you are willing to invest in your graduate program, considering factors on tuition fees and the cost of living. Your work location is another thing. Looking for efficient transportation, finding a house or apartment to rent, and relocating to a new city have its financial challenges to address.

The next factor to consider is your level of commitment, whether you’ll be enrolling on a part-time or a full-time basis. Adult learners generally choose the flexibility of part-time commitment. On the contrary, it takes a faster time to complete counseling degrees for full-time graduate students. As a result, they cut down financial resources for lodging and transportation expenses. The majority of counseling programs require prospective graduates to complete an internship program or supervised practicum. Other programs also require a final project or written thesis based on original research studies.

Lastly, decide on how each coursework is aligned with your academic and professional aspirations. Identify past course offerings to comprehend the specific strengths and weaknesses of each counseling program. If you prefer to specialize in a particular area of Counseling, ensure that your chosen program offers concentrations or specializations.

What are the programmatic accreditations for a Master’s program in Counseling?

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Graduate programs in Counseling must garner accreditation status from appropriate accrediting agencies. Accreditation provides assurance and reputation that prospective students are receiving quality education from a specific college/university. It may be accredited on either a national or regional level. Speaking of graduate counseling programs, they also have their accreditation processes. The two major programmatic accreditations in counseling programs include MPCAC or Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council and CACREP or Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Each of these accrediting organizations has its own set of criteria and guidelines regarding instructor qualifications, curricular program, and clinical hours. CACREP provides accreditation for graduate programs while MPCAC specializes in master’s degree programs only. To be qualified for licensure, some states mandate that prospective graduates must earn their counseling degrees in CACREP-accredited programs. If you don’t have the appropriate credentials after graduating from the program, you may need to relocate to another state or make a petition to earn licensure.

How long does it take for a graduate student to typically complete a Master’s program in Counseling?

Similar to other graduate programs, completing a master’s program in Counseling takes time and effort. It’s up to you on how much time you are willing to invest in it. A master’s degree in Counseling generally takes two to three years to earn in a full-time commitment. Depending on if practicums, fieldwork, or internships are required, some of the graduate counseling programs take longer than others to earn. For part-time graduate students, they complete required courses as soon as they are able and fit into their busy schedules, enroll in fewer courses, and study at their own pace and timeline.

Prospective graduates can also enroll in more courses per semester than the expected course load. It may be challenging to traditional on-campus learners due to classroom limitations. Depending on a college or university, prospective graduates can save on tuition expenses if they enroll more credits at a time.

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