Most states require mental health counselors to hold a master's degree, pass an exam and have several thousand hours of supervised clinical experience; master's degree programs in the field are available at 4-year colleges and universities across the nation. Individuals who already hold a graduate degree in mental health counseling, as well as those who are licensed and employed, may enroll in post-graduate certificate programs designed to meet state regulations and increase specialization within the field.
Schools with Mental Health Counseling Programs
Here is a list of schools with relevant programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition 2015-2016|
|University of North Carolina - Greensboro||Greensboro, North Carolina||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $4,873
|University of Georgia||Athens, Georgia||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $8,492
|University of Wisconsin - Madison||Madison, Wisconsin||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $10,728
|University of Missouri||Columbia, Missouri||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $8,402
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Minneapolis, Minnesota||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $15,844
|Ohio State University||Columbus, Ohio||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $11,560
|Pennsylvania State University - University Park||University Park, Pennsylvania||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $19,328
|University of Florida||Gainesville, Florida||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $10,770
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, Florida||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $6,916
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, school websites
School Selection Criteria
Some considerations when selecting a school in this field include:
- Search for a program that will meet personal career and education goals. Certificate and master's programs may offer different elective coursework in areas such as alcohol and drug abuse, psychology of women and religious elements of counseling.
- Choose a school that meets the required licensure within the planned state of employment.
- Compare a program's clinical obligations and flexibility with student schedules when considering an online program.
Master's Degree for Mental Health Counselors
A master's degree in mental health counseling may qualify students for both national and state certification in order to practice counseling in community settings. Programs may commonly be completed in two years. A thesis, master's project and clinical experience may be required.
Advanced Graduate Certificate for Mental Health Counselors
Aspiring mental health counselors enrolling in certificate programs for mental health counseling typically must have already completed a master's degree program in counseling and may be required to hold licensure. Clinical practicums and internships are commonly required.
When selecting a mental health counseling program, students should consider scheduling flexibility, licensing preparation and their specific career goals.