Top Schools with Counseling Graduate Programs: School List

Learn about the rankings used to select the top three schools for graduate programs in counseling. Find out about degree and specialization options at these schools, as well as accreditation information.

Several top schools across the United States are home to graduate programs in counseling. Learn about some of these top schools and what unique distinctions their programs offer.

School Overviews

Schools with counseling programs typically have specialization options in family and marriage, mental health and school counseling. The three top schools with graduate programs in counseling offer several of these specialization options. Additionally, the counseling programs at these schools are accredited and were ranked in the top programs of the field by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.

University of Florida in Gainesville

School Highlight: The University of Florida is home to several research centers, institutes and affiliates relevant to counseling studies, including the Center for Community Education, the Center for School Improvement, and the Center for Disability Policy and Practice.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Florida's graduate counseling program tied at number six among student counseling and personnel services programs. Through its College of Education, the university offers master's and doctoral programs in marriage and family counseling, mental health counseling, and school counseling and guidance, all of which are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). UF's school counseling programs also are recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Indiana University - Bloomington

School Highlight: Indiana University's department of counseling and educational psychology offers degrees in several different fields, including counseling psychology, educational psychology, human development, and learning sciences.

Indiana University (IU) - Bloomington ranked tied at 86th in national universities and 36th in top public schools in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report. The master's program in counseling, which is accredited by CACREP, offers specializations in school or community counseling. IU also offers a CACREP-accredited Ed.S. in Mental Health Counseling program for those who wish to enter private practice and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology program, which is recognized by the American Psychological Association.

Florida State University in Tallahassee

School Highlight: Florida State's master's degree program in career counseling is one of eight CACREP-accredited programs in the nation.

Florida State ranks tied at 92nd in national universities for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report. Students can pursue combined M.S. and ED.S. degrees in career or mental health counseling, or earn a Ph.D. in counseling psychology and school psychology. All of these programs are housed in the College of Education that also allows students to participate in research with faculty.

Top Counseling Graduate Programs

The following top schools also offer unique graduate programs for aspiring counselors.

  • Idaho State University in Pocatello allows counseling graduate students to get practical experience through the department's two counseling centers.
  • Indiana State University's Counseling Department, in Terre Haute, offers non-degree, licensure track for professionals.
  • The University of Central Florida operates a Marriage and Family Research Institute in Orlando.
  • The University of Cincinnati's main campus in Cincinnati has an online certificate program that is offered for post-graduate mental health professionals.
  • The University of Montana, found in Missoula, has a counselor education section that offers a Master's International/Global Youth Development program coordinated with the Peace Corps.
  • The University of Nevada in Las Vegas has a school counseling master's program that is offered part time.
  • The University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, offers an accelerated doctoral program in counseling and human development.

Students can earn a master's and/or doctoral degree in various kinds of counseling from several top universities across the nation. These top schools, including the University of Florida, Indiana University and Florida State University, have graduate programs with an array of distinct characteristics.

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