The Top 25 Low-Cost Online Master’s Degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 2017

By Kirsten Hughes

February 2017

We have put together a list of the Top 25 Low-Cost Online Master’s Degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. If you are looking for a low-cost online graduate degree in the field of counseling this list will help you find the program that is right for you!

An online master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling will help you reach your professional goals of working with individuals, couples, and families struggling with a range of issues from anxiety and depression to marital and parenting difficulties. Clinical Mental Health Counselors are trained to treat a broad spectrum of mental health issues in a variety of settings from private practice to schools and hospitals. If you want a generalized degree in counseling that will offer you a broad range of career opportunities within the field of counseling, a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling is the degree for you! If you hope to earn that degree online in order to manage your personal life without having to uproot your family and career you will find the best online degree here.

The schools we have selected here offer many benefits including residencies and specialized areas of concentration. Online counseling programs often offer students one or two on-campus residency experiences while they are in the program. In general, residencies are offered on-campus for 3-5 days once or twice during the duration of the program. At residencies, students have the opportunity to connect with peers and faculty, build on coursework through experiential exercises, and develop clinical counseling skills. Many graduates of programs that offer residencies cite the residency as one of the highlights of their graduate career. Another benefit that a number of the schools listed here offer are unique areas of speciality. A graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling offers a generalized education in working with individuals, couples, and families facing a range of challenges. Having a focused area of concentration may allow you to delve more deeply into a particular topic of interest such as working with teenagers or veterans.

As you search for the school that is the best fit for you make sure to consult with your home state licensing board to determine what your state licensing requirements are. In order to practice as a counselor or therapist you must be licensed or working towards licensure under direct supervision of an approved supervisor. While everyone who wishes to pursue licensure will need to complete a graduate program, clinical hours, and pass a licensing examination, licensing requirements vary by state and so you will want to confirm that the program you are interested in meets your state’s requirements for licensure. In general, programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP ) ensure a more streamlined process towards licensure. Many of the programs listed here are CACREP accredited. However, often-times programs that are not officially accredited by the CACREP make every effort to meet the same guidelines and their graduates have no trouble pursuing licensure. Again, consult your home state licensing board for more information.

If you want to pursue a career as a mental health therapist we are confident this list of low-cost online master’s degrees in clinical mental health counseling will help you find the best program for you!

#25 Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Master of Arts in Counseling Online

northwestern-university-master-of-arts-in-counseling-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

The Family Institute at Northwestern University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling that is CACREP accredited. This low-cost online master’s in counseling program can be completed in six quarters of full time study or students can also choose to complete the program at a part time pace. Students will complete two on-campus residencies designed to enhance student learning by providing opportunities for students to build on and put into practice what they have learned in online courses. For students in the Master of Arts in Counseling Program at Northwestern University who hope to pursue careers in working with children and adolescents there is a Child and Adolescent specialization available.

Courses include: counseling methods-skills for counseling and psychotherapy; individual systems-psychodynamic viewpoints; ethics and legal issues in counseling; counseling methods-strategies for counseling and psychotherapy; development course; group and organizational dynamics; research methods in counseling; foundations of family, marital, and couples counseling; cultural diversity in counseling; theory and technique of substance abuse; and career development.

  • Cost: $5,980 / Course

#24 Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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Students can earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling online at Wake Forest University. This low-cost 60 credit online master’s in counseling degree is CACREP accredited and can be completed in three years. The faculty for the online counseling program at Wake Forest University has experience that they bring to the classroom. The program is designed to prepare graduates for licensure as professional counselors and graduates of Wake Forest University have shown to be prepared with a 100% pass rate for the National Counselor’s Exam.

Unique feature: The faculty of the Counseling Program at Wake Forest University has provided mental health crisis counseling following events that have impacted individuals, families, and communities across the country such as Hurricane Katrina, Virginia Tech University shootings, and 9/11.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $1,340 / Credit Hour

#23 North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC

Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

north-carolina-state-university-master-of-education-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

North Carolina State University offers a CACREP accredited Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This low-cost master’s in counseling degree is available online. Along with being focused on clinical practice and attention to multicultural diversity, the program emphasizes a collaborative model in an effort to prepare graduates to work across disciplines with the common goal of increasing health and wellness for all clients. Students from culturally diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The online program follows a cohort model and students can complete the program in three years.

Courses include: career counseling and development; cross-cultural counseling; theories and techniques of counseling; group counseling; multicultural lifespan development in educational context; clinical assessment; special problems-substance abuse counseling; techniques of counseling; practicum in counseling; introduction to clinical mental health counseling; and internship in clinical mental health counseling.

  • Cost: $992 / Credit Hour

#22 Antioch University New England

Keene, NH

Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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Antioch University New England offers an online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This CACREP accredited program will be a good fit for students who are able to get to the Antioch University New England campus one day a week. While much of the coursework can be completed online and students can complete their fieldwork in their local community, as a hybrid program students will need to be on campus one day a week for the first two years of the program. There are no on-campus courses during the third year. This 60 credit low-cost online/ hybrid Clinical Mental Health Counseling program works to prepare graduates for licensure. For students who are interested, a Substance Abuse/Addictions Counseling concentration is available. Graduates of Antioch Univeristy will find that they are well prepared to work as professional counselors in the area of their choice, from counseling individuals and families struggling with the impact of substance use, to counseling college students.

Courses include: group approaches to mental health counseling; fundamentals of therapeutic interaction; professional orientation and ethics; assessment; counseling theories; career and lifestyle counseling; human development; social and cultural diversity; psychopathology; family counseling approaches to addiction; crisis and trauma counseling; research and evaluation; mindfulness based counseling; human sexuality and sex therapy; integrative approaches to addiction; psychopharmacology; issues in addiction; and counseling special populations-military couples and families.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $949 / Credit Hour

#21 Medaille College

Buffalo, NY

Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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Medaille College offers an online, CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Online students can begin the program in the fall or spring semesters and can engage in coursework anytime that works best for their schedule. Additionally, online students will complete one five-day on-campus residency each year of the program. Graduates of the program will be prepared to pursue state licensure in New York and likely other states as well; consult your home state licensing board for more information. Graduates of the program have established professional careers in a variety of settings, including but not limited to: mental health clinics; hospitals; psychiatric centers; colleges and universities; and private practice.

Courses include: professional orientation and practice; counseling theory and practice; human growth and development; cultural and social diversity; group work; professional, ethical, and legal issues in counseling; psychopathologies; helping relationships; assessment and evaluation; practicum in clinical mental health counseling; grief, trauma, and crisis counseling and therapy; children and adolescent counseling and therapy; family counseling and therapy; career development; and counseling supervision and practice.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $883 / Credit Hour

#20 Bradley University

Peoria, IL

Online Master of Arts in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

bradley-university-online-master-of-arts-in-counseling-clinical-mental-health-counseling-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

A Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available online at Bradley University. This low-cost online master’s in counseling degree prepares graduates to pursue a counseling career built around their professional interests. Students will learn to work with special populations such as couples, families, individuals struggling with the disease of addiction, and veterans. Additionally, students will learn to take their educational and clinical experiences into a variety of settings such as residential treatment centers, hospitals, community health clinics, and government agencies to name a few. This CACREP accredited online counseling program works to prepare graduates to successfully complete the national licensure examination. Students in this 60 credit program will complete two one-week on-campus residencies.

Courses include: loss and grief counseling; human growth and development; substance abuse counseling; counseling diverse populations; brain and behavior; introduction to professional counseling; career and life planning across the lifespan; ethics and the law; theories and techniques of counseling; principles of group counseling; crisis intervention counseling; clinical supervision; couples and family counseling; brain-based interventions; clinical mental health counseling; and counseling and the dynamics of aging.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $850 / Credit Hour

#19 Prescott College

Prescott, AZ

Online Master of Science in Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

prescott-college-online-master-of-science-in-counseling-with-a-specialization-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

Prescott College offers a low-cost online master’s degree in counseling with several areas of specialization, including the Master of Science in Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Limited residencies are required to complete this 60 credit degree. The graduate counseling program at Prescott College emphasizes a health and wellness approach and perspective when working with clients to enhance mental health. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration offers an area of emphasis in Somatic Oriented Counseling. Graduates of the program will be ready to collaborate with diverse populations of clients and partner with integrated health care teams to enhance client mental health.

Unique areas of concentration include: adventure-based psychotherapy; eco therapy; equine-assisted mental health; and expressive art therapy.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $820 / Credit Hour

#18 Argosy University

Phoenix, AZ

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

argosy-university-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-online-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

Argosy University offers an online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Argosy strives to provide online students with flexible formats of study in an effort to be accessible, and meet the needs of all students. Online classes are accessible to students 24/7. This low-cost online master’s in counseling degree aims to meet licensure requirements, but as always students should consult their home state licensing board. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Argosy strives to address the core competencies for the field of mental health counseling in order to prepare graduates to be leaders in the field.

The program emphasizes the following focused areas of study: professional orientation and ethical practice; social and cultural diversity; human growth and development; career development; helping relationships; group work; assessment; research and program evaluation.

  • Cost: $750 / Credit Hour

#17 Lock Haven University

Lock Haven, PA

Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

lock-haven-university-master-of-science-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

Students can earn a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lock Haven University. Areas of specialty for this low-cost online master’s in counseling degree include: Children and Adolescent Counseling; Counseling Veterans and their Families; and General Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Students will engage in their courses through both synchronous and asynchronous formats. Lock Haven University utilizes the latest technology in the delivery of their online courses. Graduates of this 60 credit program will be prepared to work with diverse populations across the lifespan in a range of clinical settings.

Courses include: clinical mental health counseling as a profession; theories of counseling and psychotherapy; assessment and testing in mental health counseling; lifespan development- implications for counseling; skills and techniques in mental health counseling; multicultural counseling; career development and counseling; addiction counseling; psychopathology and differential diagnosis; family and couples therapy; group counseling; and ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $725 / Credit Hour

#16 Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling Online

nova-southeastern-university-fort-master-of-science-in-mental-health-counseling-online-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

Nova Southeastern University offers a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. Graduate students in this low-cost online counseling program will learn about the growing field of mental health counseling and how they can best serve their communities as clinicians in a variety of settings. Students are expected to complete the 60 credit program in no longer than five years. Faculty consistently evaluate and provide feedback to students as they move through the program in an effort to ensure that students are supported in meeting their potential and thriving in the program. Graduates will be prepared for professional careers as counselors and therapists and ready to work in the setting of their choice.

Courses include: counseling theories and practice; introduction to mental health counseling techniques; human growth and development; ethical, legal, and professional issues for counselors; human sexuality; diagnosis and treatment of adult psychopathology; diagnosis and treatment of child and adolescent psychopathology; substance abuse; social and cultural foundations of counseling; group theory and practice; community mental health; and advanced treatment interventions.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $705 / Credit Hour

#15 Thomas University

Thomasville, GA

Online Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

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Thomas University offers a low-cost online master’s in counseling degree. This degree is a little different from the others listed here in that it also includes a focus on Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling. See Best Counseling Degrees Rehabilitation Counseling lists if this is an area of study you are interested in. The Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at Thomas University requires the completion of 63 credits with a specialization in Addictions and Alcoholism Counseling, available for an additional 12 credits. Accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), this program will prepare graduates to take the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor exam and to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Courses include: introduction to counseling; crisis counseling; theories and techniques of counseling; case management and community resources; theories and techniques of group counseling; assessment and evaluation; psychopathology and the DSM; legal, ethical, and cultural issues in counseling; practicum; internship I & II, job development and placement; human sexuality; behavioral research methods; family counseling; and human growth and development.

  • Credits Required: 63
  • Cost: $655 / Credit Hour

#14 Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, CO

Master of Arts in Counseling Online

colorado-christian-university-master-of-arts-in-counseling-online-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

Students can earn a Master of Arts in Counseling from Colorado Christian University. This low-cost online master’s in counseling degree requires the completion of 60 credits and three 5-day residencies. The CACREP accredited counseling program offers students an education in counseling through the lens of a Christian framework. The program emphasizes peer support through the cohort model, residencies, and synchronous courses. The program is designed to prepare graduates for licensure and can be completed in two and a half years. Students will have the opportunity to highlight their clinical competence with a final project.

Courses include: theological foundations for counseling; counseling skills; psychopharmacology; counseling services and methods; theories of personality and counseling; psychopathology; human growth and development; crisis and trauma; marriage and family; theories of groups and group counseling; social and cultural foundations; human sexuality; anxiety and mood disorders; eating disorders; and integrative health.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $645 / Credit Hour

#13 Messiah College

Mechanicsburg, PA

Online Master of Arts in Counseling

messiah-college-online-master-of-arts-in-counseling-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

Messiah College offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This 60 credit low-cost online counseling degree is accredited by the CACREP. Students can choose to complete the program in two to four years (or up to six years), at the pace that best meets their individual needs. This program would be a good fit for students who want to attend a program emphasizing the integration of Christian faith with the practice of counseling. Faculty supports students in pursuing careers as licensed professional counselors with the ability to understand how faith and spirituality can enhance the profession of counseling.

Courses include: professional issues and ethics for counselors; lifespan development; multicultural issues for counseling professionals; counseling theories; career counseling across the lifespan; group counseling; spiritual formation and faith based counseling; counseling techniques; assessment techniques for individuals, couples, and families; foundations of clinical mental health counseling; psychopathology and diagnosis across the lifespan; marriage, couple, and family counseling; crisis, trauma, and grief counseling; and counseling children and adolescents.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $625 / Credit Hour

#12 Grace College and Theological Seminary

Winona Lake, IN

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

grace-college-and-theological-seminary-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-online-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

Grace College and Theological Seminary offers a low-cost online master’s in counseling with their Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This CACREP accredited counseling degree has been offered online at Grace College since 2010. The program follows a cohort model, and students will complete this 60 credit degree and 7-10 day residencies, with the support of their cohort in 6-8 semesters. While the program is designed to prepare graduates for licensure, students should always consult their home state licensing board for specific details.

Courses include: orientation to clinical mental health counseling; foundations of clinical mental health counseling; counseling skills; personality and counseling theories; psychopathology; human growth and development; research and program evaluation; theological foundations in counseling; ethical and legal issues; group counseling; addictions counseling; marriage and family counseling; gender and sexuality; assessment and testing; social and cultural issues; lifestyle and career counseling; contemporary issues and trends in counseling; and spirituality in counseling.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $610 / Credit Hour

#11 University of the Southwest

Hobbs, NM

Online Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Mental Health Counseling

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The University of the Southwest offers a Master of Science in Education in Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Mental Health Counseling. This low-cost online master’s in counseling program is designed to prepare students for licensure as a professional counselor. Because licensure requirements vary from state to state students, should always consult their home state licensing board to determine eligibility. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program are able to choose between completing the 48 credit or 60 credit program of study. This allows students to complete only the number of credits their state requires for licensure. Students are offered a number of elective courses, allowing students to focus on individual areas of interest.

Courses include: professional orientation to counseling; research in the behavioral sciences; counseling theories; professional and ethical issues; learning and human development; multicultural counseling; group counseling; counseling families; child and adolescent counseling; counseling traumatized clients; introduction to addictions counseling; career development and life planning; introduction to christian counseling; human sexuality; abnormal behavior; and marital and couples therapy.

  • Credits Required: 48-60
  • Cost: $599 / Credit Hour

#10 Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

regent-university-online-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Regent University is accredited by the CACREP. This 60 credit low-cost online master’s in counseling degree can be completed in two years. The online program requires the completion of two one-week residencies designed to enhance student learning and clinical experience. At Regent University students will learn counseling theories and practices integrated with Christian values and perspectives. The program asks that all students participate in their own personal counseling experience with an individual therapist for at least four sessions.

Courses include: orientation to the counseling profession; counseling skills and techniques; theories of counseling; assessment techniques in counseling; career and lifestyle development; human growth and development; concepts of family systems; group counseling; ethics, professional orientation, and legal issues in counseling; multicultural counseling; counseling and christian thought; addiction therapies for individuals and families; psychopathology and diagnosis; crisis, trauma, and clinical counseling.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $595 / Credit Hour

#9 Faulkner University

Montgomery, AL

Master of Science in Counseling Online

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Faulkner University offers a Master of Science in Counseling. A Christian University, Faulkner strives to integrate mental health counseling theories with a Christian worldview. This low-cost online master’s degree in counseling requires the completion of 61 credits. Students will complete all coursework online in addition to two on-campus five-day residencies. The residencies provide students with rich clinical training. The program is designed to prepare graduates for professional licensure with the ability to thoughtfully and confidently integrate Christian principles into their practice. As always, students are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board to confirm licensure eligibility.

Courses include: introduction to counseling theories; lifespan development; career and guidance counseling; counseling diverse populations; analysis of the helping relationship; counseling in the community; group counseling; measurement and assessment; research methods; integrations of theology and counseling; legal and ethical issues; diagnosis and treatment; counseling practicum; internship in counseling; clinical training I & II; marriage and family therapy; substance abuse counseling; and suicide intervention and counseling.

  • Credits Required: 61
  • Cost: $585 / Credit Hour

#7 (tie) University of Louisiana at Monroe

Monroe, LA

Online Master of Science in Counseling

university-of-louisiana-at-monroe-online-master-of-science-in-counseling-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

A Master of Science in Counseling is available at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. This low-cost online master’s degree in counseling is accredited by the CACREP. This online Master of Science in Counseling degree allows students to select an area of specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. Students can also elect to complete both areas of specialization. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree will prepare graduates to work with diverse populations in a range of clinical settings. The Master of Science in Counseling degree requires the completion of 60 credits. Coursework is designed to prepare students to successfully complete licensing examinations. The 2016 reported pass rate for the Licensed Professional Counselor examination by students from this program was 100%.

Graduates with the Master of Science in Counseling can pursue careers such as: mental health counselor; school counselor; career counselor; play therapist; art therapist; life coach; consultant; private practice practitioner; and human resources specialist.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $500 / Credit Hour

#7 (tie) Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

Online Master Of Science In Mental Health And Wellness

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Grand Canyon University offers a low-cost online master’s in counseling with the Master of Science in Mental Health and Wellness. This degree only requires the completion of 34 credits. This program is designed to support graduates in integrating theories and practices for mental health and wellness in their professional career. Students can be creative in how they choose to use their degree professionally. The program is not designed to prepare graduates for professional licensure as a counselor or therapist, but will support graduates in understanding and delivering culturally competent and ethically sound services related to mental health in a variety of community settings and human service careers.

Courses include: introduction to graduate studies and liberal arts; introduction to mental health and wellness; ethics and cultural diversity in mental health and wellness; human development; group dynamics; community health; documentation, research, and information literacy in mental health and wellness; mental health, wellness and health care integration; and mental health and wellness capstone.

  • Credits Required: 34
  • Cost: $500 / Credit Hour

#6 Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling Online

capella-university-master-of-science-in-mental-health-counseling-online-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

Capella University offers an online Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. Capella offers a handful of CACREP accredited low-cost online master’s degrees in counseling including the Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling designed to prepare students to pursue state licensure as professional counselors. Capella’s coursework, practicum, internship, and residencies all contribute to students academic, clinical, and professional growth and development. Students in this program will complete two one-week residencies. A benefit of Capella is their licensure support team which provides students and graduates with ongoing support as they navigate and complete the licensure process.

Courses include: survey of research in human development for professional counselors; assessments, tests, and measures; principles of psychopathology-diagnosis and treatment; ethical and legal issues in professional counseling; introduction to clinical mental health counseling; crisis assessment and intervention; theories of psychotherapy; life planning and career development; counseling and advocacy with diverse populations; foundations of addiction and addictive behavior; human sexuality; child and adolescent counseling; marriage and family systems; mental health counseling approaches and interventions; and group counseling and clinical applications in mental health counseling.

  • Credits Required: 90
  • Cost: $485 / Credit Hour

#4 (tie) Lindsey Wilson College

Columbia, KY

Online Master of Education in Counseling and Human Development

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Lindsey Wilson College offers an online Master of Education in Counseling and Human Development with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The program also offers students the opportunity to earn a certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling. This 60 low-cost credit online master’s in counseling program at Lindsey Wilson is accredited by the CACREP and is designed to meet state licensure requirements. The faculty in the Counseling and Human Development Program at Lindsey Wilson College has a depth of experience and areas of expertise that they are able to bring to their teaching and individual support of students. Graduates will find that they are well prepared to be leaders in the field of mental health and pursue a career as a professional counselor in the setting of their choice.

Courses include: personal growth and development; life-cycle development in individuals and families; multicultural issues, human diversity, and preventative community education; counseling theories and techniques-cognitive/ behavioral; group counseling techniques; career education counseling; individual and group assessment; psychopathology; professional issues and ethics; evaluation of mental and emotional status; diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders; theories of addiction and pharmacology; treatment of mental and emotional disorders; mental health administration, supervision, and consultation; and systemic family therapy.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $465 / Credit Hour

#4 (tie) Walden University

Minneapolis, MN

Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

walden-university-online-master-of-science-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

Walden University offers a low-cost online master’s in counseling degree with their CACREP accredited online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. CACREP accredited programs ensure that the coursework students complete will be rigorous and comprehensive and designed to support students in successfully completing licensure exams and meeting state licensing requirements. As always, students are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board for further information. Walden University offers a general program of study for 90-96 credits along with several areas of specialization including: addiction counseling; career counseling; forensic counseling; military families and culture; and trauma and crisis counseling. Tuition is charged for core courses (81 credits) but not for practicum and internship experiences. Students working towards their online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will complete two residencies while in the program.

Courses include: foundations for graduate study in counseling; introduction to mental health counseling; techniques in counseling; counseling and psychotherapy theories; ethics and legal issues in counseling; multicultural counseling; diagnosis and assessment; couples and family counseling; prevention, intervention, and consultation; counseling addictive disorders; and crisis, trauma, and disaster response.

  • Credits Required: 90
  • Cost: $465 / Credit Hour

#3 Adams State University

Alamosa, CO

Online Master of Arts in Counseling

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The Master of Arts in Counseling at Adams State University is accredited by the CACREP. The low-cost online counseling program at Adams State University offers the same course content as the on-campus program the only difference is that all coursework can be completed online and students will complete two one-week residencies in each summer of the program. Online courses are offered in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. Students will move through this 60 credit program, that can be completed in 7 or 8 semesters, with the support of their cohort. Students will complete their practicum and internships and meet with their clinical supervisor in their local community.

Courses include: introduction to research; multicultural issues; lifespan development; group counseling; career development; couple, family, system counseling; assessment in counseling; ethics and professional issues; crisis, disaster, and trauma; diagnosis and psychopathology; evidence based counseling; and clinical mental health counseling.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $430 / Credit Hour

#2 University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY

Master of Arts in Professional Counseling Online

university-of-the-cumberlands-master-of-arts-in-professional-counseling-online-low-cost-online-masters-degrees-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling

The University of the Cumberlands offers a CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Professional Counseling with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling track. This fully online low-cost master’s degree in counseling prepares graduates to pursue careers as licensed professional counselors. Students will have access to specialty courses that allow them to graduate with the skills to treat a variety of clinical issues. The program provides graduates with the foundation to work in the setting and with the population of their choice. Graduates have developed careers in community mental health centers, private practice, colleges, and hospitals to name a few. Applications are accepted throughout the year with multiple start dates available.

Courses include: introduction to professional counseling; legal and ethical issues in counseling; lifestyle and career development; psychological assessment in clinical practice; human growth and development; counseling theories; advanced clinical assessment; counseling during grief and crisis; theory and practice of multicultural counseling; group counseling; research methods in counseling; theories and techniques for the treatment of process addictions and substance abuse; counseling practicum; and counseling internship.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $400 / Credit Hour

#1 Lamar University

Beaumont, TX

Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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Lamar University offers the most affordable online master’s program in counseling listed here with their Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Multiple start dates are offered throughout the year in an effort to allow students to bring their graduate education as soon as they are ready. This low-cost online counseling program requires the completion of 60 credits. Students will receive clinical training through practicum and internship placements as well as at the two one-week residencies. Graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Lamar University will be prepared to work with diverse populations in the setting of their choice including community mental health clinics, hospitals, and private practice.

Courses include: foundations of clinical mental health counseling; marriage, couple, and family counseling; abnormal human behavior; individual counseling theories and techniques; counseling skills; human growth and development; professionalism, ethics, and the law; measurement and assessment; career development; multicultural counseling; group counseling theories and techniques; crisis prevention and intervention; and substance abuse counseling.

  • Credits Required: 60
  • Cost: $235 / Credit Hour

 

Methodology:
This list was created using data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs. We looked for programs offering master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. We retained schools that offered this degree in a distance education format. Additionally, we evaluated schools based on regional accreditation and only accepted regionally accredited schools. We evaluated each program’s website and tuition (per credit hour). Schools were ranked based on low cost.

About the author: Kirsten Hughes is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with her Masters in Education from the University of Oregon. Kirsten has provided direct services to youth and families, in a variety of roles and a range of settings, for the last 15 years. Kirsten particularly enjoys supporting young people as they navigate the challenges that come with transitioning from high school to college and beyond. Kirsten lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

 

See also: The Top 10 Online Master’s Degrees in Student Affairs and College Counseling