The Top 25 Most Affordable Online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree Programs 2018

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By Kirsten Hughes

January 2018

If you are interested in becoming a licensed professional counselor, this list of the most affordable accredited online masters degrees in clinical mental health counseling will help you reach your personal and professional goals. The online programs we have selected vary in their format of study. Many of the programs are available 100% online with no residency requirements. Some of the online programs require a brief residency. We have also included a couple of hybrid programs that offer a combination of online and face-to-face courses. All of the programs listed here are accredited by the CACREP, and have met standards showing that they will provide the education and training to prepare you to successfully complete the national licensure examination and pursue a career as a licensed professional counselor.

A degree in clinical mental health counseling will provide you with a comprehensive education and clinical training to work with children, adolescents, adults, families, and groups in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics; schools; colleges and universities; community health centers; hospitals; and private practice. This degree will be a good fit for students who want to have the opportunity to work with diverse populations in a variety of settings.

As discussed above, some of the online master’s degree in clinical counseling programs listed here require residencies. These face-to-face components of the program generally take place on campus a couple of times during the course of the program, for a few days to a week at a time. Do not let the residency requirement dissuade you from considering the program. Residencies can enhance the educational experience and provide the benefit of supporting students in developing relationships with fellow students and faculty. Many graduates of online counseling programs consider the residency a top highlight. Students should consider extra costs that come along with residencies such as transportation, lodging, and meals.

In order to practice as a counselor or therapist following graduation, 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, post-graduate 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. Additionally, graduating from a CACREP accredited master’s program gives students who are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree a competitive edge.

If you want to pursue a career as a mental health therapist we are confident this list of accredited online master’s degrees in clinical mental health counseling will help you find the best program for you! For information on how we compiled our list of the best online master’s in counseling, see our methodology at the end of the article.

Ranking the Most Affordable Online Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate Degrees

#25 Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
Master of Arts in Counseling Online

northwestern-university-evanston-il-master-of-arts-in-counseling-onlineNorthwestern University offers a CACREP accredited Master of Arts Degree in Counseling. This degree is available online from The Family Institute at Northwestern University. Students can choose to enroll in the program at four different points throughout the year, with the full-time or part-time track of study. A Child and Adolescent specialization is offered for students who plan to pursue a career working with youth. The program emphasizes the psychodynamic perspective and supports students in developing skills to be self-reflective in their role as therapists. Additionally, the program focuses on supporting collaborative relationships between peers, faculty, and supervisors in the online classroom, two residency experiences, and local practicum and internship placements.

Courses include: counseling methods-skills for counseling and psychotherapy; theories of counseling and psychotherapy; ethics and legal issues in counseling; counseling methods- strategies for counseling and psychotherapy; assessment of counseling; theories and techniques of group counseling and psychotherapy; counseling methods- outreach, prevention, and advocacy; psychopathology in counseling; cultural diversity in counseling; foundations of family, marital, and couples counseling; theory and technique of substance abuse; career development; and advanced topics in clinical mental health counseling.

  • Graduate Tuition: $4,353 / Credit Hour

#24 Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
Online Master of Arts in Counseling

wake-forest-university-winston-salem-ncWake Forest University offers a CACREP accredited online Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialty in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Students in the program will complete two residencies offered in the first and second year of the program as a brief and efficient Thursday – Sunday face-to-face session. During the residencies, students will have the opportunity to engage in experiential learning with peers and faculty. Graduates will be prepared to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor and as always, should consult with their home state licensing board to confirm that specific requirements are met.

Courses include: research and statistical analysis in counseling; appraisal procedures for counselors; basic counseling skills and techniques; advanced counseling skills and crisis management; professional orientation to counseling; theories and models of counseling; group procedures in counseling; career development and counseling; cultures and counseling; addiction counseling; family counseling; professional, ethical, and legal issues in counseling; and consultation and program development in counseling.

  • Graduate Tuition: $1,380 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#23 North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC
Online Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

north-carolina-state-university-raleigh-nc-online-master-of-education-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health counseling is offered online at North Carolina State University. This program is offered in the hybrid format, with the majority of coursework available online. This is a part time program that can be completed in three years. The program is committed to multicultural diversity in the coursework and through efforts to recruit students from diverse populations to apply to the program. Graduates will be culturally competent with the clinical skills to work effectively with children, adolescents, adults, families, and communities, in a variety of ways, in a range of settings.

Courses include: career counseling and development; multicultural counseling; theories and techniques of counseling; introduction to clinical mental health counseling; group counseling; strategies for clinical assessment in counseling; techniques in counseling; multicultural lifespan development in educational context; and special problems in guidance.

  • Graduate Tuition: $1,132 / Credit Hour

#22 Antioch University – New England

Keene, NH
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

antioch-university-new-england-keene-nh-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-onlineAntioch University New England offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This CACREP accredited program is offered in the hybrid format with courses offered both online and face-to-face. Students will need to live close enough to the main campus during the first two years of the three year program to attend class on campus one day a week (first year students attend class on Wednesdays, second year students attend class on Tuesdays). During the third year of the program there are no on-campus requirements, as students will be fully engaged in their practicum or internship placement (20 hours a week). The program works to train students to consider every client and the challenges they face in the personal and cultural context of their clients lives.

Courses include: group approaches to counseling; professional orientation and ethics; assessment; counseling theories; career and lifestyle; human development; social and cultural diversity; family counseling for addiction; psychopathology; and crisis and trauma counseling.

  • Graduate Tuition: $949 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#21 North Carolina Central University

Durham, NC
Online Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling

north-carolina-central-university-durham-nc-online-master-of-arts-in-mental-health-counselingNorth Carolina Central University offers a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. This CACREP accredited degree is available 100% online with no residency requirements. The 60 credit curriculum prepares graduates to pursue licensure as a licensed professional counselor (LPC). Students who are interested and wish to take three extra courses will be eligible to work toward becoming licensed as a Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS). Graduates will find themselves ready to pursue careers in a range of non-profit organizations.

Courses include: ethical, professional orientation to counseling; theories and techniques; crisis, trauma, and grief counseling; introduction to mental health counseling; psychosocial development; cultural diversity and gender issues; group counseling; introduction to family counseling; introduction to substance abuse counseling; statistics; assessment; consultation;

  • Graduate Tuition: $892 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#20 Bradley University

Peoria, IL
Online Master of Arts in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

bradley-university-peoria-il-online-master-of-arts-in-counseling-clinical-mental-health-counselingA CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available online at Bradley University. An emphasis of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Bradley University is the focus on neuroscience based practices. With a commitment to flexibility, students will be allowed to select their own site supervisor who meets the supervisor requirements. Additionally, faculty work hard to create and foster a supportive and collaborative online learning environment for all students. The program works to prepare graduates for professional licensure as a mental health counselor.

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

  • Graduate Tuition: $870 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#19 Lamar University

Beaumont, TX
Online Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

lamar-university-beaumont-tx-online-master-of-education-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available at Lamar University. Students in this online CACREP accredited program will complete two on-campus residencies, during which students will engage in group work and skill development and have the opportunity to receive professional feedback. Practicum and internship experiences are carefully chosen and matched with the curriculum to provide the most supportive and instructive learning and training experience for students under the supervision of university faculty and a site supervisor.

Courses include: multicultural counseling; professionalism, ethics, and the law; human growth and development; research and program evaluation; consultation; group counseling theories and techniques; career development; crisis prevention and intervention; abnormal human behavior; and measurement and assessment.

  • Graduate Tuition: $758 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#18 Lock Haven University

Lock Haven, PA
Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

lock-haven-university-lock-haven-pa-master-of-science-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingLock Haven University offers a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that is available fully online with no residency requirements. The CACREP accredited program strives to prepare professional counselors with the ability to successfully pursue licensure and work in diverse clinical settings. In addition to the core curriculum students will have the chance to select a specialized area of study from either the: child and adolescent counseling track; military/veteran track; or generalized clinical mental health counseling specialization. Students will work with department faculty to establish an approved supervisor to meet with locally, face-to-face for clinical supervision during their internship.

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; research and evaluation; multicultural counseling; career development and counseling; addiction counseling; psychopathology and differential diagnosis; advanced counseling skills; family and couples therapy; group counseling; and ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling.

  • Graduate Tuition: $750 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#17 St. Bonaventure University

Saint Bonaventure, NY
Online Master of Science in Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

st-bonaventure-university-online-master-of-science-in-education-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA Master of Science in Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available online at St. Bonaventure University. This CACREP accredited online counseling degree emphasizes a commitment to supporting students in being a part of the community, enhancing each students sense of individual worth, and in exposing students to different counseling practices. Students will complete core coursework online, an internship at a local placement site, and two on-campus four day residencies.

Core courses include: research methods; advanced human growth and development; theories and techniques of counseling; abnormal psychology; internship- CMH counseling; residency- professional practice of counseling; and residency- advanced professional practice of counseling.

  • Graduate Tuition: $733 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#16 Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

regent-university-virginia-beach-va-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-onlineThe School of Psychology and Counseling at Regent University offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This CACREP accredited program is offered both online and on-campus allowing students to choose the format of study that best meets their personal needs. Coursework integrates biblical principles with counseling theory and techniques to support the therapist in working effectively with diverse populations. Students in the online program will complete two one-week residencies during which they will have the chance to network with other students and faculty. Graduates will be prepared to pursue licensure as a professional counselor.

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

  • Graduate Tuition: $710 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#15 Hodges University

Naples, FL
Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

hodges-university-naples-fl-online-master-of-science-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA CACREP accredited Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available online at Hodges University. This Master of Science degree is available fully online, and also offers students who are interested a blended, on-campus format. The course of study covers core coursework, an internship, and elective coursework. The program works to support students in developing clinical skills while also attending to the individual and personal growth of the student/practitioner. Graduates will be prepared to work towards professional licensure and work with children, adolescents, and adults in the setting of their choice, from mental health clinics to private practice.

Courses include: counseling theories and practice; human growth and development; diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology; group theories and practice; individual evaluation and assessment; career and lifestyle assessment; research and program evaluation; social and cultural foundations of counseling practice; counseling in community settings; substance abuse theory and prevention methodology; legal, ethical, and professional standards of counseling practice; and human sexuality.

  • Graduate Tuition: $670 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#14 Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, CO
Master of Arts in Counseling Online

colorado-christian-university-lakewood-co-master-of-arts-in-counselingColorado Christian University offers an online CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling. Students at Colorado Christian University study the field of counseling through a Christian worldview, to learn to best support individuals and families in a variety of community settings. In addition to online courses students will complete three residencies while they are in the program to develop relationships with peers and faculty and to enhance clinical skills. Coursework is designed to prepare graduates to successfully pursue professional licensure and clinical practice. A number of unique elective courses are available including: empathy training; neuroscience and clinical counseling; anxiety and mood disorders; eating disorders; and integrative health.

Courses include: spiritual formation for counseling; 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; lifestyle and career; and social and cultural foundations.

  • Graduate Tuition: $664 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#13 Messiah College

Mechanicsburg, PA
Online Master of Arts in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

messiah-college-mechanicsburgpa-master-of-arts-in-counseling-clinical-mental-health-counselingA Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is offered at Messiah College. This CACREP accredited program offers classes online with additional weeklong residencies on-campus in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Coursework integrates counseling theories and Christian faith with a focus on promoting social justice. Additional tracks of study are offered in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling and in School Counseling. All students will complete core courses (30 credits) followed by track specific courses (30 credits) in a predesigned sequence of study. Graduates will be prepared to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

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; substance abuse/addiction and families; crisis, trauma, and grief counseling; and autism spectrum disorders.

  • Graduate Tuition: $645 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#12 Malone University

Canton, OH
Online Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

malone-university-canton-oh-master-of-education-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingMalone University offers a CACREP accredited Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Students can choose between a fully online program and a hybrid program, the curriculum is the same for both formats and is designed to lead to successful completion of the licensure examination. Pass rates over the last five years for the national exam are 93-100%. Graduates are prepared work towards licensure as Licensed Professional Counselors and pursue careers in mental health clinics, treatment centers, hospitals, schools, and churches.

Courses include: multicultural counseling and advocacy; human growth and development; theories and techniques of counseling; group dynamics, process, and counseling; career development and lifestyle counseling; foundations of clinical mental health counseling; diagnosis of mental disorders; addictions counseling; abnormal psychology; management and advocacy in clinical mental health counseling; marriage and family counseling; counseling children and adolescents.

  • Graduate Tuition: $595 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#11 Grace College and Theological Seminary

Winona Lake, IN
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

grace-college-and-theological-seminary-winona-lake-in-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available at Grace College and Theological Seminary. This CACREP accredited program offers all courses online in addition to an annual seven-to-ten day residency on campus in Winona Lake, Indiana. Students will have the opportunity to build relationships with others in their cohort and with faculty to support and enhance their educational experience. The program emphasizes a focus on scripture integrated with psychological theory.

Courses include: theological foundations in counseling; foundations of clinical mental health counseling; marriage and family counseling; personality/counseling theories; counseling skills; psychotherapy with children and adolescents; psychotherapy and trauma; addictions counseling; gender and sexuality; ethical and legal issues; group counseling; human growth and development; social and cultural issues; and spirituality in counseling.

  • Graduate Tuition: $588 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#10 Bellevue University

Bellevue, NE
Master of Science in Clinical Counseling Online

bellevue-university-bellevue-ne-master-of-science-in-clinical-counselingBellevue University offers an online, CACREP accredited, Master of Science in Clinical Counseling. The program provides comprehensive training through coursework, practicum, and internship experiences to prepare graduates to pursue professional licensure. Training covers working with children, adolescents, and adults across the lifespan with a focus on issues of diversity and attention to ethical standards of the profession.

Courses include: helping relationships and orientation to the counseling profession; introduction to counseling theories; statistics and quantitative research methods; human development throughout the lifespan; ethical, legal, and professional issues in the practice of counseling; assessment; theories of psychopathology; diagnosis of mental and behavioral disorders; social and cultural diversity; career development; couples and family counseling; and advanced counseling skills, techniques, and practices.

  • Graduate Tuition: $565 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#9 Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, IN
Online Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

indiana-wesleyan-university-marion-in-online-master-of-arts-with-a-major-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available at Indiana Wesleyan University. This CACREP accredited online program focuses on training mental health professionals with a commitment to integrating Christian counseling into their practice. Students can enroll in the program in the fall or spring semesters and full time students will be able to complete the program in 2.5-3 years. Graduates of this 60 credit licensure track program will have the clinical skills and knowledge to work with individuals, families, groups, and organizations. Students accepted into the program are eligible to apply for funding support through program scholarships.

Courses include: human growth and development; multicultural counseling; theory and techniques in the helping relationship; theory and techniques in group counseling; theory and techniques in career counseling; appraisal of individuals and families; research and evaluation of methods and practice; legal, ethical, and professional issues; integration of Christian faith in professional counseling; foundations in clinical mental health counseling; assessment and intervention in clinical mental health; issues in addiction recovery; and psychopathology.

  • Graduate Tuition: $533 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#8 Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR
Master of Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

oregon-state-university-corvallis-or-master-of-counseling-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingOregon State University offers a CACREP accredited Master of Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The unique hybrid format offered by Oregon State University integrates online course work with in-person classes held two Fridays and Saturdays each term (in Salem, Oregon). The program can be completed in 3.5-4 years of part-time study. Graduates of the program will be prepared to work with children, adolescents, adults, individuals, and families in a range of clinical settings such as: private practice; community mental health clinics; college counseling centers; primary care; residential treatment centers; and veterans affairs.

Courses include: the counseling profession; family counseling; social and cultural perspectives; foundations of mental health counseling; counseling theory; developmental perspectives in counseling; crisis, trauma, and grief counseling; applied psychopathology and psychodiagnosis; lifestyle and career development; addictive behavior counseling; cross-cultural counseling; group counseling procedures; counselor consultation; introduction to research methods in counseling; and introduction to counselor supervision.

  • Graduate Tuition: $528 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 90

#7 Palo Alto University

Palo Alto, CA
Online Master of Arts in Counseling

palo-alto-university-palo-alto-ca-online-master-of-arts-in-counselingA CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available at Palo Alto University. Palo Alto University offers this degree on-campus and online allowing students to choose the option that is the best fit for their personal needs. The flexible online program has minimal residency requirements (one week on-campus during the first year of the program) and will be completed in 11 quarters. The program offers a supportive learning environment as students move through the program with their cohort with a progressive course sequence of courses continually building on each other. Students will receive comprehensive clinical training in areas including: assessment; intervention; research; and ethical and professional practice.

Courses include: lifespan development; professional identity; introduction to the clinical advancement project; counseling theory; family systems theory; legal and ethical foundations; diagnosis and treatment planning; clinical interviewing; community mental health with cognitive behavioral and brief therapy; child and adolescent counseling; crisis and trauma counseling; multicultural counseling theories and techniques; substance abuse; group counseling; human sexuality; and psychopharmacology.

  • Graduate Tuition: $523 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 93

#6 University of Louisiana at Monroe

Monroe, LA
Online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

university-of-louisiana-at-monroe-monroe-la-online-master-of-science-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available online at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The 60 credit program is accredited by the CACREP and can be completed in two years. Students will complete a summer residency to prepare for practicum and internship placements and to develop relationships and a support network with peers in the program. The program works to prepare students to successfully complete the licensing exam. Graduates will find that they are ready to work with diverse populations and to pursue the career of their choice.

Career opportunities include: mental health counselor; mental health administrator; group facilitator; rehabilitation counselor; career counselor; vocational counselor; play therapist; art therapist; addictions counselor; life coach; consultant; and human resources specialist.

  • Graduate Tuition: $500 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#5 Capella University

Minneapolis, MN
Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling Online

capella-university-minneapolis-mn-master-of-science-in-mental-health-counseling-onlineCapella University offers an online CACREP accredited Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. The program works to provide students with the education and clinical training, through online coursework, internships, and residencies, to successfully pursue professional licensure following graduation. Students will complete two residencies that are each a week long and that are offered at locations throughout the country each year, with the goal of being accessible to students. Skills learned through the residencies include: communication skills; interviewing skills; crisis management techniques; ethics and diversity training; and competence in the administration and scoring of psychological testing. Online courses include opportunities to select from classes covering unique areas of specialization.

Courses include: survey of research methodology; assessment, 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; human sexuality; child and adolescent counseling; and marriage and family systems.

  • Graduate Tuition: $487 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 90

#4 Lindsey Wilson College

Columbia, KY
Online Master of Education in Counseling & Human Development

lindsey-wilson-college-columbia-ky-online-master-of-education-in-counseling-human-developmentA Master of Education in Counseling and Human Development is offered at Lindsey Wilson College. This CACREP accredited online graduate program in counseling offers a specialization in Mental Health Counseling. In an effort to offer flexible scheduling to meet the needs of working students, asynchronous learning is offered. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with peers and develop professional networks for ongoing support following graduation. Courses for the 60 credit degree are offered in 8 week sessions. The program provides a Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling that can be earned while working towards the general degree.

Courses include: personal growth and development group; life cycle development in individuals and families; multicultural issues, human diversity, and preventative community education; counseling theories and techniques; career education counseling; individual and group assessment; psychopathology; research methods; professional issues and ethics; diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders; evaluation of mental and emotional status; substance abuse treatment; theories of addiction and pharmacology; assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of addiction; play therapy; adolescent intervention; and systemic family therapy.

  • Graduate Tuition: $470 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#3 Walden University

Minneapolis, MN
Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

walden-university-minneapolis-mn-master-of-science-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-onlineWalden University offers an online CACREP accredited Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Along with the general program that is offered, Walden University provides five additional areas of specialization for students who may be interested. Areas of specialization in addition to the general program of study are: addiction counseling; career counseling; forensic counseling; military families and culture; and trauma and crisis counseling. Students in this program will complete two residencies. Residencies are offered in convenient locations throughout the year to fit the individual needs of all students. In the face-to-face residencies students will have the opportunity to build supportive relationships with peers and faculty. Additionally, residencies support students in becoming oriented to the field of mental health counseling and to develop and strengthen counseling skills under the direct supervision of trained and qualified faculty members.

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; assessment in counseling and education; lifespan development; diagnosis and assessment; group process and dynamics; research methodology and program evaluation; couples and family counseling; career counseling; prevention, intervention, and consultation; counseling addictive disorders; psychopharmacology; and crisis, trauma, and disaster response.

  • Graduate Tuition: $465 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#2 Adams State University

Alamosa, CO
Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

adams-state-university-alamosa-co-online-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingA CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is offered online at Adam’s State University. The program offers a cohort model and provides opportunities to begin the program and join a cohort three times a year. Students in the program are encouraged to choose an internship placement that is centered on their area of interest which is designed to provide professional development in a chosen specialty area. Students will receive focused clinical training during the two required on campus residencies, offered for one week of each of the two summers students are enrolled in the program. Graduates of the program will be ready to pursue careers in a variety of settings including: private practice; community mental health clinics; residential treatment centers; and hospitals.

Courses include: introduction to research; multicultural and diversity issues; lifespan development; counseling theories and helping relationships; group counseling; career development; counseling the couple, family, and system; assessment in counseling; foundations of addictions counseling; ethics/professional issues; crisis disaster and trauma; diagnosis and psychopathology; and clinical mental health counseling.

  • Graduate Tuition: $435 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

#1 University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY
Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

university-of-the-cumberlands-williamsburg-ky-online-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counselingThe University of the Cumberlands offers a CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Professional Counseling. This degree is available fully online with two tracks of study: one in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and one focused on Addictions Counseling. Students are required to complete 60 credits for graduation, with the opportunity to transfer 30 credits from a regionally accredited institution. The University of the Cumberlands allows students to apply to, and enroll in, the program year round with the opportunity to being the program at six different start dates throughout the year. Graduates of the program will be ready to serve diverse populations and work with individuals, families, and communities in a variety of contexts.

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; etiology and diagnosis of abnormal behavior; 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; private practice and supervision; marriage and family counseling; and child and adolescent counseling.

  • Graduate Tuition: $400 / Credit Hour
  • Credits Required: 60

 

Methodology: This list was created using data from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs. We looked for programs offering master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in an online format. We evaluated each program’s website to confirm they were offered online and gathered tuition information. Programs were ranked by tuition.

See also: 

 

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.

This concludes our ranking of the most affordable accredited online masters degrees in clinical mental health counseling for 2018.