The Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the South

| Staff Writers

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Welcome! We have put together a list of the Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the South. Here you will find the best and most affordable graduate programs offering counseling degrees. This list is a part of a four part series of top graduate programs in counseling sorted by region. All graduate schools in the South (from the following states: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia) were taken into consideration for this ranking.

For this list we have selected only the graduate programs that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and/or the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Graduate programs work hard to earn accreditation by the CACREP and/or the COAMFTE. To earn this status the program needs to develop their curriculum, internship, and practicum experiences to meet the requirements of state licensing boards. This ensures that students will have access to a well rounded education. Graduates of CACREP and COAMFTE accredited programs are generally able to move through the state licensing process with ease. However, because licensing requirements vary by state, we always recommend that when researching a graduate program that applicants cross reference program requirements with the academic criteria outlined by their state licensing board.

The programs chosen here offer a variety of formats of study with courses available on-campus, online, or a combination of both with a hybrid program. Students attending these schools will complete supervised clinical training through practicum and internship experiences. Graduates of these counseling programs will be trained and ready to pursue licensure and credentialing as a professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, school counselor, or rehabilitation counselor. Holding a license in counseling will allow graduates to work professionally with diverse populations in a range of settings including community mental health clinics, private practice, schools, and hospitals.

We are confident you will find a master’s degree in counseling to match your career goals here. Also, check out our other top graduate programs in counseling by region with our lists of the Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West, the Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the Northeast, and our list of the Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the Midwest.

Top 10 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the South, 2019

Rank School Location
1 Xavier University of Louisiana Cincinnati, OH
2 Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
3 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
4 Henderson State University Arkadelphia, AR
5 Louisiana State University Shreveport Shreveport, LA
6 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA
7 Delta State University Cleveland, MS
8 Jackson State University Jackson, MS
9 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
10 Langston University Langston, OK
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  1. Xavier University of Louisiana
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Master of Arts in Counseling

    Xavier University of Louisiana offers a Master of Arts in Counseling. This graduate degree in counseling offers areas of specialization in school counseling as well as in clinical mental health counseling. Both specializations in this CACREP accredited program require the completion of 60 credits of core courses, specialization courses, electives, and clinical work experience. Applicants that meet the admission requirements may be chosen to attend a group interview where they will have the opportunity to meet with faculty and learn more about the program.

    Elective courses include: Couples and Relationships Counseling; Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling: Principles and Practices; Special Topics in Counseling; Advanced Play Therapy; Spirituality in Counseling; Clinical Perspectives in Human Sexuality; and Substance Abuse and Addictions Counseling.

    • Cost: $2,652.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  2. Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
    Location

    Baton Rouge, LA

    Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling

    A CACREP accredited Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling is available at Southern University and A&M College. Students will complete focused courses designed to prepare graduates to work professionally with, and advocate for, individuals with a range of disabilities. Additionally, graduates will have the education and training to conduct research to contribute to the growing understanding and field of rehabilitation counseling.

    Unique feature: This longstanding accredited Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program was first established in 1983.

    • Cost: $5,336.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  3. University of the Cumberlands
    Location

    Williamsburg, KY

    Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling

    Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    The University of the Cumberlands offers two online CACREP accredited master's programs in counseling. A Master's in Addiction Counseling and a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling can both be completed online at University of the Cumberlands. Students will have the opportunity to complete courses focused on their area of specialty such as: Psychopharmacology and Addictions; Family Therapy in Addiction Treatment; Marriage and Family Counseling; and Child and Adolescent Counseling. Graduates will be prepared to pursue professional certification and licensure in their chosen field.

    Unique feature: The program reports they are the only online program in addiction counseling in the country that is accredited by the CACREP.

    • Cost: $5,670.00
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  4. Henderson State University
    Location

    Arkadelphia, AR

    Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Master of Science in Education in School Counseling

    Teachers College at Henderson State University offers a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling. Both programs are accredited by the CACREP and require the completion of 60 credits to meet the educational requirement for professional licensure as a counselor. Program graduates will also be prepared to continue their education with a doctoral degree if that is of interest.

    Unique feature: The Counselor Education Department at Henderson State University emphasizes a commitment to supporting the professional growth of each student. All students will complete a Professional Development Plan outlining their plan for professional growth throughout their academic experience in collaboration with their adviser.

    • Cost: $6,048.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  5. Louisiana State University Shreveport
    Location

    Shreveport, LA

    Master of Science in Counseling

    A CACREP accredited Master of Science in Counseling is available at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Students will complete 60 credits of coursework designed to provide them with a comprehensive and well rounded education. Courses available include: Ethics and Law in Counseling; Social and Cultural Foundations in Counseling; Case Formation; and Consultation in Human Development Settings. Graduates will be prepared to work professionally in settings such as: residential treatment centers; community mental health clinics; K-12 schools, colleges and universities.

    Unique feature:The Master of Science in Counseling program at Louisiana State University is grounded in the wellness model with attention to helping clients reach their highest level of functioning and well-being.

    • Cost: $6,196.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  6. Nicholls State University
    Location

    Thibodaux, LA

    Master of Education in School Counseling

    Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    The College of Education at Nicholls State University offers a Master of Education in School Counseling and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Both CACREP accredited programs strive to meet state and national requirements for professional credentialing and licensure. Graduates of the school counseling program have been successful in securing employment in PK-12 school settings in a variety of professional roles from school counselors, to behavioral interventionists, to curriculum directors. Graduates of the clinical mental health counseling program will be prepared to work professionally as licensed counselors and supervisors.

    Elective courses include: Clinical Sexuality for Mental Health Professionals; Interventions for Diverse Needs; Counseling Strategies with Children and Adolescents; Theory and Practice of Play Therapy in Counseling; Problems in Counseling; Substance Abuse Counseling; Exceptional Children; and Practice of School Leadership and School Improvement.

    • Cost: $6,779.00
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  7. Delta State University
    Location

    Cleveland, MS

    Master of Education in Counseling

    A CACREP accredited Master of Education in Counseling is available through the Division of Counselor Education and Psychology at Delta State University. Two areas of specialization are offered for this degree with the School Counseling or the Clinical Mental Health Counseling option. Students will complete core courses and clinical work in order to be well prepared for the National Counselor Exam. Graduates will have the academic training and clinical experience to work successfully as professional counselors in clinic or school settings.

    Unique feature: All students in the Counseling program at Delta State University are matched with an academic adviser when they are admitted to the program. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with their adviser for ongoing support and guidance throughout their academic experience.

    • Cost: $7,076.00
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  8. Jackson State University
    Location

    Jackson, MS

    Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Master of Science in Education in School Counseling

    The Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Psychometric Services at Jackson State University offers a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling. The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling can be completed for 60 credits and the Master of Science in Education in School Counseling can be completed for 51 credits, both degrees are accredited by the CACREP.

    Unique courses include: Introduction to Professional Counseling; Marriage and Family Counseling; Counseling Assessment and Evaluation; Social and CUltural Foundations of Counseling; Lifestyles and Career Development; Theories of the Helping Relationship; Spirituality in Counseling; Grief Counseling; Counseling the Gifted; and Counseling Adolescent Females and Women.

    • Cost: $7,876.00
    • Credits Required: 51 - 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  9. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Master of Education in School Counseling

    Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Liberty University offers online CACREP accredited graduate degrees in counseling. Degrees are offered online with a 60 credit Master of Arts in Counseling and a 48 credit Master of Education in School Counseling. Courses are offered online along with face-to-face intensives during which students have the opportunity to develop clinical skills with the support of peers and the valuable training of faculty. The programs work to be accessible for all students and allow transfer credits. Liberty University integrates a Christian perspective throughout all courses.

    Unique feature: Liberty University offers military benefits with tuition discounts to qualified military students and their spouses.

    • Cost: $7,904.00
    • Credits Required: 48 - 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  10. Langston University
    Location

    Langston, OK

    Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling

    A Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling is available through the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies at Langston University. Students earning a degree in Rehabilitation Counseling will learn how to work with individuals experiencing disabilities and support their clients growing independence. All students will engage in clinical training and have the opportunity to work in a professional setting with the ongoing support of an onsite supervisor and a faculty supervisor.

    Unique feature: A unique focus of the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies is to prepare graduates to support the growth of the field through research and advocacy.

    • Cost: $8,262.00
    • Accreditation: CACREP

Methodology: To develop the ranking of The Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the South, we used information gathered from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) for schools offering master’s level programs in counseling. Next, we sorted out schools that are in the Southern United States as determined by the United States Census Regions Map. Finally, we sorted the schools by net price as listed on the Institute of Education Sciences’ College Navigator and we present the top 30 schools in our ranking.

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