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

| Staff Writers

Advertisement BestCounselingDegrees.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Find the information you need to find, get into, pay for, and thrive in the best college for you.

Best Counseling Degrees Badge

Welcome to our list of the Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West. We have put together a list of the best and most affordable graduate programs offering counseling degrees and sorted them by region. We took all graduate schools in the West into consideration for this ranking. For the purposes of this article, the “West” is made up of the following states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii.

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). In order for a graduate program to be accredited by the CACREP or the COAMFTE, the program needs to meet rigorous criteria. Accredited programs develop their curriculum, internship, and practicum experiences to provide students with a well-rounded education and to meet the requirements of state licensing boards. Programs that do this aim to ensure that their graduates will be able to successfully navigate the state licensing process without needing to take additional coursework following graduation. We recommend that when applying to graduate school for a degree in counseling all applicants work to evaluate if the program they are interested in meets the academic criteria outlined by their state licensing board for professional licensure in their chosen field.

On this list you will find a diverse range of accredited graduate degrees in counseling including M.A. in Counseling; M.S. in Counseling; M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy; M.A. in School Counseling; M.S. in School Counseling; M.Ed. in School Counseling; and M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Students in these graduate programs will engage in coursework on-campus, online, or a combination of both with a hybrid program, and will complete supervised clinical training through practicum and internship experiences. Graduates will be qualified to progress into a future as a professional counselor or family/marriage therapist. Grads will also have the pedagogical framework and clinical practice to successfully develop professions working with diverse populations of individuals, couples, families, and groups in settings that include private practice, community mental health clinics, schools, government agencies, and hospitals.

We are confident you will find a master’s degree in counseling to fit your personal needs and match your professional goals here. Come back soon to check out our upcoming lists of top counseling programs offered at schools in the northeast, south, and midwest.

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

Rank School Location
1 Brigham Young University Provo, UT
2 Adams State University Alamosa, CO
3 Corban University Salem, OR
4 New Mexico Highlands University Las Vegas, NM
5 North Dakota State University Fargo, ND
6 Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, ID
7 Denver Seminary Littleton, CO
8 Whitworth University Spokane, WA
9 Colorado Christian University Lakewood, CO
10 Regis University Denver, CO
Advertisement BestCounselingDegrees.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. Brigham Young University
    Location

    Provo, UT

    Brigham Young University offers a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE). Students can choose to complete the Research Track or the Clinical Track for this two-year graduate degree. The program works to provide students with comprehensive education and clinical experiences in preparation for successful completion of the National Licensure Examination for professional practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

    Courses include: Research Methods for Marriage and Family Therapy; Advanced Statistics in Family Studies; Beginning Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy; Theoretical Foundations of Family Systems for Marriage and Family Therapy; Addictions and Violence in Families; Theoretical Foundations of Marital and Family Therapy; Psychopathology and Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy; Marital and Individual Psychotherapy; Family and Multigenerational Psychotherapy; and Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues for Family Therapists.

    • Cost: $7,080.00
    • Credits Required: 62
    • Accreditation: COAMFTE
    • Application Deadline: December 1st
  2. Adams State University
    Location

    Alamosa, CO

    The Counseling Program at Adams State University offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as a Master of Arts in School Counseling. Both the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the School Counseling programs require the completion of 60 credits and are accredited by the CACREP. Students can choose to complete their degree through either the online program or the on-campus program. Students that complete the online program will participate in two on-campus summer residencies (one week each). The on-campus program is designed for full-time students and can be completed in five semesters.

    Courses include: Crisis, Disaster and Trauma; Counseling the Couple, Introduction to Research; Lifespan Development; Family and System; Career Development; Multicultural and Diversity Issues; Counseling Theories and Helping Relationships; Group Counseling;  Assessment in Counseling; Foundations of Addictions Counseling; Ethics/ Professional Issues; Diagnosis and Psychopathology; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Foundations of School Counseling; and Comprehensive School Counseling.

    • Cost: $7,146.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
    • Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
  3. Corban University
    Location

    Salem, OR

    A Master of Arts in Counseling is available at Corban University. This CACREP accredited degree supports students in gaining the education and practical experience needed to work towards professional licensure as a counselor. Corban University offers professional training integrated with a Christian perspective for students that have the desire to bring their faith into their professional practice. This 60 credit program follows the cohort model allowing students to successfully move through the program with the support of their peers in only two years. The program is offered through the accessible and convenient hybrid model with courses offered online as well as one night a week in Salem, Oregon.

    Courses include: Counseling Theory and Skills; Ethica, Legal and Professional Issues in Counseling; Foundations of the Counseling Profession; Social and Cultural Foundations; Psychopathology, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning; Counseling through the Lifespan; Theology and Counseling; Introduction to Family Counseling; Addiction Counseling; Group Counseling; Theology of Counseling and Christian Growth; Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Counseling; Psychopharmacology; Career and Life Planning; and Theology of Faith, Hope and Love.

    • Cost: $8,876.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
    • Application Deadline: June 1st
  4. New Mexico Highlands University
    Location

    Las Vegas, NM

    Highlands University in New Mexico offers a Masters in Counseling with a Concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling. The program will prepare graduates for the specialized career of rehabilitation counseling. Students can choose between the 48 credit Rehabilitation Counseling Concentration or the 60 credit CACREP accredited Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling degree. Graduates will have the education and training to work professionally with individuals struggling with diverse challenges such as chronic mental illness, traumatic brain injury, and the disease of addiction. Students that complete the CACREP accredited Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling degree will be eligible to take the National Certification Examination in Rehabilitation Counseling and pursue professional licensure.

    Courses include: Theories and Practice of Counseling; Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice; Career Development; Assessment and Testing; Social Justice and Cultural Diversity; Human Growth and Development; Essential Interviewing and Process in Counseling; Group Counseling Theory and Practice; Addiction Counseling Theory; Practicum in Counseling; Internship in Counseling; Research and Program Evaluation; Foundations, Case Management, and Job Placement in Rehabilitation; Vocational Evaluation, Assistive Technology, and Transition Planning; Medical Aspects of Disability; and Psychosocial and Cultural Aspects of Disability.

    • Cost: $9,072.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
    • Application Deadline: May 31st for Fall, September 30th for Spring, and February 28th for Summer
  5. North Dakota State University
    Location

    Fargo, ND

    The Counselor Education Program at North Dakota State University offers both Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling degrees. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree requires the completion of 60 credits and can be earned as a Master of Education or a Master of Science. The School Counseling degree can also be earned as either a Master of Education or a Master of Science and requires the completion of only 48 credits. Students in both programs have the opportunity to work closely with faculty in developing their professional skills as mental health clinicians and school counselors.

    Courses include: Counseling Across the Lifespan; Dynamics of Addiction; Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling; Counseling Techniques; Counseling Theory; Group Counseling; Career Counseling; Psychopathology and Diagnosis for Counselors; Professional Orientation and Ethics; Crisis and Trauma in Counseling Practice; Guidance Administration and Counseling; and Professional K-12 School Counseling.

    • Cost: $9,726.00
    • Credits Required: 48 - 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
    • Application Deadline: February 1st
  6. Northwest Nazarene University
    Location

    Nampa, ID

    Northwest Nazarene University offers CACREP accredited master's level counseling degrees in Marriage and Family Counseling, School Counseling, and Clinical Counseling. Each Master of Science in Counseling degree can be completed for 60 credits and will prepare graduates to successfully pursue licensure in their profession and/or go on to work towards a doctoral degree in their area of interest. Along with completing coursework, students will have the opportunity to engage in research and practicum/internship experiences in their field leading to a well rounded and comprehensive educational experience and professional development.

    Courses include: The Profession of Counseling; Ethical and Legal Issues; Multicultural Counseling and Societal Issues; Learning Process and Lifespan Development; Theories of Counseling; Family Counseling Theories; Career Development; Group Counseling; Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychopathology; Addictions Counseling; Human Sexuality; Measurement and Assessment; Psychopharmacology; School Counseling; and Clinical Intervention and Prevention.

    • Cost: $10,035.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
    • Application Deadline: February 15th for Fall, September 15th for Spring
  7. Denver Seminary
    Location

    Littleton, CO

    A Master of Arts in Counseling is offered at Denver Seminary. The CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling program offers concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling or a dual concentration in both Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling. The program emphasizes a commitment to providing students with a counseling education integrated with biblical training. The faculty strives to integrate faith in every course and encourage students to be thoughtful in how they can apply theology in their academic and professional work.

    Courses include: Counseling Theories; Human Development and Counseling; Counseling Foundations; Theological Foundations in Counseling; Psychopathology and Diagnosis; Groups in Counseling; Counseling Practicum; Career Development and Assessment; Marriage and Family Counseling; Addictions and Counseling; Social and Cultural Foundations; Counseling and Spirituality; Professional Orientation; Counseling Children; Counseling Adolescents; and Programs in School Counseling.

    • Cost: $10,620.00
    • Credits Required: 64 - 76
    • Accreditation: CACREP
    • Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
  8. Whitworth University
    Location

    Spokane, WA

    Whitworth University offers a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. The 64 credit program can be completed in only 23 months and is accredited by the COAMFTE. Students will move through the program with their cohort developing supportive relationships with peers that last well beyond graduate school. Students will engage in supervised clinical training on-campus at Whitworth's Marriage and Family Therapy Center as well as off-campus in a community-based setting. These practicum and internship experiences provide students diverse clinical experience working with individuals, couples, and families experiencing a range of challenges. Graduates will be prepared to work towards licensure a marriage and family therapist.

    Courses include: Counseling Theories; Counseling Process; Psychopathology and Assessment; Research Evaluation and Writing; Family Systems Theory; Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy; Therapy with Children and Families; Legal and Ethical Considerations in Counseling; Introduction to Group Counseling; Development Across the Lifespan; Therapy with Adolescents and Families; Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy; Ethics in Human Sexuality; and Psychopharmacology.

    • Cost: $12,168.00
    • Credits Required: 64
    • Accreditation: COAMFTE
    • Application Deadline: January 1st
  9. Colorado Christian University
    Location

    Lakewood, CO

    The College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Colorado Christian University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling. The program is committed to integrating the evangelical Christian worldview throughout the curriculum in order to equip graduates to utilize biblical principles in their professional practice. This 60 credit CACREP accredited degree is available to students through either the on-campus program or the online program of study. Students that choose the program through the online format will complete a 4 credit residency requirement. Colorado Christian University strives to meet the needs of each student and provide unique learning opportunities with electives such as Empathy Training; Neuroscience and Clinical Counseling; and Eating Disorders.

    Courses include: Theological Foundations for Counseling; Spiritual Formation 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; Lifestyle and Career; and Social and Cultural Foundations.

    • Cost: $12,996.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP
  10. Regis University
    Location

    Denver, CO

    A Master of Arts in Counseling is available at Regis University. This 60 credit CACREP accredited program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares graduates to pursue the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. The program attends to the personal and professional growth of each student with a focus on ethical and cultural awareness. Jesuit values and traditions are integrated throughout the program with the goal of preparing graduates to be compassionate and thoughtful leaders in the field of counseling.

    Courses include: Spirituality and Counseling; Human Growth and Development; Theories of Counseling; Cultural Issues and Social Justice; Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Professional Orientation and Ethical Issues; Counseling Techniques; Research Methods and Program Evaluation; Clinical Assessment; Career Counseling and Development; Substance Abuse Counseling; and Crisis, Trauma and Loss.

    • Cost: $13,177.00
    • Credits Required: 60
    • Accreditation: CACREP / COAMFTE
    • Application Deadline: February 4th for Summing, June 3rd for Fall, September 2nd for Spring

Methodology: To develop the ranking of The Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West, 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 Western 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.

Online College Resources

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.


Comparing Psy.D. vs. Ph.D. Programs

Comparing Psy.D. vs. Ph.D. Programs

October 13, 2020   |   Staff Writers

When choosing between a Psy.D. and a Ph.D., psychology students can find help from this guide. The best path hinges on interests and career goals.

Getting a Master’s Degree in Psychology

Getting a Master’s Degree in Psychology

October 13, 2020   |   Staff Writers

A master's in psychology prepares students for rewarding careers in schools, research, or social services.

Advertisement BestCounselingDegrees.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

View hand-picked degree programs

Tell us what you’d like to specialize in, and discover which schools offer a counseling degree program that can help you make an impact on the world.