Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the Midwest

| Staff Writers

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This list of the of the Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the Midwest was created considering the following points.

  • All graduate schools in the Midwest (from the following states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio) were taken into consideration.
  • Next, programs had to meet rigorous criteria to become accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP ), and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE ). Note: Evaluating the accreditation status of any graduation program under consideration is important. In general, accredited programs develop their curriculum and practicum experience with 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.
  • Over 100 schools in the Midwest met the above listed criteria.
  • The average out of state graduate tuition for all masters in counseling degrees in the Midwest ranged from $5,713 to $50,424 per year. The highest tuition on this list of the top 25 schools is $11,886. The average out of state graduate tuition was ranked from high to low and the top 25 most affordable schools offering master’s degrees in counseling in the Midwest are listed here. Data on tuition was collected from the National Center for Education Statistics.

The following accredited degrees are available at the colleges and universities that made the top 25 list.

  • Counseling (M.A., M.S, M.A.Ed. and M.S.Ed.) -accredited by the CACREP
  • Clinical and Mental Health Counseling (M.A., M.S. and M.S.Ed.) -accredited by the CACREP
  • School Counseling (M.A. and M.S.) -accredited by the CACREP
  • College Student Affairs (M.S.) -accredited by the CACREP
  • Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A.and M.S.) -accredited by the COAMFTE
  • Career Counseling (M.A.) -accredited by the COAMFTE

Graduates of these programs will be prepared to pursue licensure as a professional counselor or marriage and family therapist. Graduates will be able to develop careers working with diverse populations of individuals, couples, families, and groups in settings including private practice, community mental health clinics, schools, government agencies, and hospitals.

Read on for our comprehensive list of the most affordable master’s in counseling degrees in the Midwest.

Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the Midwest

Rank School Location
1 Ashland University Ashland, OH
2 Minnesota State University-Mankato Mankato, MN
3 Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor, MI
4 Mount Mercy University Cedar Rapids, IA
5 Wayne State College Wayne, NE
6 Lincoln Christian University Lincoln, IL
7 Grace College and Theological Seminary Winona Lake, IN
8 Viterbo University La Crosse, WI
9 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona, MN
10 Heidelberg University Tiffin, OH
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  1. Ashland University
    Location

    Ashland, OH

    Ashland Theological Seminary offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This 64 credit, CACREP accredited program provides training in clinical mental health counseling while integrating biblical principles. Students will complete the program with the support of their cohort at either the Ashland campus or Columbus center. The practicum and internship experiences are designed to support students in gaining clinical skills with supportive supervision with the opportunity to focus on an area that they wish to build a career around. Graduates have pursued careers in settings in private practice, community mental health clinics, and military and institutional chaplaincies to name a few. Graduates will be prepared to pursue professional licensure as a clinical mental health counselor.

    Courses include: fundamentals of biblical interpretation; fundamentals of christian theology; spiritual themes in clinical counseling; introduction to clinical mental health counseling; counseling techniques; counseling theories; human growth and development; social and cultural issues in counseling; lifestyle and career counseling; professional ethics and responsibilities; introduction to research methods and design; assessment; practicum in counseling; internship in counseling; introduction to substance abuse; personality assessment; differential diagnosis; treatment of mood and anxiety disorders; and crisis counseling.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $5,713.00
    • Application Deadline: Open Enrollment
    • Credits Required: 64

  2. Minnesota State University-Mankato
    Location

    Mankato, MN

    The College of Education at Minnesota State University Mankato offers three different Master of Science Degrees through the CACREP accredited Department of Counseling and Student Personnel. Students can elect to earn a Master of Science Degree in College Student Affairs; Professional School Counseling; or Mental Health Counseling. The degree you choose will depend on your personal career goals. Students will have the opportunity to work one on one with faculty, both in the classroom and in clinical training settings. The department provides rich clinical training through their counseling skills lab. Graduates will be prepared to be leaders in the field of counseling.

    Check out Minnesota State University Mankato's Counseling and Student Personnel website for a virtual tour of their Counseling Clinical Laboratory where students work directly with individuals, couples, and families, to receive supervised clinical training.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $6,849.00
    • Application Deadline: July 1st for Fall, November 1st for Spring
    • Credits Required: 50 – 60

  3. Spring Arbor University
    Location

    Spring Arbor, MI

    Spring Arbor University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling. Students in this program will learn the fundamentals of counseling through a Christian perspective. Students in this program will benefit from the ongoing relationship with, and support of, their peers as this program follows a cohort model. Two CACREP accredited tracks of study are available for this 60-69 credit master of arts in counseling; the clinical mental health counseling track and the school counseling track. Students in both tracks will complete the same core courses with school counseling students taking a couple of additional school counseling focused courses. Courses are offered at the main Spring Arbor campus as well as at multiple extension sites across Michigan. Graduates will be prepared to pursue state licensure as well as national certification.

    Courses include: introduction to counseling-the counselor and diversity; legal issues and ethics in counseling; counseling theory in multicultural contexts; counseling techniques in multicultural settings; developmental issues in counseling; clinical psychopathology; career counseling; group process and counseling; crisis intervention; addictions; social and cultural diversity; consulting in the helping professions; advanced clinical psychopathology and abnormal behavior; evaluation of psychopathology; and capstone in christian counseling.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $6,927.00
    • Credits Required: 60 – 69

  4. Mount Mercy University
    Location

    Cedar Rapids, IA

    A Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy is available at Mount Mercy University. Students will be trained in systems theory, to understand the individual, couple, and family within the context in which they live and work. This COAMFTE accredited program provides courses and practicum experiences designed to support the student in gaining research based theoretical and technical skills. Mount Mercy University offers benefits such as small class sizes, evening classes, and an on-site marriage and family therapy clinic, allowing students to train at a convenient location.

    Courses include: family systems; models of marriage and family therapy; human development and the family; micro counseling; pre-practicum in marriage and family therapy; human sexuality; ethical and professional issues in marriage and family therapy; models of couples therapy; the cross-cultural family; neuroscience for marriage and family therapy; psychopathology and the family; research methods for marriage and family therapy; spirituality and the family; therapeutic techniques with parents and children; and introduction to the theory and practice of medical family therapy.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $6,996.00
    • Credits Required: 60

  5. Wayne State College
    Location

    Wayne, NE

    Wayne State College offers a Master of Science in Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This 60 credit program is accredited by the CACREP. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Wayne State College strives to educate students in all aspects of counseling including attention to ethical standards, multicultural context, and lifespan development. An emphasis is placed on empowerment, with a focus placed on training practitioners to empower clients to lead the lives they want to live.

    Courses include: multicultural counseling; psychopathology and client strengths; professional counselors and ethical standards; advocacy; theories of counseling; career development and life planning; individual and group assessment; developmental counseling over the lifespan; counseling children; consultation; marriage and family counseling; pre-practicum; counseling techniques and strategies; practicum; group counseling; differential diagnosis and treatment planning; and crisis intervention.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $7,200.00
    • Credits Required: 60

  6. Lincoln Christian University
    Location

    Lincoln, IL

    Lincoln Christian University offers a CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling. Students will receive training from the perspective of a Biblical worldview in counseling theory and technique, as well as in theology and scripture. Courses are offered in the hybrid format through face to face classes in the evening, online, and in one week intensives. Students are encouraged to build their education around their personal life, career, and faith goals. Graduates will be prepared to work in both faith-based and traditional mental health settings.

    Courses include: introduction to God's word; understanding the Stone-Campbell movement and my own heritage; systematic theology; basic counseling techniques; multicultural counseling; and ethical and legal issues for counselors and other christian leaders.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $7,812.00
    • Credits Required: 60

  7. Grace College and Theological Seminary
    Location

    Winona Lake, IN

    Students can earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Grace College. This CACREP accredited program offers both face-to-face and online tracks of study. Students can choose the format of study that they feel is the best personal fit. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Grace College integrates a Christian worldview and biblical principles throughout the course curriculum. Graduates will be prepared to work towards licensure and develop careers in counseling in both secular and non-secular settings.

    Courses include: orientation to clinical mental health counseling; theological foundations of counseling; foundations of clinical mental health counseling; counseling skills; ethical and legal issues; psychopathology; lifestyle and career counseling; internship in clinical mental health counseling; human growth and development; gender and sexuality; assessment and testing; advanced clinical practices and treatment; group counseling; psychotherapy with children and adolescents; marriage and family counseling; social and cultural issues; and addictions counseling.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $7,872.00
    • Application Deadline: June 1st for Fall, October 1st for Spring, March 1st for Summer
    • Credits Required: 60

  8. Viterbo University
    Location

    La Crosse, WI

    Viterbo University offers a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. This 60 credit program is accredited by the CACREP. The program emphasizes a science-practitioner model with a bio-psych-social approach. The Mental Health Counseling program offers three areas of concentration in: wellness and integrative health care; child and adolescent counseling; and substance abuse counseling. Students can choose to enroll in the program on a part or full-time basis and complete the program in two to three years. The program is designed to accommodate the needs of working adults with evening and weekend classes. Recent statistics show a licensure exam pass rate of 97%.

    Courses include: the counseling profession and ethics; multicultural perspectives and counseling; human development in social context-lifespan counseling; theories of mental health counseling; career development and counseling; couples and family counseling; trauma and crisis-an integrated approach; models of addiction counseling and co-occurring disorders counseling; foundations of clinical mental health counseling; group counseling; behavior disorders; testing and assessment in counseling; counseling practicum; and counseling internship.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $7,936.00
    • Application Deadline: Rolling Admission
    • Credits Required: 60

  9. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
    Location

    Winona, MN

    A Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy can be earned at St. Mary's University of Minnesota. This COAMFTE accredited program offers students the opportunity to enter one of two cohorts each year: the fall start cohort is designed for working adults and the program can be completed in three years; and the summer start cohort which is an accelerated program that can be completed in 2.3 years. Students in the program will be trained in systems theory and receive clinical supervision while working with individuals, couples, and families experiencing a range of mental health challenges. Graduates will have the coursework and clinical skills necessary to work towards licensure as a marriage and family therapist.

    Courses include: professional issues and orientation to MFT; individual and family lifespan and development; foundations of family therapy; multicultural studies of the family; introduction to trauma and crisis intervention in MFT; psychopathology and treatment planning in developmental systems; therapy with couples and intimate partners; ethical issues and professional practices in MFT; and systemic assessment and treatment of sexual concerns.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $8,100.00
    • Application Deadline: Open Enrollment
    • Credits Required: 48

  10. Heidelberg University
    Location

    Tiffin, OH

    Heidelberg University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling. The CACREP accredited program offers two areas of concentration the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration (60 credits) and the School Counseling Concentration (50 credits). Both concentrations lead to professional licensure. The Master of Arts in Counseling program at Heidelberg has received a grant to provided funding to students through paid internships. The program reports a student completion rate of 98%. Graduates will be prepared to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor and/or Licensed Professional School Counselor and provide high quality services to culturally diverse populations.

    Courses include: human growth and development; techniques in counseling; philosophy and history of counseling; theories of counseling and advanced techniques; group processes in counseling; assessment and appraisal; applied research and quantitative methods; community mental health and agency counseling; professional issues in counseling-legal and ethical; social foundations in cross-cultural counseling; counseling issues in a global society; diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders; marital and family counseling; chemical dependency and substance abuse; organization and administration of school guidance; and counseling children and adolescents.

    • Average Graduate Tuition: $9,180.00
    • Application Deadline: July 15th for Fall, December 11th for Spring and May 1st for Summer
    • Credits Required: 48 – 60

This concludes our list of the Top 25 most affordable master’s degrees in counseling in the Midwest.

See also: Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the Northeast

Sources

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP )
  • Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE )
  • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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