Counseling Degree Programs in Indiana

| Staff Writers

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Counselors work in specialized mental health roles to guide patients in need. Many work with people with anxiety, depression, or other mental and behavioral health disorders. These professionals work with children who struggle in school, or at colleges with students trying to determine their profession. They may also work at hospitals or substance abuse facilities to work with people trying to overcome addiction to drugs or alcohol. 

The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency sets the rules and regulations for licensed professions in the state, which includes licensure requirements. First, each candidate needs to earn a master’s degree from an accredited institution. All of the Indiana counseling degrees in our rankings maintain proper accreditation. 

Each student also needs to participate in extensive supervised work with patients, including a 1,000-hour practicum and 3,000 hours of additional supervised work. Finally, candidates must pass the national clinical mental health counselor exam. 

Top 10 Counseling Degree Programs in Indiana

Rank School Location
1 Ball State University Muncie, IN
2 Butler University Indianapolis, IN
3 Grace College Winona Lake, IN
4 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
5 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
6 Indiana University - South Bend South Bend, IN
7 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
8 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
9 Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN
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Career Outlook for Counselors in Indiana

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Indiana earned an annual mean wage of about $45,850 as of May 2019. The Lafayette-West Lafayette area ranks among the 10 highest-paid metropolitan areas for this profession. Indiana’s educational, guidance, and career counselors earned a mean annual wage of $51,850. 

Job projections for counseling professionals in Indiana show optimistic figures. As of May 2019, about 4,530 educational, guidance, and career counselors worked in the state. Employment for these professionals could increase by 11% from 2016-26, according to Projections Central, an initiative from the U.S. Labor Department. 

In comparison, the career outlook for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors far outpaces that projection. About 5,210 of these professionals worked in Indiana in May 2019. Projections Central data indicates that these fields could grow by about 23% from 2016-26. 

Counseling Degree Programs in Indiana


  • Ball State University
    Location

    Muncie, IN

    Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services

    Situated in the suburban setting of Muncie about an hour northeast of the capital city, Ball State University is a comprehensive public institution serving more than 17,000 students. According to the U.S. News and World Report, BSU is currently ranked as the 181st best college and 101st top public school in the entire nation. Within the 81st best education school with the 11th best online graduate education programs, the Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services is dedicated to providing helping professionals with essential therapeutic skills for success.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Focused on the role of mental health counseling within the context of the community, strategies for community needs assessment, program interventions, and management of mental health services, the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares graduates to pursue a career as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed in diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, referral, and prevention related to mental health issues, the program involves a total of 60 credit hours, two semesters of practicum, and a full-time 900-hour field internship.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) in School Counseling

    Recognized as a "Transforming School Counseling" program by the Education Trust, the Master of Arts in School Counseling program is structured to prepare students for licensure as a school counselor at all grade levels within elementary or secondary schools. Throughout the program approved by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), students are required to complete 51 credit hours of courses in counseling, educational psychology, and approved relevant electives as well as a full-time school-based internship.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

    Contact Information

    Teachers College Room 605
    2000 University Avenue
    Muncie, IN 47306
    (765) 285-8040
    cpsy@bsu.edu

  • Butler University
    Location

    Indianapolis, IN

    College of Education

    Located just a few miles from downtown Indianapolis in the region that was recognized as the best city of new college graduates, Butler University is a private institution founded in a liberal arts tradition. Home to more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Butler is ranked as the 2nd best college, 9th best value, and 1st top up-and-coming school in the Midwest by the U.S. News and World Report. Thanks to Butler's metropolitan location, the College of Education has built partnerships with local schools to encourage students to transform K-12 education.

    Master of Science (M.S.) in School Counseling

    Meeting all of the national standards created by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA), the Master of Science in School Counseling program has the mission of preparing professional school counselors to be active in the profession in the greater Indianapolis, state, and national levels to help children achieve their full potential. With new clinical space with state-of-the-art technology to enhance the supervision process and maximize learning opportunities in the counselor education curriculum, the program is focused on respecting diversity among K-12 students.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

    Contact Information

    4600 Sunset Avenue
    Indianapolis, IN 46208
    (317) 940-8000
    tkeller@butler.edu

  • Grace College
    Location

    Winona Lake, IN

    School of Graduate Studies

    As an evangelical Christian community of higher educational that applies Biblical values in preparing for service, Grace College is a private institution founded by the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches within rural setting of Winona Lake. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Grace College has been ranked as the 48th best college in the Midwest. Within the School of Graduate Studies, students have the chance to develop the competency and skills to excel in professional careers with a strong integration of faith.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Offered in either a residential or online learning format, the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to train students to assist hurting individuals in the healing journey by being scripturally grounded and professional skills. Requiring a minimum of 62 semester hours to begin the process of acquiring state licensure in mental health counseling, the program produces graduates that are well-prepared for professional work in Christian faith-based and secular mental health agencies.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

    Contact Information

    200 Seminary Drive
    Winona Lake, IN 46590
    (574) 372-5100
    shermaec@grace.edu

  • Indiana State University
    Location

    Terre Haute, IN

    Bayh College of Education

    Situated in Terre Haute about 70 miles southwest of the state capital, Indiana State University is a comprehensive public institution that integrates teaching and research for its more than 12,000 high-achieving students. Within the 132nd best education school in the nation recognized by the U.S. News and World Report, the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology is committed to hosting a supportive and welcoming learning community for the preparation of competent advanced-level practitioners.

    Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Recently awarded the 2013 Vivian Thompson Award of Merit for exemplary contributions to play therapy, the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling student-centered program is designed to train students in professional mental health service delivery. Intended to foster a commitment to scientific investigations, to improve problem solving skills, develop critical thinking abilities, and foster effective intervention techniques, the 60-credit program includes a minimum of 1,000 clock hours of supervised clinical experience. (See:How Can I Get the Necessary Experience to Become Licensed as a Counselor?)

    Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling

    As one of the first "Transforming School Counseling Programs" in the nation designed to graduate 21st century school counselors to be advocates and agents of change, the Master of Education in School Counseling program is focused on preparing professionals for assessing, developing, and implementing programs that will effectively close the achievement gap by meeting the academic achievement needs of all diverse students. As a cohort-based program that admits students each spring, the program enables students to gain extensive hands-on experience by establishing a two-year relationship with an elementary, middle, and high school.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

    Contact Information

    200 North 7th St.
    Terre Haute, IN 47809
    (812) 237-2870
    counseling@indstate.edu

  • Indiana University - Bloomington
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Department of Counseling and Counselor Education

    Attracting students from around the world with a gorgeous 1,926-acre campus and active academic climate, Indiana University – Bloomington is the flagship campus of the eight locations of the public institution statewide. Named the "Hottest Big State School" by Newsweek magazine, IU is currently ranked as the 75th best college, 31st top public school, and 7th best college for veterans in the United States by the U.S. News and World Report. Within the 19th best education school, the Department of Counseling and Counselor Education is noted for having the 11th best counseling program in the nation.

    Master of Science in Education (MS.Ed.) in Community Counseling

    As a flexible degree that prepares students for a vast variety of roles as a professional counselor in community-based settings, the Master of Science in Education in Community Counseling program is designed to prepare professionals for helping other live up to their full potential personally, socially, professionally, and academically. Through a 48-hour program that requires a minimum of two years of studies, the program blends a combination of coursework, laboratory experiences, practicum, and a two-semester internship.

    Master of Science in Education (MS.Ed.) in School Counseling

    Focused on exploring the preventive, developmental, and remedial intervention strategies to develop a deep understanding of the issues school counselors can anticipate working with, the Master of Science in Education in School Counseling program gives students experience in individual and group counseling for work in diverse, multicultural K-12 school environments. Throughout the 48-credit program in preparation for licensure in Indiana, students are engaged in topics on individual appraisal, program development, career counseling, lifespan development, and educational inquiry.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

    Contact Information

    W.W. Wright Education Building Suite 2100
    2013 North Rose Avenue
    Bloomington, IN 47405
    (812) 856-8504
    educate@indiana.edu

  • Indiana University - South Bend
    Location

    South Bend, IN

    Counseling and Human Services Department

    Known for being the only comprehensive public university in north-central Indiana with more than 8,500 students, Indiana University – South Bend is nestled along the St. Joseph River on a 103-acre campus. Fully accredited as a well-rounded education, the Counseling and Human Services Department is dedicated to preparing knowledgeable, ethical, and culturally competent counselors who exemplify the highest standards for the helping profession.

    Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Structured as a pathway to becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Indiana, the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program involves a minimum of three years of full-time study completed in a cohort model wherein students take courses with an identified group of peers with similar career interests. Along with the required 60 credit hours, students take part in four separate field experiences beginning in the first semester to accumulate a minimum of 1,000 clock hours of supervised counseling practice for completion.

    Master of Science (M.S.) in School Counseling

    With the mission of developing transformational professionals with exceptional skills in counseling, communication, coordination, collaboration, leadership, problem solving, and program development for work in a variety of educational settings, the Master of Science in School Counseling is highly focused on meeting the career, academic, and social needs of all diverse students in the 21st century. Requiring the completion of at least 48 credit hours to be licensure ready upon graduation, the program involves student-centered online or hybrid classes with weekly practicum and internship experiences in an approved K-12 school setting.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

    Contact Information

    Education and Arts Building Room 2269
    1700 Mishawaka Avenue
    South Bend, IN 46634
    (574) 520-5466
    jmlinton@iusb.edu

  • Indiana Wesleyan University
    Location

    Marion, IN

    School of Adult and Graduate Studies

    As a private evangelical Christian institution that incorporates religion and academics, Indiana Wesleyan University has a community of more than 3,200 students on its award-winning 345-acre campus in Marion. Recognized as a world leader in its innovative approaches to the use of technology, IWU is currently ranked as the 17th best college and 6th best value school in the Midwest by the U.S. News and World Report. Within the School of Adult and Graduate Studies, the counseling programs are designed to offer a Christ-centered approach to prepare competent counselors.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Focused on preparing skilled Christian counseling professionals to provide a source of healing and restoration in a hurting world, the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program trains students to assess and treat individuals, groups, families, and organizations within their ecological context. Through a seamless blend of faith, learning, and professional practice in an intensive curriculum of effective treatment strategies, students are required to actively engage in a minimum of 60 semester credits to fulfill educational requirements for licensure.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) in Marriage and Family Counseling

    Interpersonal in focus and holistic in approach with a strong emphasis on family systems within a Christian worldview context, the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling program focuses on preparing professional leaders to thoughtfully address the contemporary challenges of troubled marriages, child concerns, single parenting, divorce, and reconstituted families. With a state-of-the-art therapy research center, students are exposed to regular video recording of therapy sessions, live supervision through two-way mirrors, research opportunities, practicum experiences, and 900 internship hours.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) in School Counseling

    Training students with a Christian counseling perspective to be servant-leaders in K-12 school settings through collaboration with families, staff members, and the community, the Master of Arts in School Counseling program includes the completion of 48 credit hours in a hybrid format with learning both on and off-campus. Focused on preparing students as Professional School Counselors (PSC), the program explores current crises of children, including neglect, abuse, poverty, divorce, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, and other concerns that interfere with student stability.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

    Contact Information

    4201 South Washington St.
    Marion, IN 46952
    (866) 468-6498
    barbara.riggs@indwes.edu

  • Purdue University
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Department of Educational Studies

    Serving as the primary campus in West Lafayette of the university system with four separate locations statewide, Purdue University is a land-grant university that is known as one of the nation's premier public institutions. With more than 200 areas of study, Purdue is ranked as the 68th best college, 24th top public school, and 10th best up-and-coming school in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report. Furthermore, the Department of Educational Studies is recognized for having the 61st best online graduate education programs in the United States.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) in School Counseling

    Recipient of the regional Outstanding Innovative Counselor Education Program Award, the Master of Arts in School Counseling program aims to prepare school counselors to work collaboratively with teachers, administrators, families, and other stakeholders to address the personal, social, career, and academic development of students in K-12 settings. Designed to develop instincts about the culture of schools for students without prior teaching experience, the program involves the completion of 48 credit hours and 700 clock hours of supervised field practice.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

    Contact Information

    100 North University St.
    West Lafayette, IN 47907
    (765) 494-9625
    cawm@purdue.edu

  • Valparaiso University
    Location

    Valparaiso, IN

    Department of Psychology

    Situated in northwest Indiana about an hour east of Chicago near Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Valparaiso is a private Lutheran institution based in a liberal arts foundation with more than 4,000 students. According to the U.S. News and World Report, VU is currently ranked as the 6th best college, 2nd best value, and 3rd top up-and-coming school in the Midwest. With facilities that rival large research universities, the Department of Psychology aims to offer unmatched educational experiences with personal individualized attention.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Designed as an ethical and professional point of entry for individuals from diverse populations who are interested in acquiring the needed skills associated with becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Indiana, the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program emphasizes the development of professional identity, awareness of cultural diversity, and effective intervention competencies. With advanced training in human development, group processes, individual appraisal, and professional ethics, the curriculum involves the completion of 60 credits.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

    Contact Information

    1001 Campus Drive South
    Valparaiso, IN 46383
    (219) 464-5440
    daniel.arkkelin@valpo.edu

For aspiring counselors, it is essential that you make the right choice to pursue a degree that has been properly accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) to ensure the highest level of knowledge and experience in the profession before graduation. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students in the “Hoosier State” check out these accredited counseling degree programs in Indiana.

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