Counseling Degree Programs in Mississippi

| Staff Writers

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If you possess strong listening skills and see yourself working directly with people, a degree in counseling may be a good fit for you. Professional counselors pursue a variety of roles and specialties in the field. They help their patients cope with aging issues, suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, mental disorders, and relationship problems. These professionals also enjoy substantial salaries. Workers with a Mississippi counseling degree typically earn an annual mean wage of $37,170-$50,710, depending on their role and specialty area.

The state requires prospective counselors to obtain their degrees from schools that hold regional or national accreditation. Accreditation shows that a school’s program meets rigorous academic standards and provides their students with valuable credentials upon graduation.

Mississippi offers counseling licensure of three types: provisional licensed professional counselor (P-LPC), licensed professional counselor (LPC), and licensed professional counselor supervisor (LPC-S). Licensure-seekers need a master’s degree in counseling and at least 3,000 supervised hours in a clinical setting to pursue the standard LPC credential.

Top Counseling Degree Programs in Mississippi

Rank School Location
1 Delta State University Cleveland, MS
2 Jackson State University Jackson, MS
3 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
4 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS
5 University of Mississippi University, MS
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Career Outlook for Counselors in Mississippi

The job outlook for professionals with a counseling degree in Mississippi remains strong. The state provides many employment opportunities for trained counselors, including work in specialty counseling areas. Projections Central data expects a 12.6% increase in available jobs between 2016 and 2026 for counselors in the state who specialize in education and vocational counseling. Counselors in Mississippi who treat patients with substance abuse and behavioral disorders may also see an 11.6% growth in available positions between 2016 and 2026. 

Trained counselors in this state also earn a good living and treat a diverse population of patients. Professionals with a Mississippi counseling degree who provide rehabilitation counseling can expect to make an annual mean wage of $39,610, while substance abuse counselors earn an annual mean wage of $37,120. Marriage and family therapists in the state, who help couples and families cope with life issues or make important decisions, make an annual mean wage of $41,620.

Counseling Degree Programs in Mississippi


  • Delta State University
    Location

    Cleveland, MS

    College of Education

    Delta State University is a public college located in the city of Cleveland and counseling degrees are handled within the Division of Counselor Education and Psychology. Faculty and staff provide education to students through a traditional classroom environment as well as via on-site internships and activities. The school prides itself on teaching students the value of approaching education as an ongoing process that doesn't end after a diploma. The school also provides assistance to students who need financial help by guiding the application process to several scholarships and grants.

    Master of Education in School Counseling

    Candidates for this program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college before enrollment and will need to prepare for 60 semester hours of classes. Students who wish to become professional counselors in a K-12 environment will excel in this program and upon graduation students will be well-prepared for the Mississippi School Counselor Assessment Inventory (MSCAI). The school also ensures that graduates will be able to find successful licensure in the state and nationally after having attended accredited counseling degree programs in Mississippi.

    Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    DSU's Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree is best for students who wish to work within their community as a mental health counselor or in private practice. This program also requires 60 semester hours and classes cover a wide range of topics from the history of the counseling profession to modern theories about mental health management. One of the best features of the curriculum is a career development class, which features vital conversations for students who need to find employment after graduation. Students will also benefit from taking part in field experience as guided by university professors.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

    Contact

    Ewing Hall 335
    DSU Box 3142
    1003 W Sunflower Rd
    Cleveland, MS 38733
    Phone: 662.846.4355
    Fax: 662.846.4549
    counseloreducation@deltastate.edu

  • Jackson State University
    Location

    Jackson, MS

    Department of School, Community, and Rehabilitation Counseling

    Jackson State University was founded in 1877 in Natchez as a seminary, but the school arrived in Jackson in 1882 where it was developed into a modern college over the next several decades. The Department of School, Community, and Rehabilitation Counseling describes itself as a graduate level department for students who want to become counselors and psychometrists. The school suggests that its students may go on to a variety of professions in mental health centers, hospitals, and private agencies due to experience in accredited counseling degree programs in Mississippi.

    Master of Science in Education: School Counseling

    The course selection for JSU's school counseling degree includes study on fascinating mental health topics like counseling gifted individuals, spirituality in counseling, and marriage & family therapy. Like most graduate programs, the school requires students to complete an internship in a counseling environment. Interestingly, students who are accepted to JSU's graduate school are not guaranteed acceptance into the College of Education. A separate application must also be sent to the Department of School, Community, and Rehabilitation Counseling.

    Master of Science: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    To obtain a degree in clinical mental health counseling, students must complete a total of 60 semester hours which includes 600 clock hours of an internship in counseling. Students will be prepared to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) upon completion of the program. During time in the program, students are encouraged to conduct research and complete scholarly papers. The school also suggests students become members of the international counseling academic honor society, Chi Sigma Iota, Beta Omicron Chapter.

    Master of Science: Rehabilitation Counseling

    Certified by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), Jackson State University's rehabilitation counseling program helps students become effective counselors for people who have emotional problems, physical limitations, or mental issues that prevent functioning normally in society. The program is designed to teach students how to create counseling plans for patients who need to move from an environment of psychological dependence to one of independence.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

    Contact

    Department of School, Community, and Rehabilitation Counseling
    Jackson State University
    P.O. Box 17122
    Jackson, MS 39217
    Phone: 601.979.2361
    Fax: 601.979.3368
    dion.f.porter@jsums.edu

  • Mississippi College
    Location

    Clinton, MS

    Department of Psychology & Counseling

    Mississippi College is the oldest college in Mississippi and is a religiously affiliated university. The college has more than 5,000 students, and as such is the largest private college in the state. The college was able to survive the Civil War; however, the student body was disbanded, and most of the buildings on the campus were destroyed in the conflict. The Department of Psychology & Counseling is designed to help students prepare for many types of careers. The department has been offering classes since 1873 and the first class offered was in psychology.

    Master of Education in School Counseling

    Mississippi College's school counseling degree is designed to further a student's knowledge of specialized topics related to school counseling. The program suggests that students who wish to become counselors in a K-12 environment would flourish in this degree tract. The degree requires between 48 to 51 units to full degree status, and students are endorsed for licensure as a school counselor as issued by the Department of Education. School counselors are essential to students in grammar school. Counseling in a school environment is often the only place where a student meets with a mental health professional before a problem becomes a life-changing event.

    Master of Science in Addiction Counseling

    Within theaddiction counselingprogram, students are taught to treat people seeking help with a number of disorders and addictions that make it difficult to maintain a normal life. Students will learn about complex disorders like compulsive gambling and sexual addiction. The program also teaches students to work in several different counseling environments such as hospitals, mental health facilities, and state-funded mental health agencies. Treatment for addiction requires much more than a simple cessation of addictive behavior. Digging into the mental health of an addict helps ensure that a person doesn't return to his or her abusive ways.

    Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling

    As the title of the degree program would suggest, students who wish to enter a career as a marriage or family counselor would benefit from this Master of Science degree. The program requires completion of 60 semester hours and will ensure that graduates will be able to find work in any one of several settings. For example, students may choose to work for a state healthcare agency, or they might seek work in a church setting. One of the goals of the program is to inspire students to develop inventive and original treatment regimens through attendance at accredited counseling degree programs in Mississippi.

    Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

    Students who wish to find a career as a mental health counselor would need to complete 60 semester hours in this program and would find appropriate work in places like hospitals, state agencies, and regional mental health centers. Students in this program are exposed to the biopsychosocial model as a method to create treatment plans for people who have mental problems or other related disorders. The biopsychosocialmodel operates under the assumption that a person's psychological health is guided by several facets of life such as biological, cultural, and psychological factors as well as socio-economic status and socio-environmental experiences.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

    Contact

    Department of Psychology
    Box 4016
    Clinton, MS 39058
    Phone: 601.925.3841
    mchapman@mc.edu

  • Mississippi State University
    Location

    Mississippi State, MS

    Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology

    The motto of Mississippi State University is "Learning, Service, Research," and that's exactly what the school is known for by organizations like the Carnegie Foundation. The school has had a significant level of research activity and was ranked #18 in a list by Forbes magazine that featured schools that offered high quality education at an affordable tuition rate. The school has a history stretching back to 1878 and was originally a school that offered training in agricultural and mechanical studies. The Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology is dedicated to helping students expand their career opportunities through research and respect for the profession and the people who need counseling services.

    M.S. Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Students who enroll in this master's program are prepared for work in many environments that feature counseling services, such as mental health facilities and healthcare agencies. Counselors with an interest in treating individuals at drug and alcohol treatment centers would likely fare well with this degree tract. The program features many classes designed to help students figure out how to create treatment plans and diagnosis difficult cases. Interesting topics like crisis management, substance abuse, and ethics are also featured as part of the curriculum.

    M.S. Degree in School Counseling

    Future counselors who wish to work in elementary school, junior high, or high school environments would want to consider the school counseling graduate program at Mississippi State University. The program covers a wide range of counseling topics in its curriculum with classes like Behavioral & Cognitive Behavioral Interventions and Child & Adolescent Development & Psychopathology. Upon graduation from the program, students will have accomplished the coursework required for licensure and passing the PRAXIS 1 general exam as well as the PRAXIS 2 exam for school counselors. Also, students will be have an in-depth understanding of the trends, ethics, history, and philosophy that guides counseling in today's educational environments.

    M.S. Program – Emphasis in Student Affairs Administration

    By enrolling in the Student Affairs program students are given a broad education that's designed to facilitate further study and work in higher education. One of the primary features of the program is coursework on student development at the college level as well as student assessment and development. As long as a student can maintain nine credits each semester, the program takes a maximum of two years. Students in this program will benefit from teachers and faculty who work in professional environments such as in residential life offices, alumni services, and the office of the dean of students. Graduates will be able to work with a variety of people in student affairs such as parents, teachers, and extended family who might have an impact on a student's time at school.

    M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling

    There are eight essential core areas that students must master during their time in the rehabilitation counseling program at MSU which include knowledge of human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, and career and lifestyle development, in addition to several other vital areas. As is to be expected in a rehabilitation counseling program that's part of several accredited counseling degree programs in Mississippi, students are taught how to communicate with people who need help in several surroundings. Those locations include mental health agencies and rehabilitation centers that feature physical rehabilitation as well as mental counseling assistance.

    Ph.D. in Counseling

    The doctoral program in counseling at Mississippi State University assumes that students already have real-world experience in counseling and have completed a graduate degree. The Ph.D. program prepares students to move into a high level of research and development within the profession by emphasizing research, advocacy, and experiential learning. Not only must students complete a comprehensive set of core classes, elective courses, and an internship, but students must also complete comprehensive exams and defend a dissertation. In addition, students must complete 900 hours of internship experience related to their area of concentration. The time spent experiencing counseling in the "real world" will ensure that graduates will be able to function as a counselor in a professional environment or work within education as a teacher and researcher.

    Ph.D. Degree in School Counseling

    Students who wish to pursue advanced study of clinical mental health counseling might want to investigate the Ph.D. Degree in School Counseling. Students may choose to emphasis in several areas such as mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, or student affairs. Before acceptance into the program is granted, Mississippi State University requires that applicants already hold a master's degree from an accredited institution with appropriate status with CACREP or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). The program is intensive and takes at least three years of study, which includes summer work. Students need to be prepared to dedicate their full attention to the program to graduate in a timely manner.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

    Contact

    Department of Counseling & Educational Psychology
    175 Presidents Circle
    P.O. Box 9727
    Mississippi State, MS 39762
    Phone: 662.325.3426
    Fax: 662.325.3263
    cjustice @colled.msstate.edu

  • University of Mississippi
    Location

    University, MS

    Department of Leadership & Counselor Education

    Alumni, faculty, and students of the University of Mississippi fondly refer to the college as "Ole Miss." The university was founded in 1848, and one of its original buildings still stands. Incredibly, the entire student body at Ole Miss enlisted in the Confederate Army during the Civil War with one infantry unit suffering a 100% loss during the conflict. The School of Education within Ole Miss dates back to 1903 and was created to help students enter professions of service and leadership within community, home, and school environments. There are three graduate programs within the Department of Leadership & Counselor Education.

    M.Ed. in Counselor Education – School Counseling

    There are two options within the Counselor Education master's program at Ole Miss and students must choose to specialize in school counseling or community counseling. The school counseling tract requires that students complete 48 credits and the end goal of the program is to help students become counselors in school environments. There are several core courses that students in both specializations must master as well as classes that are unique to each track. At the end of the program students are required to pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and will need to retake this exam until they achieve a passing grade, which is common for accredited counseling degree programs in Mississippi.

    M.Ed. in Counselor Education – Community Counseling

    For students who choose the Community Counseling tract, it's also necessary to complete 48 credits for graduation. The school also requires a number of advanced course requirements designed to help students transition into a professional counseling environment upon graduation. Courses featured as part of the curriculum include Organization, Administration, and Consultation in Community Counseling as well as two electives in Diagnostics Systems in Counseling. In order to be accepted to the program, students need to schedule an interview with faculty members as part of the standard application process.

    Ph.D. Counselor Education

    Counselors who wish to spend time in academia in research as well as students who wish to become teachers of counseling might want to look into the Ph.D. program for Counseling Education. The university operates under the assumption that students who enroll in the master's programs are interested in practical application of counseling techniques while doctoral candidates are interested in education and research. Students have the best chance of being admitted if their master's degree came from a CACREP accredited program and are expected to have achieved a 3.25 grade point average in graduate coursework.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

    Contact

    School of Education
    Department of Leadership & Counselor Education
    117 Guyton Hall
    University, MS 38677
    Phone: 662.915.7069
    Fax: 662.915.7230
    soe@olemiss.edu

Mississippi features a strong tradition of offering students exceptional mental health, healthcare, and medical study options. The state has seen major medical breakthroughs like the first human lung transplant as well as the first human heart transplant. Mississippi also features several universities that provide online courses and satellite campuses where students can attend classes. The variety of accredited counseling degree programs in Mississippi offers several diverse educational opportunities for every career goal and temperament.

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