Counseling Degree Programs in Oklahoma

| Staff Writers

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Earning a counseling degree in Oklahoma puts graduates on the path to meaningful work with clients experiencing issues related to their behavioral, emotional, mental, and relational health. Whether helping a couple sort out marital challenges or assisting someone with an alcohol or drug addiction, professional counselors help people live better lives. 

All counselors working in Oklahoma must hold licensure through the State Board of Behavioral Health. Requirements vary based on the specific license. In the case of a licensed professional counselor, each applicant must possess a master’s in counseling or a related topic from an accredited institution, participate in a supervised practicum, and pass the national counselor examination. They must also clear a background check and pay the application fee.

Top 10 Counseling Degree Programs in Oklahoma

Rank School Location
1 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK
2 Southeastern Oklahoma State University Durant, OK
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Career Outlook for Counselors in Oklahoma

Counselors working in Oklahoma should expect to see many new job openings in the coming years. Projections Central estimates that roles for marriage and family therapists in the state may grow by 27.3% from 2016-26, while jobs for substance abuse and behavioral counselors could expand by 17.9% in the same period. 

Jobs for these professionals offer above-average salaries. Oklahoma-based marriage and family therapists earned an annual median wage of $53,300 in 2019, as compared to the national average income of $49,610 for professionals in these positions. 

Those with counseling degrees in Oklahoma can select from several different work environments, including state and local government agencies, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, hospitals, and established counseling organizations. Many open private practices after honing their skills for a few years. Counselors work with children, the elderly, and all populations in between, but many specialize their services to a specific age group or area of need.

Counseling Degree Programs in Oklahoma


  • Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Stillwater, OK

    School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology

    Oklahoma State University's School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology is home to the largest counseling degree program among the state's public institutions, and that's a reputation that has been well earned by the school's hardworking faculty and rigorous curriculum. Whether it's the innovative and practical curriculum taught in the classroom, or the school's enforcement of mandatory supervised counseling practice, those who graduate with either of the school's two graduate-level counseling degrees will be prepared for a wide array of position afterward. A significant commitment to research permeates all graduate-level programs at the university, and students in the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology will be expected to conduct and assist with research during their stay.

    M.S. Community Counseling

    The community counseling program at Oklahoma State University is designed to give students the skills they need to become professional, successful counselors outside of the typical hospital or medical setting. The program therefore combines a wide array of counseling topics with the practical skills needed to work in private practices, self-owned businesses, social work settings, and a bevy of other common avenues by which people today seek counseling and treatment for a wide range of problems. Students will also engage in counseling-related research, assisting with ongoing professor-led projects that examine modern struggles in the profession and emerging issues presented by new patients.

    All community counseling students will be required to complete work experience in some sort of private practice or community-based setting. This requirement is non-negotiable and must be completed prior to graduation, since the state of Oklahoma requires such experience before graduates can obtain professional certification and seek their first position. Thanks to extensive connection sin Tulsa, Stillwater, and other major metropolitan areas in the state, students typically enjoy excellent post-graduation job opportunities and long-term networking potential.

    M.S. School Counseling

    In a culture where bullying and youth suicide have become frightening common, the role of school counselor has become central to the long-term mental health and overall wellbeing of students throughout their lives. The stakes are high in this particular role, and the graduate program at Oklahoma State University is designed to give aspiring school counselors the knowledge and skills required to handle a long list of potential issues. School counselors who participate in this accredited counseling degree program in Oklahoma will learn how to create a classroom curriculum for younger and older students, and they'll learn how to address problems like academic struggle, issues in the home, child abuse, bullying, parental disputes, and more.

    Resource: What Are the Differences Between a School Counselor and a Career Counselor?

    To fully hone and harness those skills, the University of Oklahoma will work with local primary and secondary schools to help each student land a supervised school counseling internship. This is part of the state's licensure requirements and must be completed prior to graduation. As an added bonus, these internships contribute positively to graduates' resumes and job prospects, and create a great opportunity for networking among local school administrators, counselors, teachers, and parents.

    Accreditations: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

    Contact

    University of Oklahoma
    School of Applied Health & Educational Psychology
    434 Willard Hall
    Stillwater, OK 74078
    Phone: (405) 744-6040
    Email: marta.kochenower@okstate.edu
    Program Website

  • Southeastern Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Durant, OK

    Department of Behavioral Sciences

    Southeastern Oklahoma State University has one of the most rigorous accredited counseling degree programs in Oklahoma, which helps students learn how to identify, address, and help their patients overcome significant mental illnesses. All students will participate in at least some level of research, and all will seek job placement under the supervision of a fully licensed mental health counseling professional prior to graduation. The combination of excellent instruction and real-world job placement during the course of the program will set students up for greater career success and a much higher likelihood of finding a position in this growing, and crucially important, field of professional counseling.

    M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Southeastern Oklahoma State University offers one of the most affordable counseling degrees both in Oklahoma and in surrounding areas. The university's department is large and growing at a pretty rapid pace, due in large part to the increasing popularity of mental health counseling positions nationwide. The M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offered at the university sets students up for success both inside and outside the classroom, focusing on cutting-edge research into the origins of mental health and how those disorders affect patients over time. Extensive faculty-led, student-assisted research into modern mental health challenges gives students a considerable wealth of knowledge that will become immediately useful for treating patients.

    As is required by all accredited counseling degree programs in Oklahoma, those who attend Southeastern for their clinical mental health counseling degree will be required to complete a large number of supervised work experience hours prior to graduation. The school maintains an extensive list of industry connections in Durant and nearby towns, which is sure to help students as they seek their first position and begin to network within the industry.

    Accreditations: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

    Contact

    Southeastern Oklahoma State University
    Department of Behavioral Sciences
    1405 N 4th Ave.
    Durant, OK 74701
    Phone: 1-800-435-1327
    Email: http://homepages.se.edu/cmhc/
    Program Website

Whether it’s school counseling, mental health work, or community-based programs that benefit larger communities, accredited counseling degree programs in Oklahoma will give students the skills they need to find long-term occupational success.

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