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Counseling Degree Programs in Colorado

coloradoWritten by: Rachel Schneider
Last updated: May 2020

Counselors help various patient populations overcome challenges and struggles. Their specific job functions often vary according to their specialty area or preferred client base. However, geographic location, industry, and education or professional experience can also influence counselors' job responsibilities, along with their salary potential. 

While Colorado licensing requirements differ depending on the specific license candidates want to pursue, all applicants are expected to hold a graduate degree in counseling from an accredited institution. They must also pass a licensing exam.

The following rankings list accredited schools that offer a counseling degree in Colorado. Rankings include important program information, such as sample course topics, credit requirements, and admissions criteria. This page can help degree-seekers determine which program best aligns with their specific needs and goals. 

Career Outlook for Counselors in Colorado

Counselors in Colorado can anticipate a projected job growth rate of 27.3%. This growth may lead to a variety of fulfilling and lucrative career opportunities across counseling subfields, including specialty areas like marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, and mental health counseling.

While job responsibilities and career outlooks differ according to counseling specialty, industry and workplace can also impact career data. For example, mental health counselors experience the highest employment levels in the individual and family services industry. They can find the highest salary opportunities in the management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry. 

Rehabilitation counselors see the highest employment levels and concentration of jobs in the vocational rehabilitation services industry and the most lucrative earning opportunities among insurance carriers. Meanwhile, all other counselors enjoy high-paying positions in elementary and secondary schools, with individual and family services offering these professionals the most job opportunities.

Counseling Degree Programs in Colorado


Adams State University

Department of Counselor Education

At Adams State University, the Department of Counselor Education offers two 60-hour Master of Arts in Counseling programs. Graduate students may complete the degrees by attending the full-time program at one of the campus sites, the part-time evening program on-campus, one of the distance off-campus programs, or the Online Plus program from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. The department has specifically designed the programs to exceed all state education requirements for licensure as a professional counselor or school counselor in Colorado.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Designed to prepare students to become Licensed Professional Counselors in a variety of different settings, the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program teaches students all the essential intervention and diagnostic skills. Through an internship experience in a mental health clinic, private practice, hospital, or residential treatment facility, students can choose a placement area that enhances experience in their specialized interests.

School Counseling

The school counseling program prepares students to work as counselors in any K-12 school setting through developing skills in counseling techniques, advocacy, consulting, and communication with parents and the entire school community. Upon completion of the program and passing the PLACE examination, students can become licensed School Counselors to practice in Colorado.

Addiction Counseling Specialty

Students can choose to specialize in the Addiction Counseling program to prepare for work in counseling, treatment, and prevention contexts for individuals with addictions. With this specialty, students will learn more in-depth knowledge on substance abuse disorders, clinical evaluation, diagnosis, treatment planning, and other intervention processes.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Colorado Department of Education

Contact Information

208 Edgemont Blvd.
Suite #3160
Alamosa, CO 81101
719-587-8138
ceonline@adams.edu
http://www.adams.edu/gradschool/counselored/


Argosy University Denver

College of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

Argosy University's College of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences offers a wide variety of programs for those interested in various mental health professions from psychologists and therapists to counselors and mental health specialists. All of the college's programs are focused on preparing practitioners who have experience in sound behavioral science, clinical research, mental health curriculum, and professional training. In particular, the programs are all aimed at ethical practices that help students develop sensitivity to issues of diversity and multiculturalism.

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program introduces graduate students to the essential counseling skills necessary for individual, family, group, or organizational interventions. In addition to skills and theories formed in the classroom, students can valuable clinical field experience in a variety of settings with diverse client groups. Graduates are prepared to work as counselors in private practices, substance abuse rehabilitation centers, hospitals, correctional facilities, mental health clinics, and schools or universities.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE)

Contact Information

7600 E. Eastman Avenue
Denver, CO 80231
(303) 923-4110
audvisr@edmc.edu
http://www.argosy.edu/programs/clinical-mental-health-counseling-degrees-53111.aspx


Colorado Christian University

College of Adult and Graduate Studies

At Colorado Christian University, the College of Adult and Graduate Studies offers bachelor's and master's degree programs that have been specifically engineered to meet the unique needs of adult learners. Adult students can choose the schedule that works best to fit in their career or family life, with options available online and during evening classes at campus locations across the state. All of the College of Adult and Graduate Studies programs are delivered from a Christian worldview curriculum, which places an emphasis on personal values and ethics in relation to the program of study.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

In the 60-credit hour Master of Arts in Counseling program, graduate students are placed on a track to careers in counseling in as little as two and a half years or up to six years. The program includes 41 hours of major coursework, 6 hours of electives, 4 hours in Bible and theology, and 9 hours of clinical practicum experience in a mental health setting. Major courses will develop valuable skills in psychopathology, cross-cultural counseling theories, lifestyle counseling, research design, and intervention strategies. Upon completion of the counseling program, graduates are well-prepared to sit for the National Counselor Exam to work in Colorado or many other states.

Accreditations

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

Contact Information

8787 W. Alameda Ave.
Lakewood, Colorado 80226
303-963-3311
mac@ccu.edu
http://www.ccu.edu/ccu/mac/


Colorado State University

College of Natural Sciences, Department of Psychology

With more than 600 students currently enrolled in its graduate programs, the College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University aims to train and educate successful, responsible citizens in a range of careers. Natural Sciences students participate in rigorous curricula and practical experience in departments that are ranked within the top 100 by the U.S. News and World Report. A number of the active faculty members in the college and department have been recognized with the Scholarship Impact Award, University Distinguished Professor Award, and Professor Laureate Award.

The Graduate Program in Counseling Psychology at Colorado State is based upon a scientist-practitioner model of training for preparation in a variety of mental health settings. The core curriculum is developed on topics including human learning, personality, developmental psychology, neuropsychology, and physiology. Students also become involved in clinical laboratory research projects, as well as clinical internship experience culminating each year. Many of the graduate students in the Counseling Psychology program receive placements in the University Counseling Center or Psychological Services Center right on campus.

College of Health & Human Sciences, School of Education

M.Ed. in Education & Human Resource Studies, Counseling and Career Development Specialization

The School of Education, an academic unit of the College of Health & Human Sciences at CSU, has as its mission to use communication, leadership, and facilitation skills effectively in teaching, research, and engagement in order to empower and support prospective and practicing educators to become personally and professionally competent, effective, and caring community members. Three graduate degrees are offered through the School of Education, and the M.Ed. in Education & Human Resource Studies with a specialization in counseling and career development prepares future counselors for careers in one of three areas of specialty: school counseling, career counseling, or college counseling.

Boasting a 99% pass rate on the National Counselors Exam, graduates of the Counseling and Career Development program are prepared to hold professions in school counseling to work with youths in K-12, counseling to assist individuals with career development, or counseling in community college or university counseling centers.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact Information – The Graduate Program in Counseling Psychology

117 Statistics Building
1801 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523
970-491-1300
cns@lamar.colostate.edu
http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/Psychology/counseling/

Contact Information – M.Ed. in Education & Human Resource Studies

School of Education
209 Education Building
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1588
970-491-6317
soeinfo@colostate.edu
http://www.soe.chhs.colostate.edu/students/masters/ccd/


Denver Seminary

Counseling Division

The Counseling Division of the Denver Seminary is focused on incorporating both strong contemporary counseling curricula with advanced theological education. As the only seminary in the nation to host an accredited counseling program by the CACREP, the division aims to ensure that all graduates are well-prepared for employment in either Christian or secular counseling contexts. Since the Denver Seminary understands the importance of hands-on clinical learning, all of the counseling programs include practicum or internship opportunities at the on-site community counseling center called Shepherd's Gate.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Arts with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling educates students for many different careers in mental health fields, including community mental health clinics, residential treatment facilities, and church-based counseling. The curriculum involves 44 required credit hours, 18 hours of modified core, and 4 hours of electives. Upon graduation, students are able to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) to become licensed to work in religious or secular mental health programs.

School Counseling

With a concentration in School Counseling, students can earn a Master of Arts in Counseling with significant experience in primary and secondary school environments. The program involves 46 requires credit hours, 2 hours of electives, and 18 hours of modified Master level core courses. Students learn fundamental skills in school counseling, career development, human development, psychopathology, cultural foundations, and two internships in either private or public schools.

Counseling Ministries

The Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries prepares enrolled students to hold positions in churches, para-church institutions, and other ministerial settings. Students are provided a solid foundation of counseling strategies, Biblical studies, and theological knowledge for customizable ministry goals. Unlike the previous two programs, it does not qualify students for obtaining licensure in the state of Colorado.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
  • The Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Colorado Department of Education

Contact Information

6399 South Santa Fe Drive
Littleton, CO 80120
303-761-8060
info@denverseminary.edu
http://www.denverseminary.edu/counseling-program/


Regis University

Division of Counseling and Family Therapy

At Regis University, the Division of Counseling and Family Therapy is committed to preparing students to become leaders who improve and better the community at large. Based on the Jesuit ideals, the school strives to produce licensed teachers and counselors with the ability to demonstrate expertise in materials, form evidence-based counseling decisions, and create effective teaching or counseling environments. All of the School of Education and Counseling programs prepare students to attain licensure through the state of Colorado for further career advancement.

Mental Health Counseling

As a highly interactive degree, the Master of Arts in Counseling program is only offered on-campus at Regis University's North Denver, Broomfield, and Colorado Springs sites. The 60-credit hour degree provides hands-on training through one full semester of practicum experience at the department's state of the art counseling laboratory. In addition, students are required to complete two semesters of supervised counseling internships at approved community mental health agencies. Most of the students complete the Master of Arts degree in three years by taking two or three courses each semester.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
  • International Registry of Counselor Education Programs (IRCEP)
  • The Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact Information

3333 Regis Blvd.
Denver, CO 80221
303-458-4300
ruadmissions@regis.edu
Program Website


University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Department of Counseling and Human Services

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' Department of Counseling and Human Services is committed to delivering quality clinical mental health and school counseling training. The experienced faculty members use a reflective, ethical, and developmental lens to help students develop essential knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics needed to be successful in counseling careers. Along with professional and academic development, the Department of Counseling and Human Services is focused on helping students realize their own personal growth too.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Centered around the principles of psychotherapy, the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program is designed to prepare students for employment in professional counseling and consultation services. Students gain valuable experience in learning theory, group dynamics, diagnosis of mental illness, and dysfunctional behavior. In the program, students must complete a rigorous 54 to 60 credit hours before being eligible to take the National Counselor Exam.

School Counseling

Students pursuing the Master of Arts with a concentration in School Counseling are prepared to work as counselors in elementary, secondary, or K-12 schools. In the 60 credit hours, students attend evening classes in order to accrue significant field work experience during the day. Although teaching experience is not a requirement of the program, students do learn how to effectivelycontribute to the learning environment by collaborating with teachers in the school building.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • The Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Colorado Department of Education

Contact Information

1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-255-4996
education@uccs.edu
http://www.uccs.edu/coe/acaddepts/chs/chsdegprogs/chsmacmhc.html


University of Colorado at Denver

School of Education and Human Development

As the largest graduate School of Education in the state, the University of Colorado at Denver's School of Education and Human development offers exciting advantages to students seeking careers in education or mental health. All programs are available in convenient day, evening, or online courses with influential world-class faculty members with years of practice. The department is highly focused on developing forward-thinking counselors who have a deep sense of clinical inquiry, passion for helping others, and cultural competence to serve diverse populations.

Couple and Family Counseling

In the accredited master's specialization program of Couple and Family Counseling, students are prepared to work in community agencies, university counseling programs, mental health clinics, and hospitals. Throughout the 63-credit hours required in the program, students complete comprehensive coursework, practicum, and internships to be ready for state licensure eligibility. CU Denver also offers students real-world counseling experience at the on-campus Counseling Center, with mentor supervision and consistent feedback from licensed counselors.

Multicultural Counseling

With a Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in Multicultural Counseling, students are prepared to enter an in-demand field as our population demographics continue to become more diverse. The 66-credit hour rigorous program involves coursework to improve empathy relating to issues of ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, ageism, and spirituality. Graduates from this unique University of Colorado at Denver program often go on to excel in careers at cultural centers, human resource services, private practices, and LBGT offices after gaining licensure in Colorado.

School Counseling

For students who have a goal of acting as a transformational school leader who advocates for children and adolescents, the school offers the Master of Arts concentration in School Counseling. In the required 63-credit hours, students develop all of the essential skills to be a counselor in the current challenging school environment to work with children, teachers, parents, and community members. Students with a minimum GPA of 3.5 can also choose to participate in the counseling academic professional honor society Beta Alpha Omega on campus.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • The Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • The Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement

Contact Information

1380 Lawrence St.
Campus Box 106
Denver, CO 80217
303-315-6300
cpe@ucdenver.edu
http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/SchoolOfEducation/Academics/MASTERS/counseling/Pages/default.aspx


University of Northern Colorado

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

At the University of Northern Colorado, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences offers three distinct professional counseling programs for career advancement in the mental health fields. The fully accredited programs are specifically designed to exceed the standards established within the counseling profession, UNC Graduate School, and Colorado state law for licensure. More than just teachers, the faculty members at the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences have been recognized with the UNC Academic Excellence Award for promoting exceptional levels of teaching and advising.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Within the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, students are prepared to become excellent mental health professionals to work with diverse populations across all ages of human development. Under faculty supervision, counseling students gain knowledge, practicum experience, and internships in the campus' state of the art clinic. Alums from the program often find employment in mental health clinics, psychiatric hospitals, health care facilities, and even establishing their own private practices.

School Counseling

The School Counseling program prepares students to take leadership roles as prevention specialists who are able to implement intentional, sequential, and accountable strategies to ensure academic achievement for all children. Aspiring school counselors gain invaluable experience working with teachers and principals to build strongly positive learning environments, as well as students to make significant educational or career decisions.

Couples, Marriage, and Family Counseling/Therapy

When students decide to join the Couples, Marriage, and Family Counseling/Therapy program at the University of Colorado, they are placed on the fast track to a variety of counseling positions. Whether students are determined to work in mental health centers, residential treatment facilities, hospitals, or private practices, the program utilizes an interactive and dynamic approach to learning all necessary skills across specialties. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the examinations to become either a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • The Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • American Psychological Association (APA)

Contact Information

McKee Hall 248
Campus Box 131
1700 Ninth Ave.
Greeley, CO 80631
970-351-2731
linda.sisson@unco.edu
http://www.unco.edu/cebs/prof_counseling/about/index.html

Resource: Top 10 Best Online Master's in Counseling Degree Programs