The Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West
| Staff Writers
Are you ready to find your fit?
Welcome to our list of the Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West. We have put together a list of the best and most affordable graduate programs offering counseling degrees and sorted them by region. We took all graduate schools in the West into consideration for this ranking. For the purposes of this article, the “West” is made up of the following states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii.
For this list, we have selected only the graduate programs that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and/or the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). In order for a graduate program to be accredited by the CACREP or the COAMFTE, the program needs to meet rigorous criteria. Accredited programs develop their curriculum, internship, and practicum experiences to provide students with a well-rounded education and to meet the requirements of 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. We recommend that when applying to graduate school for a degree in counseling all applicants work to evaluate if the program they are interested in meets the academic criteria outlined by their state licensing board for professional licensure in their chosen field.
On this list you will find a diverse range of accredited graduate degrees in counseling including M.A. in Counseling; M.S. in Counseling; M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy; M.A. in School Counseling; M.S. in School Counseling; M.Ed. in School Counseling; and M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling.
Students in these graduate programs will engage in coursework on-campus, online, or a combination of both with a hybrid program, and will complete supervised clinical training through practicum and internship experiences. Graduates will be qualified to progress into a future as a professional counselor or family/marriage therapist. Grads will also have the pedagogical framework and clinical practice to successfully develop professions working with diverse populations of individuals, couples, families, and groups in settings that include private practice, community mental health clinics, schools, government agencies, and hospitals.
We are confident you will find a master’s degree in counseling to fit your personal needs and match your professional goals here. Come back soon to check out our upcoming lists of top counseling programs offered at schools in the northeast, south, and midwest.
Top 10 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West, 2019
Brigham Young University offers a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE). Students can choose to complete the Research Track or the Clinical Track for this two-year graduate degree. The program works to provide students with comprehensive education and clinical experiences in preparation for successful completion of the National Licensure Examination for professional practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Courses include: Research Methods for Marriage and Family Therapy; Advanced Statistics in Family Studies; Beginning Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy; Theoretical Foundations of Family Systems for Marriage and Family Therapy; Addictions and Violence in Families; Theoretical Foundations of Marital and Family Therapy; Psychopathology and Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy; Marital and Individual Psychotherapy; Family and Multigenerational Psychotherapy; and Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues for Family Therapists.
The Counseling Program at Adams State University offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as a Master of Arts in School Counseling. Both the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the School Counseling programs require the completion of 60 credits and are accredited by the CACREP. Students can choose to complete their degree through either the online program or the on-campus program. Students that complete the online program will participate in two on-campus summer residencies (one week each). The on-campus program is designed for full-time students and can be completed in five semesters.
Courses include: Crisis, Disaster and Trauma; Counseling the Couple, Introduction to Research; Lifespan Development; Family and System; Career Development; Multicultural and Diversity Issues; Counseling Theories and Helping Relationships; Group Counseling; Assessment in Counseling; Foundations of Addictions Counseling; Ethics/ Professional Issues; Diagnosis and Psychopathology; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Foundations of School Counseling; and Comprehensive School Counseling.
A Master of Arts in Counseling is available at Corban University. This CACREP accredited degree supports students in gaining the education and practical experience needed to work towards professional licensure as a counselor. Corban University offers professional training integrated with a Christian perspective for students that have the desire to bring their faith into their professional practice. This 60 credit program follows the cohort model allowing students to successfully move through the program with the support of their peers in only two years. The program is offered through the accessible and convenient hybrid model with courses offered online as well as one night a week in Salem, Oregon.
Courses include: Counseling Theory and Skills; Ethica, Legal and Professional Issues in Counseling; Foundations of the Counseling Profession; Social and Cultural Foundations; Psychopathology, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning; Counseling through the Lifespan; Theology and Counseling; Introduction to Family Counseling; Addiction Counseling; Group Counseling; Theology of Counseling and Christian Growth; Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Counseling; Psychopharmacology; Career and Life Planning; and Theology of Faith, Hope and Love.
Highlands University in New Mexico offers a Masters in Counseling with a Concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling. The program will prepare graduates for the specialized career of rehabilitation counseling. Students can choose between the 48 credit Rehabilitation Counseling Concentration or the 60 credit CACREP accredited Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling degree. Graduates will have the education and training to work professionally with individuals struggling with diverse challenges such as chronic mental illness, traumatic brain injury, and the disease of addiction. Students that complete the CACREP accredited Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling degree will be eligible to take the National Certification Examination in Rehabilitation Counseling and pursue professional licensure.
Courses include: Theories and Practice of Counseling; Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice; Career Development; Assessment and Testing; Social Justice and Cultural Diversity; Human Growth and Development; Essential Interviewing and Process in Counseling; Group Counseling Theory and Practice; Addiction Counseling Theory; Practicum in Counseling; Internship in Counseling; Research and Program Evaluation; Foundations, Case Management, and Job Placement in Rehabilitation; Vocational Evaluation, Assistive Technology, and Transition Planning; Medical Aspects of Disability; and Psychosocial and Cultural Aspects of Disability.
Credits Required: 60
Application Deadline: May 31st for Fall, September 30th for Spring, and February 28th for Summer
The Counselor Education Program at North Dakota State University offers both Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling degrees. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree requires the completion of 60 credits and can be earned as a Master of Education or a Master of Science. The School Counseling degree can also be earned as either a Master of Education or a Master of Science and requires the completion of only 48 credits. Students in both programs have the opportunity to work closely with faculty in developing their professional skills as mental health clinicians and school counselors.
Courses include: Counseling Across the Lifespan; Dynamics of Addiction; Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling; Counseling Techniques; Counseling Theory; Group Counseling; Career Counseling; Psychopathology and Diagnosis for Counselors; Professional Orientation and Ethics; Crisis and Trauma in Counseling Practice; Guidance Administration and Counseling; and Professional K-12 School Counseling.
Northwest Nazarene University offers CACREP accredited master's level counseling degrees in Marriage and Family Counseling, School Counseling, and Clinical Counseling. Each Master of Science in Counseling degree can be completed for 60 credits and will prepare graduates to successfully pursue licensure in their profession and/or go on to work towards a doctoral degree in their area of interest. Along with completing coursework, students will have the opportunity to engage in research and practicum/internship experiences in their field leading to a well rounded and comprehensive educational experience and professional development.
Courses include: The Profession of Counseling; Ethical and Legal Issues; Multicultural Counseling and Societal Issues; Learning Process and Lifespan Development; Theories of Counseling; Family Counseling Theories; Career Development; Group Counseling; Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychopathology; Addictions Counseling; Human Sexuality; Measurement and Assessment; Psychopharmacology; School Counseling; and Clinical Intervention and Prevention.
Credits Required: 60
Application Deadline: February 15th for Fall, September 15th for Spring
A Master of Arts in Counseling is offered at Denver Seminary. The CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling program offers concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling or a dual concentration in both Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling. The program emphasizes a commitment to providing students with a counseling education integrated with biblical training. The faculty strives to integrate faith in every course and encourage students to be thoughtful in how they can apply theology in their academic and professional work.
Courses include: Counseling Theories; Human Development and Counseling; Counseling Foundations; Theological Foundations in Counseling; Psychopathology and Diagnosis; Groups in Counseling; Counseling Practicum; Career Development and Assessment; Marriage and Family Counseling; Addictions and Counseling; Social and Cultural Foundations; Counseling and Spirituality; Professional Orientation; Counseling Children; Counseling Adolescents; and Programs in School Counseling.
Whitworth University offers a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. The 64 credit program can be completed in only 23 months and is accredited by the COAMFTE. Students will move through the program with their cohort developing supportive relationships with peers that last well beyond graduate school. Students will engage in supervised clinical training on-campus at Whitworth's Marriage and Family Therapy Center as well as off-campus in a community-based setting. These practicum and internship experiences provide students diverse clinical experience working with individuals, couples, and families experiencing a range of challenges. Graduates will be prepared to work towards licensure a marriage and family therapist.
Courses include: Counseling Theories; Counseling Process; Psychopathology and Assessment; Research Evaluation and Writing; Family Systems Theory; Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy; Therapy with Children and Families; Legal and Ethical Considerations in Counseling; Introduction to Group Counseling; Development Across the Lifespan; Therapy with Adolescents and Families; Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy; Ethics in Human Sexuality; and Psychopharmacology.
The College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Colorado Christian University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling. The program is committed to integrating the evangelical Christian worldview throughout the curriculum in order to equip graduates to utilize biblical principles in their professional practice. This 60 credit CACREP accredited degree is available to students through either the on-campus program or the online program of study. Students that choose the program through the online format will complete a 4 credit residency requirement. Colorado Christian University strives to meet the needs of each student and provide unique learning opportunities with electives such as Empathy Training; Neuroscience and Clinical Counseling; and Eating Disorders.
Courses include: Theological Foundations for Counseling; Spiritual Formation for Counseling; Counseling Skills; Psychopharmacology; Counseling Services and Methods; Theories of Personality and Counseling; Psychopathology; Human Growth and Development; Crisis and Trauma; Marriage and Family; Lifestyle and Career; and Social and Cultural Foundations.
A Master of Arts in Counseling is available at Regis University. This 60 credit CACREP accredited program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares graduates to pursue the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. The program attends to the personal and professional growth of each student with a focus on ethical and cultural awareness. Jesuit values and traditions are integrated throughout the program with the goal of preparing graduates to be compassionate and thoughtful leaders in the field of counseling.
Courses include: Spirituality and Counseling; Human Growth and Development; Theories of Counseling; Cultural Issues and Social Justice; Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Professional Orientation and Ethical Issues; Counseling Techniques; Research Methods and Program Evaluation; Clinical Assessment; Career Counseling and Development; Substance Abuse Counseling; and Crisis, Trauma and Loss.
Credits Required: 60
Accreditation: CACREP / COAMFTE
Application Deadline: February 4th for Summing, June 3rd for Fall, September 2nd for Spring
Hope International University offers a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program focuses on training therapists to navigate the challenges that individuals, couples, and families face from a systems perspective. Accredited by the COAMFTE, graduates will have the academic and clinical training required for professional licensure as a marriage and family therapist. Students will work closely with peers and faculty throughout their time in this 60 credit program that can be completed in two to three years.
Courses include: Counseling Theories; Community Mental Health; Psychopathology; Human Sexuality; Professional Ethics and Law; Research Methodology; Substance Abuse and the Family; Child abuse Detection, Intervention, and Treatment; Disaster, Trauma, and Abuse; Lifespan Development; Interpersonal Communication and Therapeutic Qualities; Christian Principles in Marriage and Family Therapy; Multicultural Perspectives in Counseling; Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy; Treatment of Couples; and Psychopharmacology.
A Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling is available at Westminster College. This three-year graduate degree is accredited by the CACREP and designed to support students in working professionally as clinical mental health counselors. Training is focused on giving future clinicians the skills to provide comprehensive assessment, prevention, and intervention services to diverse populations. The program attracts core faculty that have worked professionally as licensed clinicians. Each cohort has only 14 students in order to support students in working closely together and with faculty.
Courses include: Seminar in Professional Counseling Roles; Counseling Ethics; Statistics and Research Methods; Psychopathology and the DSM; Individual Counseling; Human Growth and Development; Group Counseling; Child and Family Counseling; Clinical Assessment; Multicultural Counseling; Substance Abuse Counseling; Applications of Psychodynamic Theory; and Career Counseling and Development.
The University of Wyoming offers a Counseling Education Program with a Master of Science in School Counseling and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. For these degrees, students will complete 49 credits of core coursework in counseling with an additional 12 credits that include coursework and a supervised internship in their area of specialization (School Counseling or Community Mental Health Counseling). Theses CACREP accredited degrees can be completed in two years. Graduates will have the academic and practical experience to be successful in a range of professional settings including schools, hospitals, treatment centers, and private practice.
Courses include: Counseling Ethics and Professional Issues; Group Procedures; Counseling and Addictions; Career Across the Lifespan; Human Growth and Development; Assessment in Counseling; Couples and Family Therapy and Application; Group Experience; Counseling Children and Adolescents; Play Therapy; Multicultural Counseling; Diagnosis, Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology; Counseling Theories; Introduction to Research; School Counseling Strategies and Techniques; and Mental Health Counseling.
Western Seminary offers a Master of Arts in Counseling at their Portland, Oregon campus. The 68 program credits can be completed in three years with up to 7 credits available online. In an effort to be accessible and accommodate students with work and family commitments, courses are offered on Mondays in order to minimize travel and time on campus. The CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization supports students in integrating a Christian worldview into their professional counseling practice. The coursework meets the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists requirements for state licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Courses include: Clinical Foundations: Basic Counseling Skills/ Interventions; Psychological Theory and Techniques; Family systems Therapy; Psychotherapeutic Systems; Psychopathology; Legal and Ethical Issues; Human Lifespan Development; Integrative Issues in Counseling; Spiritual Development and Assessment; Group Counseling; Marriage and Couple Counseling; Career and Lifestyle Development; Professional Orientation; Human Sexuality; and Counseling Violence and Abuse Issues.
Credits Required: 68
Application Deadline: July 1st for Fall, November 1st for Spring
A Master of Science in Counseling is offered at the University of Providence. The program emphasizes a commitment to social justice through making an effort to prepare graduates to meet the needs of diverse populations including vulnerable individuals that may have difficulty accessing services for financial or other reasons. The program reports a high retention rate as well as a high National Counselors Exam pass rate with the program now authorized to administer the examination on campus. This conveniently allows students to complete the exam at the end of their final year in order to start the process of successfully completing licensure and certification.
Courses include: Professional Orientation and Ethics; Theories of Counseling; Techniques of Counseling; Counseling the Addicted Client; Advanced Techniques of Counseling; Development across the Lifespan; Psychopathology; Multicultural Competence; Career Counseling; Group Counseling; Evidence-Based Practice and Program Evaluation; and Crisis Planning and Intervention.
The City University of Seattle offers a Master of Arts in Counseling. The Master of Arts in Counseling requires the completion of 90 credits with areas of emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling; Addiction Counseling; and Professional School Counseling. Each specialization requires the completion of coursework in core CACREP areas as well as specific coursework, outside of the core, related to the chosen area of specialization and internship and practicum experiences. The City University of Seattle reports that the Professional School Counseling track is not yet accredited by the CACREP. Graduates will be prepared to pursue licensure and certification and work professionally in their chosen area concentration.
Courses include: Systemic Theory: Trauma Counseling and Disaster Mental Health; Systemic Theory: Multicultural Counseling; Human Growth and Development; Group Counseling; Professional Ethics and the Law; Testing and Assessment; Counseling Theory; Career Counseling in Clinical Settings; Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology; Introduction to Counseling Practice; Addictions and Co-Occurring Perspectives; and Research Methods and Statistics.
George Fox University offers three CACREP accredited graduate programs in counseling. Students can earn a Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling; Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; or a Master of Arts in School Counseling. These graduate degrees are offered in a Christian college setting with an emphasis on the importance of recognizing and supporting the spiritual, psychological, physical, and relational parts of each individual. The program works to meet the individual needs of each student with flexible schedules, various options for the timeline of completion of study, and courses offered in Portland and Salem, Oregon.
Courses include: Introduction to Couple and Family Therapy; Principles and Techniques of Counseling; Personality and Counseling Theory; Cultural Foundations and Social Justice; Advanced Clinical Skills; Human Growth and Development; Spirituality and Clinical Praxis; Shame and Grace; Human Sexuality; Group Theory and Therapy; Spiritual Identity; Images of God;
Credits Required: 57 - 68
Application Deadline: February 1st for Summer, May 1st for Fall, October 1st for Spring
A Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available through the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department at New Mexico State University. Students that are enrolled full time will move through the program with a cohort. However, if full-time study does not feel like it will be manageable students may choose to enroll at a three-quarter time or half-time basis at time of admission. With an emphasis on social justice and a value for multicultural diversity students in the program will learn how to provide clinical services to individuals from diverse backgrounds experiencing challenging circumstances.
Courses include: Human Development; Multicultural Counseling; Professional Issues in Mental Health Counseling; Counseling Research; Appraisal Theory and Technique; Diagnosis and Treatment Planning; Career/Life Planning and Vocational Assessment; Child and Adolescent Counseling; Family Therapy Theory and Technique; and Group Work Theory and Technique.
California State University, Fresno offers two CACREP accredited graduate degrees in counseling with the Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling and the Master of Science in Counseling with a specialization in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. The Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling offers a number of electives including two courses that can be completed for students that plan to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. The Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling specialization report that 100% of graduates are successful in securing employment within 6 months of graduation.
Courses include: Counseling and Mental Health; Introduction to Counseling; Professional Identity and Ethics in Counseling; Seminar in Multicultural Aspects of Counseling; Seminar in Group Counseling; Counseling Through the Lifespan; Career Development; Advanced Counseling Theories; Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Services Case Management; and Rehabilitation of Substance Use Disorders.
A Master of Science in Counseling with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy is available at California State University, Northridge. The program is accredited by the COAMFTE in order to ensure that students are developing competency in specific areas for future credentialing as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and/or a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The program is committed to preparing graduates to work professionally with diverse clients and populations in Southern California.
Courses include: Diversity in Counseling; Counseling Theories; Career Interventions in Mental Health Counseling; Law and Ethics for Counselors; Counseling Children, Adolescents, and their Families; Systemic Family Theories and the Evidence Base; Psychoeducation and Group Process in Family Counseling; Community Mental Health Counseling; Family Development Across the Lifespan; Chemical Dependency and Addictions Counseling; Couples Counseling; Mental Health Diagnosis; and Psychopharmacology and Neurobiological Foundations.
California State University, Fullerton offers a CACREP accredited Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Students that graduate from this program will have completed the academic requirements necessary for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in the state of California. With a commitment to training students to successfully meet the culturally and ethnically diverse needs of individuals and families, graduates will be well prepared to work professionally in diverse communities across the country.
Courses include: Addictions; Systems of Family Counseling; Advanced Counseling Techniques; Psychopharmacology; Crisis Intervention and Trauma Treatment; Human Development and Functioning; Career Counseling; Modes of Individual Counseling; Professional Ethics and Legal Issues in Counseling Groups: Process and Practice; Couples Counseling; Research in Counseling; Techniques of Brief Treatment and Assessment; Counseling and Culture; Appraisal in Counseling; Child and Adolescent Counseling; and the Counseling Profession.
A Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling is available at California State University, Sacramento. Students at Sacramento State will learn through classroom and fieldwork experiences to work professionally as rehabilitation counselors. The field of rehabilitation counseling is full of diversity in the populations that rehabilitation counselors serve, as well as the settings in which rehabilitation counselors are employed. Graduates may secure future employment advocating for and working with individuals with disabilities in settings such as community social service agencies, law enforcement, or the Veterans Administration.
Courses include: Counseling Theory; Psychological, Social, and Medical Aspects of Disability; Practicum in Communication; Multicultural Counseling; Assessment in Counseling; Legal and Ethical Issues; Diagnosis and Treatment Planning; Educational Research; Trauma and Crisis Counseling; Case Practices in Vocational Rehabilitation; Substance Abuse and the Family; Counseling and Psychotropic Medicine; Career Development; Group Process; Marriage and Family Counseling; and Counseling Children and Youth.
The College of Education at California State University, San Bernardino offers a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling. The program is designed to be completed in three years and prepares graduates to successfully complete the certified rehabilitation counselor examination. Graduates will be ready to pursue professional certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and provide services to individuals impacted by various disabilities in accomplishing their diverse goals and levels of independence.
Courses include: Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling; Multiple Aspects of Disability: Medical; Counseling Theories and Techniques in Rehabilitation; Dynamics of Human Behavior; Introduction to Research; Vocational Assessment and Development; Job Placement; Group Counseling Theories; Fieldwork in Rehabilitation Counseling; Vocational Assessment and Development; Job Placement; Fieldwork in Rehabilitation Counseling; and Multicultural Counseling in Rehabilitation.
California State University, Los Angeles offers a Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Rehabilitation Counseling. Students will learn the counseling skills to best support individuals with physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities in reaching their independent living and career goals. Graduates are well prepared for future employment in the field of counseling and will be positioned to pursue the career of their choice in rehabilitation counseling as well as other areas such as career or vocational counseling, college instruction, or expert witness.
Courses include: Disability in Schools and Society; Lifespan Human Development for Counselors; Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling; Assessment in Counseling; Individual Counseling Strategies; Multicultural Counseling; Diagnosis and Treatment in Counseling; Case Management in Counseling; Group Counseling; Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling; Employment and Career Development; Trauma and Crisis Counseling; and Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders Counseling.
A Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available at Bushnell University. The 60 credit program is offered through a hybrid format with a combination of classes offered in the evenings on campus as well as online. Students are then freed up during the day to maintain work and family commitments. Students will engage in internship experiences available in the community and on campus through Northwest Christian University's onsite counseling clinic. This CACREP accredited graduate program in counseling works to prepare graduates to successfully pursue licensure as a professional counselor (LPC).
Courses include: Professional Orientation; Personality and Counseling Theory; The Helping Relationship; Ethical and Legal Issues; Research and Evaluation; Group Dynamics and Theory; Human Growth and Development; Lifestyle and Career Development; Counseling in a Multicultural Society; Family Systems; Diagnosis and Psychopathology; Testing and Appraisal; Addiction Counseling; and Crisis, Trauma, and Grief Counseling.
San Diego State University offers a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Clinical Mental Health. This CACREP accredited program is offered on-campus or through a distance learning format. Both the on-campus and online programs are 60 credits and can be completed in 2.5-3 years. On-campus courses are offered in the late afternoon and evenings in order to meet the needs of working students. The online program can be completed fully online for students that live outside of San Diego. Pursuing a Clinical Concentration will allow graduates to become Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC). Additionally, students have the opportunity to choose specializations including Cognitive Disabilities; Rehabilitation Technology; Supported Employment and Transition Services; and Psychiatric Rehabilitation.
Courses include: Rehabilitation Foundations; Medical and Psychological Aspects of Disability; Methods of Inquiry; Seminar in Multicultural Dimensions in Counseling; Medical and Psychological Aspects of Disability; Theory and Process of Counseling; Practicum in Rehabilitation; Group Dynamics in Rehabilitation; Applications of Assistive Technology; Placement Practices with Individuals with Disabilities; and Assessment: Career Development.
The Department of Counseling at San Francisco State University offers a comprehensive collection of CACREP accredited counseling degrees with a variety of specializations. A Master of Science in Counseling is offered with four specializations in Career Counseling; College Counseling; Gerontological Counseling; and School Counseling. A Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling will prepare graduates to pursue licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. A Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will prepare graduates to take the National Certified Rehabilitation Counselor exam and to pursue licensure as a Professional Clinical Counselor.
Courses include: Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy; Developmental Foundations for Counselors; Psychological Foundations for Counselors; Supervision and Coaching; Assessment in Counseling; Career Counseling; Psychopharmacology; Addictions; Crisis Counseling; Seminar in Research; Group Counseling; Social and Cultural Foundations; Law and Ethics; Professional issues, and Clinical Case Management and Systems of Care.
A Master of Arts in Counseling with options to specialize in either Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling is available at Sonoma State University. The program offers interested applicants the opportunity to attend an informational meeting organized by the administrative coordinator and two faculty members to learn more about the Counseling Department. Additionally, applicants are not required to submit the GRE for admission to the program. In an effort to meet the needs of a diverse student population, different plans of study are offered to allow students to choose to complete the program in either 2, 2.5, or 3 years.
Courses include: Courses Include: Theory and Practice of the Professional Counselor; Whole Lifespan Development; Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment Planning; Applied Counseling Techniques and Assessment; Career Counseling: Foundations, Measurement and Assessment, and Issues Throughout the Lifespan; Academic and Career Planning and Counseling Issues of K-12 Populations; Theory and Practice of Group Counseling; Seminar: Crisis Intervention; Counseling Diverse Couples and Families; and Substance Abuse and Dependence.
Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling offers a Professional Mental Health Counseling degree. This degree is offered as either a Master of Arts or a Master of Science. The program is committed to social justice and training students to be practitioners that promote social justice in their daily practice. With the program's commitment to social justice, they have created six areas of focus that cover: Counseling with LGBTQ+ clients; Mind/Body/Spirit/Creativity; Eating Disorders; Feminist Counseling; Community/Professional Advocacy; and Ecopsychology. Graduates will be prepared to support diverse populations across the life span.
Courses include: Lifespan Development; Group Counseling with Children and Adolescents; Group Counseling with Adults; Diagnosis of Mental and Emotional Disorders; Counseling and Interventions with Children and Adolescents; Diversity and Social Justice; Theory and Philosophy of Counseling; Counseling and Interventions with Adults; Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Counseling; Child and Family Counseling; Career Counseling; and Introduction to Assessment.
The Department of Counselor Education at Gonzaga University offers three CACREP accredited counseling degrees: Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling; and Master of Arts in School Counseling. Students engage in their chosen program through the cohort model and will work towards their degree with the support of peers and faculty. Each of the three degree options requires the completion of 60 credits, designed to be completed in two years. All three programs reported that students had a 100% pass rate on the National Counselor Examination in 2018, setting graduates up for success in pursuing professional credentialing.
Courses include: Critical Issues in Counseling; Counseling Theories; Research and Statistics; Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Special Issues in Counseling; Human Growth and Development; Group Process; Marriage and Family Counseling; Child-Adolescent Counseling; Assessment in Counseling; Occupational Choice and Career Development in Counseling; Human Sexuality; Chemical Dependency in Counseling; Multicultural Counseling; Introduction to School Counseling; Human Growth and Development; Trauma, Crisis, and Grief; and Chemical Dependency in Schools.
Credits Required: 60
Application Deadline: January 15th
Methodology: To develop the ranking of The Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West, we used information gathered from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), for schools offering master’s level programs in counseling. Next, we sorted out schools that are in the Western United States as determined by the United States Census Regions Map. Finally, we sorted the schools by net price as listed on the Institute of Education Sciences’ College Navigator and we present the top 30 schools in our ranking.
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