Most Affordable, Accredited Graduate Degrees in Psychology & Counseling in the South

| Staff Writers

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Ranking Methodology:

This list of the most affordable graduate programs in the South offering a masters and/or a doctorate degree in psychology and/or counseling was created considering the following points.

  • All graduate schools in the South (from the following states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware) were taken into consideration.
  • Next, programs had to meet rigorous criteria to become accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), or the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Note: Evaluating the accreditation status of any graduate program under consideration is important. In general, accredited programs develop their curriculum and practicum experience with state licensing boards. Programs that do this ensure that their graduates will be able to successfully navigate the state licensing process without needing to take additional coursework following graduation.
  • The following accredited degrees are available at the colleges and universities that made the top 25 list:
    • Clinical and Mental Health Counseling (M.A. and M.S.) -accredited by the CACREP
    • School Counseling (M.A. and M.S.) -accredited by the CACREP
    • Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A., M.S., M.Ed., and Ph.D.) -accredited by the COAMFTE
    • Counseling Psychology (Ph.D.) -accredited by the APA
    • School Psychology (Ph.D) -accredited by the APA
    • Clinical Psychology (Ph.D and Psy.D.) -accredited by the APA
  • Over 275 schools in the South met the above listed criteria. Of all four regions in the country evaluated, the South had the highest number of schools with these accredited programs. Tuition per credit ranged from $0 per credit to over $2,500 per credit. The South has the only school in the country that met the above listed criteria, that was found to be cost free. The cost per credit for out of state tuition was ranked from high to low and the top schools are listed here. Check out the list below to find the school that is the best fit for you.

Best Affordable, Accredited Graduate Degrees in Psychology and Counseling in the South

Rank School Location
1 Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda, MD
2 Virginia Consortium Program Hampton Roads, VA
3 Southern University and A&M College Baton Rouge, LA
4 Delta State University Cleveland, MS
5 Louisville Seminary Louisville, KY
6 Converse College Spartanburg, SC
7 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
8 Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson, MS
9 University of Lynchburg Lynchburg, VA
10 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, AR
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  1. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    Location

    Bethesda, MD

    Degrees:

    • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

    The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is the Nation's federal health sciences university and is committed to excellence in military medicine and public health. The Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology offers a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology accredited by the APA. This program offers two tracks. Track 1 (Military) is open to active duty military and civilians entering military service focusing on clinical and operational military settings. Track 2 (Medical) is open to civilian students focusing on a combination of medical and clinical psychology. Students in the Psychology Graduate Education programs, a mix of civilians and uniformed officers, pay no tuition or fees. Civilian students may receive stipends, and uniformed graduate students continue to receive their active duty pay and benefits while attending USU.

    Application Deadline: December 1st

    Tuition: $0 / Credit Hour

  2. Virginia Consortium Program
    Location

    Hampton Roads, VA

    Degrees:

    • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

    The Virginia Consortium Program is accredited by the APA to grant the Ph.D. in clinical psychology. This unified program is offered jointly by three institutions; Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and Eastern Virginia Medical School. Depending on the strength of the applicant pool about 30 applicants are invited to interview and from that a class of six is chosen for this five year program.

    Application Deadline: December 1st

    Tuition: $222 / Credit Hour

  3. Southern University and A&M College
    Location

    Baton Rouge, LA

    Degrees:

    • Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling

    The College of Education's Department of Behavioral Studies mental health counseling program is accredited by the CACREP. The University also offers a school counseling program that is in the process of becoming accredited by the CACREP. This Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling consists of 60 credit hours. A primary focus of the program is training clinicians to support clients in increasing skills and environmental supports to strengthen the client's mental health.

    Application Deadline: January 15th

    Tuition: $270 / Credit Hour

  4. Delta State University
    Location

    Cleveland, MS

    Degrees:

    • Masters of Education in School Counseling
    • Masters of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Delta State University offers the CACREP accredited Master of Education in School Counseling and Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. These degrees each require 60 credit hours and prepare students to become professional counselors in schools, community agencies, or private practice settings.

    Application Deadline: N/A

    Tuition: $334 / Credit Hour

  5. Louisville Seminary
    Location

    Louisville, KY

    Degrees:

    • Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

    Louisville Seminary's COAMFTE accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Program trains students with theological and spiritual commitments to become marriage and family therapists. Most graduates become licensed marriage and family therapists and work in private practice, agencies or churches. There are dual degree options with this program to gain the qualifications to also become an ordained minister. 70 credit hours are required for this Master of Arts degree.

    Application Deadline: February 1st

    Tuition: $342 / Credit Hour

  6. Converse College
    Location

    Spartanburg, SC

    Degrees:

    • Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy

    Students can attend this COAMFTE accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Program full or part time within the range of 2-5 years. In addition to the 60 credit hours required for graduation students will complete their clinical practicum experience at WestGate Training and Consultation Network, a COAMFTE accredited teaching clinic that partners with Converse College.

    Application Deadline: March 1st

    Tuition: $390 / Credit Hour

  7. Gardner-Webb University
    Location

    Boiling Springs, NC

    Degrees:

    • Masters of Arts in School Counseling
    • Masters of Arts & Masters in Education in Mental Health Counseling

    Gardner-Webb University's School of Psychology and Counseling is dedicated to promoting Christian values in learning with a strong focus placed on the value of interpersonal relationships in promoting positive change in mental health. The Master of Arts in School Counseling requires the completion of 48 credit hours. The Master of Arts and Education Specialist degree (M.A. / Ed.S.) requires the completion of 60 credit hours. A dual degree with the School of Divinity is also available but students must also apply to the School of Divinity for this additional credential.

    Application Deadline: February 1st

    Tuition: $406 / Credit Hour

  8. Reformed Theological Seminary
    Location

    Jackson, MS

    Degrees:

    • Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling

    Reformed Theological Seminary teaches from a biblical foundation. Each Marriage and Family Therapy course is taught from a biblical perspective in connection with current theory. Clinical experience focuses on family systems theory as well as the clients relationship with God. Students can only be enrolled in this, 69 credit hour, COAMFTE accredited program full time.

    Application Deadline: February 1st

    Tuition: $450 / Credit Hour

  9. University of Lynchburg
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Degrees:

    • Masters of Science in Education in School Counseling

    Arkansas State University offers a Master of Science in Education degree in School Counseling accredited by the CACREP for 48 credit hours. Classes are offered in the evenings during the fall and spring semesters and in the day in summer sessions. Tuition fellowships (reducing tuition to the in-state rate of an Arkansas resident) are available to residents of any U.S. state or territory. Graduate students are eligible for tuition fellowships if they held a 3.0 or higher as an undergraduate.

    Application Deadline: April 1st

    Tuition: $488 / Credit Hour

  10. Arkansas State University
    Location

    Jonesboro, AR

    Degrees:

    • Masters of Science in Education in School Counseling

    Arkansas State University offers a Master of Science in Education degree in School Counseling accredited by the CACREP for 48 credit hours. Classes are offered in the evenings during the fall and spring semesters and in the day in summer sessions. Tuition fellowships (reducing tuition to the in-state rate of an Arkansas resident) are available to residents of any U.S. state or territory. Graduate students are eligible for tuition fellowships if they held a 3.0 or higher as an undergraduate.

    Application Deadline: April 1st

    Tuition: $488 / Credit Hour

For more information about determining the final cost of earning your graduate degree in counseling or psychology, see:  6 Tips for Evaluating the Overall Cost of Your Graduate Degree.

For other articles in this series see Most Affordable, Accredited, Graduate Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling in the West., Top Affordable, Accredited, Graduate Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling in the Midwest., Best Affordable, Accredited, Graduate Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling in the Northeast.

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