Top 25 Most Affordable, Accredited Graduate Degree Programs in Counseling and Psychology in the Midwest

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By BCD Staff

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Ranking Methodology:

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

  • All graduate schools in the Midwest (from the following states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio) 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), and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Note: Evaluating the accreditation status of any graduation 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
    • Clinical Psychology (Ph.D and Psy.D.) -accredited by the APA
  • Note: Programs offering the following degrees were ranked but did not make the Top 25 list. Several programs are available in the region offering these degrees:
    • Counseling Psychology (Ph.D.) -accredited by the APA
    • School Psychology (Ph.D) -accredited by the APA
  • Over 100 schools in the Midwest met the above listed criteria. Tuition per credit ranged from under $400 per credit to over $2,250 per credit. The cost per credit for out of state tuition was ranked from high to low and the top 25 schools are listed here. Check out the list below to find the school that is the best fit for you.

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Top 10 Most Affordable, Accredited Graduate Degree Programs in Counseling and Psychology in the Midwest

  1. Lincoln Christian University
    Location

    Lincoln, IL

    The Counselor Education Program at Northeastern Illinois University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling in four areas of concentration, including the CACREP accredited program in School Counseling. Applicants with a teachers license can complete this program in 48 credit hours, applicants that do not have a teacher license will need to complete 57 credit hours to graduate. Individuals from all professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply, a background in teaching or education is not required.

  2. St. Mary's University of Minnesota
    Location

    Winona, MN

    St. Mary's University of Minnesota offers a 57 credit hour Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, accredited by the COAMFTE. This program is described as being designed for adult learners with flexibility in mind. Students can determine the pace at which they complete the program within the range of 2-5 years, the average being 3.3 years. Uniquely, every required course is offered every semester in order to make the individualized plan possible.

    Claiming the spot of the school offering the most affordable, accredited, graduate degree in Psychology and Counseling in the Midwest is the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lincoln Christian Seminary. The 60 credit program accredited by the CACREP emphasizes training students to be inclusive of a Biblical worldview in their counseling practice.

  3. South Dakota State University
    Location

    Brookings, SD

    South Dakota State University offers a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Resource Development with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credit hours) or a specialization in School Counseling (48 credit hours), both are accredited by the CACREP.

  4. University of South Dakota
    Location

    Vermillion, SD

    University of South Dakota's CACREP accredited Master of Arts programs of Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling offer a thesis and non-thesis track. Depending on the program and the track you choose the required number of credit hours ranges from 48-64. The University of South Dakota also offers an APA accredited Clinical Psychology Program. It takes on average 5-6 years to complete a Ph.D. in the Clinical Psychology Program.

  5. University of Nebraska at Kearney
    Location

    Kearney, NE

    The University of Nebraska at Kearney has one of only two programs in Nebraska that is nationally accredited by the CACREP. Students in this program can gain a Master of Education Degree in Clinical Mental Health. A minimum of 60 credit hours of graduate coursework is required for this program.

  6. Heidelberg University
    Location

    Tiffin, OH

    The Master of Arts in Counseling is accredited by the CACREP. The program offers three concentrations; Clinical Counseling Concentration, School Counseling Concentration, and Dual Clinical/ School Counseling Concentration. Credit hours to complete these programs range from 48-60. Most classes are offered on nights and weekends to accommodate working students.

  7. Cincinnati Christian University
    Location

    SCHOOL CLOSED, SCHOOL CLOSED

    Cincinnati Christian University's 60 credit hour Master of Arts in Counseling program is accredited by the CACREP. As a Christian University one of the main principals of the program is to train students to do Christian counseling while also meeting the educational requirements to become licensed as a professional counselor.

  8. Butler University
    Location

    Indianapolis, IN

    Butler University accepts 24 students to its CACREP accredited School Counseling Program annually. The 48 credit hour program is designed to be completed in three years but there is a fast track option, to reduce the length of the program by 1-2 semesters. As many as 10 students from each cohort may be accepted into the fast track option.

  9. Central Michigan University
    Location

    Mount Pleasant, MI

    Both the Clinical Psychology Program and the School Psychology Program at Central Michigan University are accredited by the APA and lead to a Ph.D. degree. The Clinical Psychology Program requires the completion of 108 credits and the School Psychology Program requires the completion of 106 credits or 70 credit hours for students that already have their M.A. or M.S. in School Psychology.

  10. Southeast Missouri State University
    Location

    Cape Girardeau, MO

    Southeast Missouri State University offers a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and a Master of Arts in School Counseling. Both programs are accredited by the CACREP. While the School Counseling Program requires the standard 48 credit hours for completion of the degree the Mental Health Counseling Program requires 78 credit hours for graduation, you will find that most other schools offer this degree for 60 credit hours which requires significantly less time and money.

When figuring out the final cost for earning a Master’s in Counseling or Psychology, don’t forget about “hidden” costs, and also savings opportunities.  Read more about this here:  Financial Aid for Counseling Students.

For other articles in this series see Top 25 Most Affordable, Accredited, Graduate Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling in the WestTop 25 Most Affordable, Accredited Graduate Degrees in Psychology and Counseling in the South and Top 25 Most Affordable, Accredited Graduate Degrees in Psychology and Counseling in the Northeast.

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