These professionals provide evidence-based counsel to individuals across the lifespan who need professional assistance to address challenges. Some may focus on supporting individuals and couples facing relational issues, while others may work with clients looking to overcome addictions.
All Ohio-based counselors must hold licensure through the Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. A licensed professional counselor must hold an accredited master’s degree, pass the national counselor examination, undergo a criminal background check, and participate in an internship.
Top 10 Counseling Degree Programs in Ohio
Featured Online Programs
Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.
Career Outlook for Counselors in Ohio
Like other states throughout the country, the Buckeye State expects to see substantial growth of counseling roles in the coming years. Projections Central estimates that employment for mental health counselors may grow by 21.5% from 2016-26, while positions for marriage and family therapists could expand by 20%. Individuals working in substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling should also experience employment growth in this period, with a projected growth rate of 16.4%.
Therapists and counselors enjoy work opportunities in many different professional settings, including local and state government agencies, hospitals, inpatient and outpatient therapy centers, and local health clinics. Many also decide to work in private practice after gaining some agency experience. They can work with patients across the lifespan but usually focus their services on a particular group, such as couples or individuals facing issues around addictions.
Counseling Degree Programs in Ohio
Ashland Theological Seminary
As a graduate school of Ashland University, the Ashland Theological Seminary offers students looking for accredited counseling degree programs in Ohio the opportunity to explore a graduate degree within the context of Christian principles. The university does not shy away fromits strong Christian focus, and students who attend the school will experience a faith-based curriculum in conjunction with their chosen programs. While the seminary portion of Ashland University does not rank on U.S. News and World Report as a separate entity from its main undergraduate campus, graduates of the seminary reported a 90 percent overall satisfaction with their education in the school's 2011-2012 graduate student survey.
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Due to its focus on religious instruction within a Christian context, Ashland Theological Seminary offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that combines the Christian faith with modern science. Students will study a theological education while exploring contemporary approaches to behavioral science. While the program centers on the Christian faith, students will learn to counsel people of diverse backgrounds over the course of 90 quarter hours. The program adheres to the standards outlined by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. Students are expected to maintain a grade average of B- for all courses in the program. In conjunction with the required coursework, students will be expected to complete a practicum and internship which count toward on-the-job experience as well as licensure requirements. At the end of the program, students will sit for a comprehensive exam that tests knowledge of modern counseling techniques and education.
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
910 Center Street
Ashland, OH 44805
866-ATS-OHIO / 419-289-5704
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH
College of Education and Human Development
Founded in 1910, Bowling Green State University is ranked number 181 of the Best National Universities by U.S. News and World Report. Students enjoy small class sizes and more than 50 graduate programs including two accredited counseling degree programs in Ohio. Both graduate programs mentioned below are approved by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board to lead to licensure in the state of Ohio. The College of Education and Human Development encourages educational objectives in the form of self-discovery, understanding of diverse backgrounds and social mores, development of students as counseling professionals, and education based on modern counseling practices and theories.
Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling
The goal of the Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling is to educate and train students to practice professional counseling in a private or public setting apart from a school institution. Counseling positions may include religious organizations, legal situations or private practices among other settings. Students searching for accredited counseling degree programs in Ohio will find that this program prepares them for licensure with the state, but the program does not include qualification for clinical practice. Clinical counselors can diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders. Graduates of the M.A. in Mental Health Counseling may only diagnose patients with these conditions under the supervision of a licensed clinical counselor. Students are expected to complete 65 hours of coursework ranging from culturally diverse counseling techniques to marriage and family therapy. At the end of the program, students can choose to undertake a one- to four-hour thesis project or a 200-question comprehensive exam.
Master of Education in School Counseling
For students who wish to work in a school setting helping minors experience a more productive school environment, Bowling Green State University offers a separate Master of Education in School Counseling. Like its M.A. counterpart, the degree helps prepare students for a career in counseling. However, the M.Ed. in school counseling focuses on counseling applicable to a K-12 education. Professional school counselors in Ohio may perform a variety of tasks such as developing mental health programs in schools or providing intervention services between parents, teachers and students. The Master of Education in School Counseling degree requires 53 semester hours in various counseling subjects along with an optional set of elective coursework. In order to sit for the professional counselor exam, students will need to take all of the electives outlines by the department. Following completion of all coursework, students will complete a thesis worth one to four credit hours or sit for the 200-question comprehensive exam.
- Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
451 Education Building
Bowling Green, OH 43403
Cleveland State University
College of Education and Human Services
Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a Tier 2 school among the Best National Universities, Cleveland State University offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs combined, and nearly a third of enrolled students are pursuing graduate level programs. Celebrating its 50th year in 2014, the university values student success, which is evident in its strong behavioral science programs at the graduate level. The College of Education and Human Services offers two distinct graduate level programs as outlined below, and the goal of the department per its mission statement is to promote academic excellence combined with "rigorous intellectual exchange."
Master of Education in School Counseling
Approved by the CACREP for licensure as a school counselor, theMaster of Education in School Counselingoffered by the The College of Education and Human Services allows students seeking accredited counseling degree programs in Ohio the opportunity to work in an educational setting at the secondary level or lower. Students will gain an understanding of counseling topics as they relate to elementary, middle or high school students and will earn the right to apply for licensure with the state. The department offers two methods for completing the 48-hour semester requirement for the program. Students may choose a regular three-year course of study or an accelerated two-year program. Both tracks require the same number of hours and courses. Students also need to pass the Praxis II Specialty exam on School Guidance and Counseling to complete the program, but teaching credentials are not required to earn an M.Ed. in School Counseling.
Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Like the M.Ed. in School Counseling, the Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is approved by the CACREP as a program that can lead to state licensure as a professional counselor. The major difference between the two programs lies in focus. At its core, the M.Ed. in School Counseling prepares students to practice professional counseling on an organizational or private practice level rather than an educational one. The department requires students to complete 60 semester hours of coursework on various subjects related to behavioral science along with seven credit hours of electives. At the conclusion of the program, students must elect to take one of four exit options; choices include the National Counselor Exam, a comprehensive exit exam given by the department, a thesis or a project approved by the department. In addition, students may be required to complete an internship and/or practicum in conjunction with their program track.
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
2121 Euclid Avenue
Julka Hall 275
Cleveland, OH 44115
Graduate Studies in Counseling
U.S. News and World Report gave Heidelberg University a rank of 53 on its list of Regional Universities in the Midwest region, and the university holds up its rank by providing ample amenities such as small class sizes and diverse academic offerings. Students hoping to pursue accredited counseling degree programs in Ohio will discover that the Graduate Studies in Counseling of Heidelberg University offers additional convenient options for those enrolled in the programs listed below. Graduate students enjoy flexible course offerings including Saturday classes, night classes, classes that meet once per week and courses offered on a separate campus in Maumee.
Master of Arts in Counseling – Community Counseling
Heidelberg University offers a Community Counseling concentration under its Master of Arts in Counseling degree for students who hope to practice as licensed counselors in a non-school setting in the state of Ohio. Students are expected to learn and develop several skills, including appropriate interaction with patients, communication, interpersonal helping and sensitivity. The program requires 48 semester hours for completion; however, the state of Ohio requires 60 hours for state licensure. Therefore, those who wish to practice in the state of Ohio will need to complete additional coursework. Students hoping to become licensed counselors will need to take 60 semester hours in addition to a 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship to satisfy state requirements. For clinical counseling licensure, students will need to take 20 hours of clinical coursework on topics such as diagnosing mental and emotional disorders. At the end of the 60-hour program, students will be able to take the licensure exam.
Master of Arts in Counseling – School Counseling
Students interested in accredited counseling degree programs in Ohio with a focus on school-aged care will appreciate Heidelberg University's Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling, which seeks to prepare students for a career in a school setting. The program involves 48 semester hours of coursework, 100 hours of field experience in conjunction with a practicum project, 600 hours of internship work and successful completion of the Praxis II exam. In addition, the department offers a school counseling licensure endorsement program for those who already possess a master's degree in counseling and who wish to become school counselors. These students will complete select requirements as outlined in the program as well as take the Praxis II exam. The Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling meets the requirements of the Ohio Department of Education, but additional teaching experience may be required as per program guidelines.
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
310 E. Market St.
Tiffin, OH 44883-2462
John Carroll University
University Heights, OH
As of 2014, John Carroll University has been ranked in the top ten for Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report for 23 consecutive years, with a current placement of number seven amid Midwest schools. Students enjoy rich academic pursuits, small class sizes and a variety of options when it comes to graduate programs. For students seeking accredited counseling degree programs in Ohio, the College of Arts and Sciences offers two graduate degrees in counseling as described below as well as a certificate specifically designed for spiritual or faith-based counseling; both graduate programs outlined below have been appropriately accredited by the CACREP.
Master of Education – School Counseling
Students who hope to work in a school institution will develop the skills and attributes necessary for such a position with the Master of Education degree from John Carroll University. The School Counseling concentration offers courses in subjects like group dynamics, testing and measurement, diversity in counseling, and career development. Graduate students who pursue this degree will develop key skills specific to the role of a counselor who advises students, parents and teachers on a wide range of modern issues and mental or emotional concerns. The program requires 48 semester hours of coursework including both an internship and practicum. Students should note that the application requires several references and essays in order to be considered. Approved by the Ohio Department of Education along with several national and local boards on counseling, the School Counseling program effectively prepares students to work professionally with minors, teachers and parents in a school setting.
Master of Arts – Clinical Mental Health Counseling
When looking for accredited counseling degree programs in Ohio, it's important to keep in mind that Ohio state licensure requirements may differ from a master's program offered by individual schools. Students who choose John Carroll University will have no trouble fulfilling state requirements with the comprehensive program offered by their Graduate Studies department. This 60-hour program includes a wide range of interdisciplinary subjects across a broad set of courses along with nine semester hours of electives. The Graduate Studies department encourages students to develop a "persons for others" motto in line with the school's Jesuit history. Due to stringent application standards, students will need to submit a resume of volunteer or related work experience along with several letters and essays related to the student's chosen career path. Upon completion of the program, students will earn a Master of Arts degree and be eligible for licensure in the state of Ohio.
- American Society of Clinical Hypnosis for clinical hypnosis coursework
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
- National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Ohio Department of Education
- State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board
Administration Building Room 125
1 John Carroll Blvd.
University Heights, OH 44118
Finding the right degree program is never easy, but Ohio offers a wide range of schools and master’s programs to meet various needs. From religious private schools to large public universities, students will find ample opportunity to explore a degree in mental health counseling. When looking for accredited counseling degree programs in Ohio, students should evaluate the program’s course offerings and class schedules to determine if the program meets their academic needs and future career goals.