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Counseling Degrees and Programs in Arizona

Although Arizona offers relatively few counseling degree programs compared to nearby states, there are college and university programs available in all of the five major counseling areas of practice: mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. If you are looking to start a career as a professional counselor in Arizona, you will need to choose a school that offers a program in the type of counseling you’d like to practice as almost all professional counseling careers require a degree. Master’s degrees in counseling are the most common degree types in Arizona because this level of degree is often required for counseling licensure, but some schools also offer undergraduate options. Online and hybrid counseling degree programs are also available in Arizona, which enable students to complete coursework and supervised work experiences closer to home.

Quick Facts

  • There are 7 not-for-profit colleges and universities that offer a program in marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, and/or vocational rehabilitation counseling in Arizona.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in Arizona, 0 offer an associate degree, 1 offers a bachelor’s degree, 0 offer a certificate, and 7 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
  • 2 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
  • 1 school offers a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
  • 1 school offers a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
  • 5 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 2 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
  • No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Student Counseling Programs 2022.3
  • 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022.4
  • Across 3 schools, 5 counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).2
  • No programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).5

Comparison of Arizona Counseling Schools and Programs

When choosing a degree, it can be helpful to compare schools and programs. In the table below, we have provided data on the public and not-for-profit colleges and universities in Arizona that offer counseling programs in the five major areas: mental health counseling (MH), marriage and family therapy (MF), vocational rehabilitation counseling (VR), school counseling (SC), and substance abuse counseling (SA). Keep in mind that some schools offer a combined degree in clinical mental health counseling and clinical rehabilitation counseling, so check with the school for more information on the programs offered. Use the table to compare each school by program type offered, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation status, graduation rate, and net price per year. To learn more about becoming a counselor in Arizona, read our license requirements page.

School NameCACREP-
Accred
Program2
MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Arizona State University-TempeYesYes66%$14,934
Arizona State University-Digital ImmersionYes26%N.Av.
Northern Arizona UniversityYesYes59%$16,059
Ottawa University-PhoenixYesYesN.Av.N.Av.
Ottawa University-SurpriseYesN.Av.$32,741
Prescott CollegeYesYesYes40%$17,082
University of ArizonaYesYesYesYes64%$17,242

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Arizona

US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022

  • University of Arizona (#37 tie)
  • Northern Arizona University (#97 tie)4

Schools in Arizona with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

University of Arizona

At the University of Arizona, students can complete a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) in Rehabilitation Studies and Services in four years of full-time study. Students in this program learn about the personal, social, and cultural aspects of disability and how to provide counseling services to clients with various types of disabilities. In the fourth year of the program, students must complete a supervised casework internship to gain experience. Students can also opt for a specialization in School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling, both of which require 12 additional credits of coursework to complete. At the graduate level, a CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with two specializations is available. The MA in Clinical Rehabilitation and Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares graduates to become Licensed Associate Counselors (LACs) in Arizona, while the MA in School Counseling meets the LAC and school counseling certification requirements in the state. The University of Arizona also offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselor Education and Supervision that focuses on leadership, advocacy, and advanced clinical training in the profession.

Traditional Graduate Programs

Arizona State University-Tempe

The Tempe campus of Arizona State University (ASU-Tempe) is home to a Master of Counseling (MC) degree that prepares graduates for a wide range of careers in the mental health and counseling fields. The program teaches students to provide culturally-competent counseling services in individual, group, and community settings. Students are required to complete 60 credits and either a research thesis or a comprehensive exam. Upon graduation, students will meet the educational requirements in Arizona to become Licensed Associate Counselors (LACs). ASU-Tempe also offers a Master of Applied Science (MAS) in Marriage and Family Therapy that meets the educational requirements to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Arizona. This degree consists of 39 credits, a 12-month internship, and a graduate research paper.

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University (NAU) offers two CACREP-accredited counseling degrees. The Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit degree offered at the Flagstaff, Pima Community College, and North Valley campuses. Upon completion of the program, graduates will meet the educational requirements in Arizona to become Licensed Associate Counselors (LACs). The program takes approximately two years to complete full-time with new students admitted in the fall. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling is a 60-credit degree that meets Arizona requirements for school counseling licensure. Coursework focuses on topics such as child and human development, cultural diversity, and program evaluation. Graduates of the program are able to work in elementary, middle, and secondary school settings with children in kindergarten through twelfth grade. New students are admitted into NAU’s M.Ed. in School Counseling program in the fall and spring terms.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Ottawa University-Phoenix

Ottawa University-Phoenix is a private, Christian university, which offers both hybrid and online counseling degree programs. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Addiction Counseling is offered online and prepares students to provide substance abuse services, such as assessment and screening, treatment planning, counseling, outreach, and prevention. Depending on the coursework and practica completed, graduates may meet the coursework requirements for various substance abuse counseling credentials in their state. A Master of Science (MS) in Addiction Counseling is offered both online and at the Phoenix campus and meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC). Students interested in other fields of counseling can complete the Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) through a hybrid degree program designed to meet the educational requirements for counselor licensure in Arizona. Optional concentrations are offered in Expressive Arts Therapy, Gerocounseling, and Treatment of Trauma Abuse and Deprivation. The 63 credit hours required for this degree include 39 core credits, 15 credits of concentration/elective courses, and nine credits of field experience.

Prescott College

The Master of Science (MS) in Counseling at Prescott College is a CACREP-accredited hybrid degree that combines online classes with on-campus opportunities to connect with faculty and other students. Students complete credits in an interdisciplinary range of topics, such as Social Justice in Counseling and Counseling Theories. Optional areas of emphasis are offered, including Somatic Counseling and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling. New students are admitted in the fall and winter terms. Prescott College also has an online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling that requires annual on-campus residencies. This program meets state requirements for Arizona school counseling licensure, although students hoping to become licensed in other states should ensure the degree meets coursework requirements.

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Accredited Programs: https://www.cacrep.org/directory/
3. US News & World Report Best Student Counseling Programs 2022: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/student-counseling-rankings
4. US News & World Report Best Online Master’s in Education Programs Offering Student Counseling and Personnel Services 2022: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/student-counseling-rankings
5. Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, Directory of COAMFTE Accredited Programs: https://coamfte.org/COAMFTE/Directory_of_Accredited_Programs/MFT_Training_Programs.aspx