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: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, 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 related 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; however, some schools do offer undergraduate options. Several online and hybrid (combination of on-campus and online courses) 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 5 not-for-profit four-year 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’s degree, 2 offer a bachelor’s degree, 0 offer a certificate, and 5 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
  • 3 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
  • 5 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
  • 1 school offers a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
  • 4 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 2 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
  • 1 counseling school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.3
  • No schools ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
  • Across 2 schools, 4 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2

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 four-year colleges and universities in Arizona that offer counseling programs in the five major areas: mental health counseling (MH), marriage and family therapy (MFT), vocational rehabilitation counseling (VR), school counseling (SC), and substance abuse counseling (SA). The table indicates the schools that offer programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); CACREP-accredited programs are denoted with an asterisk (*). Keep in mind that some schools offer a joint program in clinical mental health counseling and clinical rehabilitation counseling, so check with the school for more information on the programs offered. You can also compare schools by program type offered, graduation rate, and net price per year. To learn more about becoming a counselor in Arizona, read our license requirements page.

School NameCACREP-
MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Arizona State University-TempeYesYes69%$13,731
Northern Arizona UniversityYesYes*Yes*52%$14,882
Ottawa University-PhoenixYesYesYesYesN.Av.N.Av.
Prescott CollegeYesYesYesYes39%$22,968
University of ArizonaYesYes*Yes*Yes*19%$15,594

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Arizona

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019

  • Arizona State University-Tempe (#373)

US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019

  • University of Arizona (#4 tie)

Schools in Arizona with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Ottawa University-Phoenix

Ottawa University-Phoenix is a private, Christian university, which offers both on-campus and online counseling degree programs. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Addiction Counseling prepares students to provide substance abuse services, such as assessment and screening, treatment planning, counseling, outreach, and prevention. Depending on the courses and practicum placements completed in the program, graduates may meet the coursework requirements for various substance abuse counseling credentials in Arizona. An on-campus Master of Science (MS) in Addiction Counseling that meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC) is also offered. Students interested in other fields of counseling can complete the Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with an optional concentration, such as Marriage and Family Therapy, which meets the coursework requirements for the Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) credential in Arizona. A Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling that leads to licensure as a school counselor in Arizona is also offered.

University of Arizona

At the University of Arizona, students can complete a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.E.) in Rehabilitation Studies and Services in four years of full-time study. Students in this program learn about 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 hands-on experience. At the graduate level, a CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with two specializations is available. The MA in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling 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, research, 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 along with either a research thesis or a comprehensive exam. Upon graduation, students will meet the educational requirements in Arizona to become a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC). 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 is comprised 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, Phoenix, and Tucson campuses. Upon completion of the program, graduates will meet the educational requirements in Arizona to become a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC). 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 48-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

Prescott College

The Master of Science (MS) in Counseling at Prescott College is a hybrid degree that combines online classes with on-campus opportunities to connect with faculty and other students. Students complete 60 credits in an interdisciplinary range of topics, such as Social Justice in Counseling and Counseling Theories. Optional areas of emphasis are offered, including Addiction Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. 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 36-credit 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.

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Accredited Programs: https://www.cacrep.org/directory/
3. Kiplinger’s Best College Values, 2019: https://www.kiplinger.com/fronts/special-report/college-rankings/index.html
4. US News & World Report Best Student Counseling Programs, 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/student-counseling-rankings
5. US News & World Report Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs, 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/rehabilitation-counseling-rankings