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Counseling Degrees and Programs in Georgia

Many of Georgia’s colleges and universities offer degree programs in the major counseling categories: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. As most counseling licenses in Georgia require a graduate degree, most counseling programs in the state are offered as master’s degrees; however, bachelor’s degrees and certificate programs are also available. If you are aspiring to become a professional counselor in Georgia, choosing the right school will be one of the first steps in your career journey. In addition to traditional, on-campus programs, Georgia’s institutions also offer numerous online and hybrid counseling programs to choose from that provide greater flexibility and choice to working professionals and students with other commitments.

Quick Facts

  • There are 14 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 Georgia.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in Georgia, 0 offer an associate’s degree, 2 offer a bachelor’s degree, 0 offer a certificate, and 12 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
  • 3 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
  • 11 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
  • 3 schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
  • 11 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 1 school offers a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
  • 2 counseling schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.3
  • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
  • 4 schools ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
  • Across 14 schools, 23 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2

Comparison of Georgia Counseling Schools and Programs

Below you will find a table that summarizes the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in Georgia offering counseling programs in the five major counseling 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 type of program offered, graduation rate, and net price per year. For more information about counseling licensure requirements in Georgia, visit our state licensure page.

School NameCACREP-
Accred
Program2
MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Albany State UniversityYesYes*19%$12,569
Augusta UniversityYesYes*Yes*31%$13,112
Clark Atlanta UniversityYesYes*45%$27,143
Columbus State UniversityYesYes*Yes*37%$11,316
Fort Valley State UniversityYesYes*Yes*28%$14,184
Georgia Southern UniversityYesYes*Yes*50%$15,435
Georgia State UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes*54%$14,501
Mercer UniversityYesYes*YesYes*Yes*Yes66%$21,202
Richmont Graduate UniversityYesYes*N.Av.N.Av.
Thomas UniversityYesYes*Yes*20%$17,420
University of GeorgiaYesYesYesYes*86%$15,539
University of North GeorgiaYesYes*34%$10,264
University of West GeorgiaYesYes*Yes*42%$15,392
Valdosta State UniversityYesYesYesYes*42%$13,630

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Georgia

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019

  • University of Georgia (#95)
  • Mercer University (#248)

US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019

  • University of Georgia (#8)
  • Georgia State University (#11)

US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019

  • Georgia State University (#55 tie)
  • Mercer University (#92 tie)
  • Fort Valley State University (#95)
  • Thomas University (#96)

Schools in Georgia with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Mercer University

For those interested in an undergraduate education in counseling, Mercer University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Human Services with numerous concentrations including Mental Health or Substance Abuse Services. New students are admitted in August, October, January, March, and May and classes are available at the Douglas County, Henry County, and Macon campuses or online. The BS degree includes 120 credits and is designed to introduce students to mental health, psychology, and addiction theories and models. Mercer University also offers several CACREP-accredited graduate degrees in counseling. The Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is available at the Atlanta campus and meets coursework requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Georgia. This degree is also available as part of a combined degree program that enables students to complete a Master of Divinity or a Master of Theological Studies at the same time. Other counseling-related degrees include an MS in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; an MS in School Counseling; and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Thomas University

Thomas University offers an online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Rehabilitation Studies with optional minors in related subjects, such as Addictions and Criminal Justice. Students complete 120 credits fully online with courses offered in eight-week blocks throughout the year. The degree includes a supervised fieldwork experience at a local organization. Thomas University also offers a CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health and Rehabilitation Counseling with an optional specialization in Alcohol and Addictions Counseling. This unique and fully-online degree meets the educational requirements for licensure in Georgia as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) as well as national standards for rehabilitation counseling. The degree is comprised of 60 credits with an additional 12 credits for those completing the specialization. Individuals who already have a counseling degree comprised of fewer than 60 credits can apply to the Bridge Program, which helps students create an individualized plan of study to meet state licensing requirements.

Traditional Graduate Programs

Columbus State University

For prospective mental health counselors, Columbus State University (CSU) offers a CACREP-accredited 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that is designed to prepare graduates for professional counseling careers with diverse clients in community settings and private practice. The degree meets the coursework requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Georgia and includes 100 hours of practicum and 700 hours of internship. New students are admitted in the summer and fall terms. CSU also offers options for aspiring school counselors. The CACREP-accredited MS in School Counseling includes 48 credits, 100 hours of practicum, and 300 hours of internship. Graduates are well-prepared to help students in kindergarten through twelfth grade with personal, academic, and emotional challenges. A post-graduate Certificate in School Counseling is also available to individuals who have a graduate counseling degree in another area of practice. Some courses in the MS in School Counseling program may be available online to provide more flexibility to working professionals.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University (GSU) offers three CACREP-accredited counseling degrees at the institution’s Atlanta campus. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the M.Ed. in School Counseling are 60-credit programs that admit new students in the summer term. Students learn about counseling interventions and assessments as well as professional ethics in their area of focus. Those interested in research can complete the M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree as part of a dual M.Ed. degree in Educational Research, which can be completed partially online. The Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling at GSU admits new students in the fall term and focuses on the mental health and wellness needs of individuals with disabilities. These programs are designed to meet Georgia’s educational requirements for licensure in their areas of specialization. GSU also offers a CACREP-accredited Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselor Education and Practice for those interested in teaching and supervising professional counselors.

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia (UGA) offers a two-year, full-time Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Professional Counseling (Mental Health Counseling) beginning in the fall term. The program has a cohort structure in which students progress through the curriculum and graduate with the same group of peers. The 60-credit program is designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure in Georgia as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and offers optional concentrations in Marriage and Family Therapy, Juvenile Offender Counseling, and Women’s Studies. The curriculum includes 12 credits of practicum and internship and coursework in mental health diagnosis, counseling techniques, and research. UGA also offers a CACREP-accredited M.Ed. and a Specialist in Education (M.Ed./Ed.S.) in Professional Counseling (School Counseling) that qualifies graduates for initial school counseling licensure in Georgia.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Albany State University

At Albany State University, students can complete an online Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling. Individuals seeking school counseling certification who already have a master’s degree in an education-related field are eligible to apply for the Certification/Non-Degree-Seeking program. In the M.Ed. program, students can take all of the 60 required credits online and complete supervised practica and internships in their local communities. The degree concentrations are designed to meet educational licensure requirements in Georgia; out-of-state applicants should ensure the curriculum meets licensure requirements in their home state. An online Certificate in Addiction Counseling that trains students to provide substance abuse counseling services and meets the educational requirements for Certified Addiction Counselors I & II in Georgia is available to applicants with at least a high school diploma.

Augusta University

Augusta University offers a CACREP-accredited Master of Education (M.Ed.) counseling degree with specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. The degree is designed for working professionals and can be completed online or as a hybrid in combination with evening or weekend classes. In both degree plans, students complete 33 counseling core credits, such as Human Growth and Development and Theories and Techniques of Counseling. Clinical Mental Health Counseling students also complete 21 clinical counseling credits and six credits of electives for a total of 60 credits. School Counseling students complete 15 credits of school counseling courses and three credits in Teaching Students with Disabilities, if not completed as part of an undergraduate degree, for a total of 48-51 credits. New students are admitted into the M.Ed. program in the fall and spring terms.

Valdosta State University

At Valdosta State University, students can earn a Master of Education (M.Ed.) with specializations in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling in a hybrid format. This degree requires students to complete 60 credits and admits new students in the summer term only. The M.Ed. in School Counseling degree is accredited by CACREP and prepares students for school counseling licensure in Georgia, while the M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to meet the educational requirements for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) in the state. Valdosta State University also offers an on-campus Master of Science (MS) in Marriage and Family Therapy that meets state educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The degree includes 60 credits and a 12-month supervised clinical practicum to develop counseling skills and experience. New students are admitted in the fall term and most students complete the program in two years of full-time study, although three- and four-year plans are possible.

References:
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