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Counseling Degrees and Programs in Kansas

Kansas is home to numerous counseling programs at public and non-profit colleges and universities in all of the major areas of practice: mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. To start a counseling career in Kansas, you will likely first need to choose a counseling program as nearly all types of counseling licensure in this midwestern state require a degree. While most types of counseling licensure require a graduate degree, there are counseling degrees and certificates available in Kansas at the undergraduate and graduate levels, offering prospective counselors many pathways to a counseling career. Kansas also has many online and hybrid counseling degree programs that enable students to study at their own pace or from the comfort of their own homes.

Quick Facts

  • There are 13 not-for-profit colleges and universities that offer a program in mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, and/or vocational rehabilitation counseling in Kansas.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in Kansas, 0 offer an associate degree, 4 offer a bachelor’s degree, 0 offer a certificate, and 9 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
  • 6 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
  • 2 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
  • 1 school offers a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
  • 8 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 6 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 5 schools, 12 counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).2
  • Across 2 schools, 4 counseling programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).5


Comparison of Kansas Counseling Schools and Programs

In the table below, you will find data that will help you compare the public and not-for-profit colleges and universities in Kansas that offer counseling programs in the five primary areas: mental health counseling (MH), marriage and family therapy (MF), vocational rehabilitation counseling (VR), school counseling (SC), and substance abuse counseling (SA). 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. You can learn more about Kansas counseling license requirements by reading our license requirements page.

School NameCACREP-Accred Program2MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Emporia State UniversityYesYesYesYesYes50%$14,564
Fort Hays State UniversityYesYesYesYes50%$13,788
Friends UniversityYes40%$22,647
Kansas State UniversityYesYes68%$19,874
Kansas Wesleyan UniversityYes39%$23,803
MidAmerica Nazarene UniversityYesYesYesYes45%$28,554
Ottawa University-Kansas CityYesN.Av.N.Av.
Ottawa University-OnlineYesYesN.Av.N.Av.
Ottawa University-OttawaYes34%$26,354
Pittsburg State UniversityYes52%$14,748
University of Saint MaryYes47%$23,801
Washburn UniversityYes51%$14,617
Wichita State UniversityYesYesYesYes48%$13,905

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Kansas

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

  • Kansas State University (#16 tie)4

Schools in Kansas with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Emporia State University

Emporia State University (ESU) is home to several counseling programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Both the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sociology programs offer an Addictions Counseling Track for students interested in becoming Licensed Addictions Counselors (LACs) in Kansas. In addition to general education coursework, students completing the Addictions Counseling Track must complete 21 credits of Sociology core courses and 30 credits in addictions counseling. The Addictions Counseling Track includes courses such as Individual Counseling in Addictions; Group Counseling with Addiction Populations; and Psychopathology and Addictions. At the graduate level, ESU offers a 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Counseling with three CACREP-accredited concentrations in Mental Health Counseling; Addiction Counseling; Rehabilitation Counseling. Each concentration meets state educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential depending on the courses taken. ESU’s CACREP-accredited MS in School Counseling meets state requirements to become a school counselor in K-12 settings.

Kansas Wesleyan University

At Kansas Wesleyan University, students can complete a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychological Services that combines foundational coursework in psychology with experiential learning in one of three concentration areas: Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling, Domestic Issues, and Educational Counseling. This degree is designed to introduce undergraduate students to a variety of counseling-related professions and provide hands-on experience through classes such as Theories of Counseling, Group Counseling, and Principles of Counseling Practice. Students must complete 120 credits including at least 34 credits in Psychological Services Common Core coursework and 15 credits in the chosen concentration area. The degree also requires 150 hours of supervised work experience with the exception of the Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling concentration, which requires 400 hours since it leads to licensure as a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC). Specialized courses for this concentration include Foundations of Addiction and Psychopharmacology. The Psychological Services program is also available as a 21-credit minor to students in other degree programs.

Traditional Graduate Programs

MidAmerica Nazarene University

MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) offers a CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with three concentrations: Clinical Mental Health Counseling; School Counseling; and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling. Classes meet in-person and students have the option of taking evening classes only or having a daytime/evening hybrid schedule. MNU incorporates faith-based coursework into its curriculum for all three concentrations and they all meet the educational requirements for licensure in Kansas and Missouri. The School Counseling Plus+ program meets the educational requirements to become both a school counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University (PSU) offers a 48-credit Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling that prepares graduates for careers in Pre K-12 settings. Candidates are encouraged to have an undergraduate degree in education and at least two years of teaching experience. Students without a degree in education or teaching experience must complete additional coursework. Students can choose from three options to complete the degree requirements: the Thesis option; the Research Problem Option; or the Coursework Option. The Thesis Option is best for students who are interested in pursuing a doctoral program or those who are more advanced in their careers. Courses in the MS degree include Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy; Advanced Developmental Psychology; and Advanced Educational Psychology, and students must also complete a school counseling practicum and internship. Graduates will be prepared to take the Praxis Professional School Counselor exam to become school counselors.

Wichita State University

At Wichita State University, students can pursue a 60-hour Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling with tracks in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and School Counseling. The M.Ed. in CMHC meets state educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential and certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). Three areas of emphasis are offered: Clinical Mental Health, Sports Counseling, and Addiction Counseling. The M.Ed. in School Counseling meets licensure requirements for graduates to become school counselors with the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). Courses in all M.Ed. programs are delivered in the evening and are taken either on campus, online, or in a hybrid format with at least 50% of courses requiring in-person attendance. Graduate certificates are also available in Clinical Mental Health Counselor to School Counselor and School Counselor to Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC) for students who need additional coursework to meet the academic requirements for another license.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University offers hybrid and on-campus counseling programs. The Master of Science (MS) in Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit degree that includes coursework in counseling theories, group counseling techniques, and mental health diagnosis. The degree is designed for busy working students with half of the courses offered online in addition to weekend on-campus course options. This degree program meets state educational requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The MS in Counseling is also offered at the Hays campus with a specialization in School Counseling. The program requires 60 credits and prepares students to meet all state requirements to become school counselors. At the undergraduate level, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sociology are offered with an Addictions Counseling track. In these 120-credit degree programs, students must take 21 credits of core sociology coursework and 30 credits in addiction counseling. The degree meets the coursework requirements to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) in Kansas.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University (KSU) offers a 60-credit Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Counseling that is accredited by CACREP. The degree takes between two and a half to three and a half years to complete and is 100% online with both synchronous and asynchronous courses. Graduates of this program will meet the educational requirements to become both a school counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Kansas. KSU also offers a 96-credit, CACREP-accredited Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselor Education and Supervision that may appeal to individuals who want to pursue leadership and advanced practice positions in school counseling and mental health settings. This degree meets the state coursework requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and includes a required research dissertation.

Ottawa University

Ottawa University is a Christian institution that offers several online counseling degree programs. At the undergraduate level, a 124-credit Bachelor of Science (BS) in Addiction Counseling can be completed fully online. A Master of Science (MS) in Addiction Counseling is also available in addition to a Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with three possible concentrations: Expressive Arts Therapy; Gerocounseling; and Treatment of Trauma, Abuse, and Deprivation. Both addiction counseling programs are designed to meet state educational requirements to become a Licensed Addictions Counselor (LAC). Students should confirm if the other concentration curriculums will meet state requirements for the type of counseling licensure sought before enrolling. Online classes are offered in eight-week blocks through asynchronous methods. Ottawa University also offers credit for prior learning, work or life experience, and military service.

Washburn University

Washburn University offers degrees and certificates for students interested in completing the coursework required to become Licensed Addiction Counselors (LACs) in Kansas. A 120-credit Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Human Services with a concentration in Addiction Counseling is offered fully online or in a hybrid format. The program requires a general education core, human services core, specialized addiction counseling courses, and electives. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree can complete an online 33-credit undergraduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling that includes the required coursework for the LAC credential. A two-year, 36-credit Master of Arts (MA) in Human Services with a concentration in Addiction Counseling is also available online with supervised work experience completed in the student’s home community. This program meets the coursework requirements for the Licensed Masters Addiction Counselor (LMAC) and the Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC) credentials in Kansas. Washburn also offers a fast-track option that allows students to earn a combined BAS and MA in Family and Human Services with a concentration in Addiction Counseling in five years.

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