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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: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, 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 lots of options to pursue 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 home.

Quick Facts

  • There are 10 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 Kansas.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in Kansas, 0 offer an associate’s degree, 6 offer a bachelor’s degree, 2 offer a certificate, and 9 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
  • 2 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
  • 6 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 7 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
  • No counseling schools 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 Program 2019.5
  • Across 3 schools, 7 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2

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 four-year colleges and universities in Kansas that offer counseling programs in the five primary 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 (*). You can use the table to compare each school by program type offered, 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
Program2
MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Emporia State UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes*Yes45%$13,670
Fort Hays State UniversityYesYesYes44%$12,420
Friends UniversityYes39%$18,780
Kansas State UniversityYesYes*64%$18,002
Kansas Wesleyan UniversityYes37%$25,221
MidAmerica Nazarene UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes*42%$19,905
Ottawa University-OnlineYesYesN.Av.N.Av.
Pittsburg State UniversityYesYes53%$13,906
Washburn UniversityYes44%$12,551
Wichita State UniversityYesYesYes47%$14,256

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Kansas

US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019

  • Emporia State University (#55 tie)

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. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies is offered with concentrations in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies and Addiction Counseling. These degree programs are comprised of 120 credits with 44 credits taken in the concentration area. Students in the BS program may meet the educational requirements to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) in Kansas depending on the electives taken. At the graduate level, ESU offers a 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Counseling with four CACREP-accredited concentrations in Mental Health Counseling; Addiction Counseling; Rehabilitation Counseling; and School Counseling. Each concentration can meet state educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential depending on the courses taken, and the MS in School Counseling also 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 six concentration areas: Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling, Domestic Issues, Offender Management, Health and Wellness, Human Resources, and Educational Counseling. This degree is designed to introduce undergraduate students to a variety of counseling-related professions and provide hands-on experience and to classes such as Theories of Counseling, Group Counseling, and Principles of Counseling Practice. Students must complete 120 credits including 48-52 credits in the 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

Kansas State University

Kansas State University (KSU) offers a 48-credit Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling that is accredited by CACREP. The degree takes two years to complete and courses can be taken at the Manhattan campus, through videoconferencing at the Olathe campuses, online, or a combination of these methods. The curriculum includes 27 credits of core courses, nine credits of research and appraisal, and 12 credits of clinical experience. Students will be prepared to become school counselors in Kansas in K-12 settings. 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.

Pittsburg State University

At Pittsburg State University (PSU), students can complete a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology in Substance Abuse Services that meets state coursework requirements to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC). Students take core courses in psychology and addiction studies, such as Developmental Psychology; Family and Addictions; and Addiction Services Coordination. PSU also offers a Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling that prepares graduates for careers in PreK-12 settings. The degree requires 48 credits, although more credits may be required for students without a bachelor’s degree in education. Students can choose from three tracks to complete the degree requirements: a research thesis; a research problem; or advanced coursework. Courses in the MS degree include Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy; Advanced Developmental Psychology; and Advanced Educational Psychology.

Wichita State University

At Wichita State University, students can choose from programs in several of the main counseling categories. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling is available with tracks in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Addiction Counseling, and School Counseling. The M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Addiction Counseling are 60-credit degree programs that meet state educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. The M.Ed. in Addiction Counseling may also meet state educational requirements for the Licensed Master Addiction Counselor (LMAC) credential. These degree programs can be completed at the Wichita campus, online, or in a hybrid combination. The on-campus M.Ed. in School Counseling is comprised of 48 credits and meets state requirements to become a school counselor. Graduate certificates are also available in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. These certificates enable individuals with master’s degrees in counseling to earn licensure in an additional area of practice.

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 54 credits and prepares students to meet all state requirements to become a school counselor. 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 coursework requirements to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) in Kansas.

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 Counseling is also available with six concentrations: Christian Counseling; Expressive Arts Therapy; Gerocounseling; Professional Counseling; Treatment of Trauma, Abuse, and Deprivation and Addiction Counseling. 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, or military service.

Washburn University

Washburn University offers degrees and certificates for students interested in completing the coursework required to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) in Kansas. A 120-credit Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Human Services with a concentration in Addiction Counseling is offered through online methods, hybrid methods, or at the Topeka campus. 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 for the Licensed Masters Addiction Counselor (LMAC) and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC) credentials in Kansas.

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