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Counseling Degrees and Programs in Minnesota

Minnesota has a number of four-year colleges and universities offering programs in the five main areas of counseling practice: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. To start a counseling career in Minnesota, one of the first decisions you will likely need to make is where to study, as nearly all counseling careers require a degree. There are several undergraduate counseling degrees available in Minnesota that introduce students to the major areas of counseling; however, a master’s degree in counseling is typically necessary to become licensed in the counseling profession in this Midwestern state. There are also numerous online and hybrid counseling programs offered in Minnesota that may appeal to busy students looking for a more flexible and independent learning experience.

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 Minnesota.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in Minnesota, 0 offer an associate’s degree, 6 offer a bachelor’s degree, 4 offer a certificate, and 9 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
  • 3 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
  • 6 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
  • 2 schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
  • 5 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • 12 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
  • 3 counseling schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.3
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
  • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
  • Across 4 schools, 10 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2

Comparison of Minnesota Counseling Schools and Programs

We have provided the table below to help you compare the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in Minnesota offering counseling programs in the following five 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 also compare each school by program type offered, graduation rate, and net price per year. For more information about Minnesota licensing requirements for counseling professionals, read our license requirements page.

School NameCACREP-
Accred
Program2
MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Bemidji State UniversityYes46%$14,814
Bethel UniversityYes77%$27,085
Crown CollegeYes52%$24,220
Hamline UniversityYes63%$22,079
Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction StudiesYesN.Av.N.Av.
Metropolitan State UniversityYes39%$14,900
Minnesota State University MoorheadYesYes*Yes*49%$16,397
Minnesota State University-MankatoYesYes*YesYes*Yes*Yes50%$14,519
North Central UniversityYes54%$21,598
Oak Hills Christian CollegeYes38%$18,221
Saint Cloud State UniversityYesYes*YesYes*Yes*Yes44%$13,816
Saint Mary’s University of MinnesotaYesYesYes61%$21,370
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesYesYes80%$16,691
Winona State UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes64%$16,401

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Minnesota

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019

  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#103)
  • Bethel University (#286)
  • Hamline University (#369)

US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019

  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#15)

US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019

  • Minnesota State University-Mankato (#55 tie)
  • St. Cloud State University (#55 tie)

Schools in Minnesota with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University (MSU) offers two undergraduate options for students interested in starting a counseling career. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Alcohol and Drug Counseling is a 120-credit program that meets state educational requirements to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) in Minnesota. The curriculum is also available as a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate for students with a bachelor’s degree. Students in other undergraduate programs can complete a 20-credit minor in Mental Health Psychology that introduces students to counseling psychology and mental health assessment. MSU also offers a Master of Science (MS) in Alcohol and Drug Recovery Counseling comprised of 48 credits that meets Minnesota educational requirements for the LADC license. Additionally, the 60-credit MS in Co-Occurring Disorders Recovery Counseling has a strong focus on clinical mental health and addiction counseling services. The degree meets Minnesota coursework requirements for the LADC, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) credentials.

Minnesota State University-Mankato

Minnesota State University-Mankato offers numerous undergraduate and graduate counseling degrees to choose from. Undergraduate students can complete a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Alcohol and Drug Studies that satisfies state educational requirements for the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) credential or a 27-credit minor in Alcohol and Drug Studies. The BS is an interdisciplinary program combining coursework in sociology, assessment and diagnosis, and pharmacology with a supervised internship. At the graduate level, three CACREP-accredited master’s degrees are available: a 48-credit Master of Science (MS) in Rehabilitation Counseling; an MS in Mental Health Counseling; and an MS in Professional School Counseling. The MS in Mental Health Counseling meets Minnesota requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) licenses as well as the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) license, depending on the coursework taken. The MS in Professional School Counseling meets state requirements for Minnesota’s school counseling credential.

Traditional Graduate Programs

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a Catholic university offering faith-based degrees at multiple Minnesota campuses. The two-year Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling and Psychological Services is offered at the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses. The degree meets Minnesota educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) license and additional coursework can be taken to meet the educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC) license. The MA in Marriage and Family Therapy is a 48-credit degree that meets state coursework requirements to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). A Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies is also available and helps students meet the requirements for the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) license. Saint Mary’s also offers a dual program that enables students to complete the MA in Counseling and Psychological Services and the Certificate in Addiction Studies in a compressed timeframe.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers two master’s degree options for counseling students. The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Integrated Behavioral Health teaches students about substance abuse, mental health counseling, and co-occurring disorders. The degree is comprised of 60 credits and meets Minnesota coursework requirements for the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) credentials. Students in the MPS program can complete a specialization in youth counseling leading to a graduate minor in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. An MPS in Addiction Counseling comprised of 30 credits is also offered. This degree is designed for students who are pursuing the LADC license or individuals licensed in other counseling or allied health professions.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies

The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies offers an online Master of Arts (MA) in Addiction Studies with a focus on Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders. Students complete 60 credits and learn about addiction counseling, mental health illness, and behavioral health. The degree takes two years of full-time study with three start dates throughout the year. Part-time study is permitted but the degree requirements must be completed within seven years. Online students must complete two four-day residencies at the Center City campus during the program. The MA degree meets the educational requirements for Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LADCs), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs) in Minnesota. An MA in Addiction Counseling that meets the same state licensure requirements is also offered at the St. Paul and Center City campuses.

Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Individuals who already have a master’s degree in a counseling-related field can complete an online Graduate Certificate in Professional Counseling at Minnesota State University-Moorhead (MSUM). The certificate teaches students to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health illnesses using counseling techniques. Students who have a master’s degree in counseling must complete at least 17 credits, while students with a master’s degree other than counseling may need to complete additional coursework to satisfy Minnesota educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) licenses. At MSUM, prospective counselors can also complete an online Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling; an online Graduate Certificate in School Counseling; or on-campus Master of Science (MS) degrees in Addiction Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CACREP-accredited), and School Counseling (CACREP-accredited).

St. Cloud State University

At St. Cloud State University, students can complete a 27-credit online Graduate Certificate in Addictions with start dates offered in the fall, spring, and summer terms. The certificate meets state coursework requirements for the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) license. The addictions counseling coursework can also be completed as part of the on-campus, CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Rehabilitation and Addiction Counseling. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires 61 credits and meets Minnesota coursework requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license. The MS in Rehabilitation and Addiction Counseling consists of 60-63 credits, while the MS in Rehabilitation Counseling is comprised of 48-52 credits. Other on-campus counseling programs include a CACREP-accredited, 52-58-credit MS in School Counseling; a 52-58-credit MS in Marriage and Family Therapy; and a 22-credit Graduate Certificate in School Counseling for individuals who already have a graduate degree in a counseling-related field.

Winona State University

Winona State University (WSU) offers an online post-bachelor’s certificate in Addiction Counseling. The certificate consists of 24 credits and meets state coursework requirements for the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) license. All coursework can be completed online with the exception of the supervised internship. The certificate coursework can also be completed as part of the university’s on-campus degree options: the 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the 49-credit MS in School Counseling. Both degrees are accredited by CACREP. The MS in Clinical Mental Health meets the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) educational requirements in Minnesota, while the MS in School Counseling meets state requirements to become a school counselor.

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