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: mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, 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.
- There are 22 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 Minnesota.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in Minnesota, 5 offer an associate degree, 5 offer a bachelor’s degree, 11 offer a certificate, and 13 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- 7 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- 2 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
- 2 schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
- 5 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
- 19 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
- 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Student Counseling Programs 2022.3
- No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. in Education Programs for Student Counseling 2022.4
- Across 6 schools, 13 counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).2
- Across 2 schools, 2 counseling programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).5
Comparison of Minnesota Counseling Schools and Programs
We have provided the table below to help you compare the public and not-for-profit colleges and universities in Minnesota offering counseling programs in the following five 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. For more information about Minnesota licensing requirements for counseling professionals, read our license requirements page.
|School Name||CACREP-Accred Program2||MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|Adler Graduate School||Yes||Yes||—||—||—||—||N.Av.||N.Av.|
|Anoka-Ramsey Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||24%||$10,929|
|Bemidji State University||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||48%||$15,594|
|Bethany Lutheran College||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||63%||$17,640|
|Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||26%||$10,307|
|Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||N.Av.||N.Av.|
|Metropolitan State University||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||38%||$16,830|
|Minneapolis Community and Technical College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||19%||$12,314|
|Minnesota North College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||43%||$9.151|
|Minnesota State University Moorhead||Yes||—||—||—||Yes||Yes||57%||$17,254|
|Minnesota State University-Mankato||Yes||Yes||—||Yes||Yes||Yes||52%||$15,832|
|Oak Hills Christian College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||28%||$20,855|
|Rochester Community and Technical College||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||27%||$13,522|
|Saint Cloud State University||Yes||—||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||47%||$13,615|
|Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota||—||—||Yes||—||—||Yes||57%||$21,606|
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||—||Yes||—||—||—||Yes||84%||$17,468|
|Winona State University||Yes||Yes||—||—||Yes||Yes||63%||$17,283|
Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Minnesota
US News & World Report’s Best Student Counseling Programs 2022
- University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#12)3
Schools in Minnesota with Counseling Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
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 Substance Use Disorders Post-Baccalaureate Certificate for students with a bachelor’s degree who want to become licensed as LADCs. 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, which is comprised of 48 credits and meets Minnesota educational requirements for the LADC license. A 60-credit MS in Co-Occurring Disorders Recovery Counseling is also available, which has a strong focus on clinical mental health and addiction counseling services. The degree meets Minnesota coursework requirements for the LADC. Students who complete an additional two years of post-master’s supervised practice also meet the requirements to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs).
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, which satisfies state educational requirements for the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) credential and the Board Certified Counselor (BCC) credential. Students can also complete a 21-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, two CACREP-accredited master’s degrees are available, both in the Department of Counseling and Student Personnel: a 48-credit Master of Science (MS) in Mental Health Counseling and an MS in Professional School Counseling. Students who complete their master’s through the Department of Counseling and Student Personnel will be eligible to receive a variety of credentials, depending on their courses of focus. These programs meet Minnesota requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) license, the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) license, as well as national requirements for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) and the National Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC).
Traditional Graduate Programs
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 Minneapolis and Rochester campuses, as well as online. 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 offered at the Minneapolis campus 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.
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 55 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, with both a traditional and an accelerated cohort option available. Those who choose the accelerated cohort can complete their MPS in two years. 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
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 take courses such as Lifespan Development; Advanced Assessment and Diagnosis for Co-Occurring Disorders; and Social and Cultural Diversity in Counseling. 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.
Individuals who already have a master’s degree in a counseling, education, or mental health-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 a 23-credit online Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling; a 13-credit 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).
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 Counseling. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires 61 credits and meets Minnesota coursework requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) credentials. The MS in Rehabilitation Counseling consists of 60-66 credits and offers three specialization options, Vocational Rehabilitation, Clinical Rehabilitation, and Addiction Rehabilitation. 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 (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, available at both the Winona and Rochester locations: the 60-credit Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the 60-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.
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