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Counseling Degrees and Programs in Mississippi

The state of Mississippi is home to several colleges and universities with counseling programs in all of the major areas of practice: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. To begin a counseling career in Mississippi, your first step will likely be to choose a school and a counseling program. Most professional counseling careers in the state require a graduate degree in the desired area of counseling practice. It is not surprising, therefore, that all of the degree and certificate programs in Mississippi in the five major areas of counseling are offered at the graduate level. Students who wish to study counseling at the undergraduate level may be interested in programs in nearby states, related areas, or online. There are a few online and hybrid counseling programs available in Mississippi that enable students to study counseling at the graduate level and either complete the educational requirements necessary for professional licensure or gain advanced counseling knowledge.

Quick Facts

  • There are 7 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 Mississippi.1,2
  • Of the counseling schools in Mississippi, 0 offer an associate’s degree, 0 offer a bachelor’s degree, 1 offers a certificate, and 7 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
  • 1 school offers 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
  • 7 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
  • No 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
  • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
  • Across 5 schools, 13 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2

Comparison of Mississippi Counseling Schools and Programs

In the table below, we have compiled data that allows you to compare the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in Mississippi offering counseling programs in the five main 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 (*). You can also compare each school by program type offered, graduation rate, and net price per year. To learn more about professional counseling licensure in Mississippi, read our license requirements page.

School NameCACREP-
Accred
Program2
MHMFVRSCSAGrad Rate1Net Price1
Delta State UniversityYesYes*Yes*39%$12,814
Jackson State UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes*43%$12,541
Mississippi CollegeYesYes*Yes*Yes*53%$17,520
Mississippi State UniversityYesYes*Yes*Yes*58%$16,670
University of MississippiYesYes*Yes*64%$14,459
University of Southern MississippiYes49%$13,773
William Carey UniversityYesYes47%$17,100

Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Mississippi

US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019

  • Mississippi State University (#55 tie)
  • Jackson State University (#92 tie)

Schools in Mississippi with Counseling Degrees

Traditional Graduate Programs

Delta State University

Delta State University (DSU) offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counselor Education with CACREP-accredited specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Both specializations are comprised of 60 credits, including shared core counseling courses, specialized counseling courses, and electives. Graduates in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization will meet state educational requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), while those in the School Counseling specialization will be able to work as school counselors in the state. DSU also offers an Educational Specialist (EdS) program with a specialization in School Counseling designed for students who already have a master’s degree in counseling. Depending on the courses taken, the program can help students meet state requirements to become a school counselor or acquire advanced practical and theoretical knowledge of the school counseling profession.

Jackson State University

Jackson State University (JSU) is a historically black university located in Mississippi’s state capital. The school offers three CACREP-accredited graduate counseling degrees: a Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; an MS in Rehabilitation Counseling; and a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in School Counseling. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is comprised of 60 credits and meets state academic requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), while the MSEd degree is comprised of at least 51 credits and meets both LPC and school counseling educational requirements depending on the courses taken. Students in the MS in Rehabilitation Counseling must complete 57 credits. JSU also offers an Educational Specialist (EdS) in School Counseling that helps students with a graduate degree in counseling either meet state educational requirements for school counseling licensure or develop advanced professional, research, or clinical skills. All EdS students must complete at least 42 credits and write a thesis. This degree can be completed either on-campus or online.

Mississippi College

Mississippi College is a Baptist institution that offers three graduate counseling degrees accredited by CACREP. The Master of Science (MS) in Mental Health Counseling teaches students how to provide behavioral and mental health counseling services in community, healthcare, and residential settings. Graduates will meet state coursework requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling meets state requirements to become a school counselor and additional coursework can be taken to meet LPC requirements. The MS in Marriage and Family Counseling teaches students to work with couples and families in individual and group settings and can meet state coursework requirements for the LPC credential depending on the courses taken. Each master’s degree is comprised of 60 credits. Students who already have a master’s degree in counseling can apply to the Educational Specialist (EdS) program, which focuses on advanced skills and knowledge and can help students meet the LPC educational requirements.

Mississippi State University

At Mississippi State University, prospective counseling students can choose from many different counseling programs. In Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students can complete a 60-credit, CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) that meets state academic requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). In the area of school counseling, a 60-credit, CACREP-accredited MS in School Counseling that meets state requirements to become a school counselor is offered as well as an Educational Special (EdS) that enables students to meet LPC coursework requirements. Individuals interested in rehabilitation counseling can complete a 48-credit MS in Rehabilitation Counseling. A three-year, CACREP-accredited Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is available with specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, or Rehabilitation Counseling. Additionally, an online Vision Specialist in Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist Certificate comprised of four courses and 100 hours of supervised practicum is available to qualified counselor applicants.

William Carey University

William Carey University is a Christian institution offering counseling degrees at the Tradition Campus located in Biloxi. Students can complete a Master of Science (MS) with a specialization in either Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. Each degree program requires 60 credits, including a 27-credit shared counseling core that includes courses such as Counseling Theories and Group Counseling. Students must also complete 24 credits in the area of counseling specialization and nine elective credits. A wide range of elective courses are available, such as Advanced Studies in Addiction; Counseling with Children and Adolescents; and Psychopharmacology. Students must also complete three credits of supervised practicum and six to 12 credits of supervised internship. The degrees are designed to prepare students for careers in Mississippi in their respective areas of counseling specialization.

Online and Hybrid Programs

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) with CACREP-accredited specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. While the degree cannot be completed fully online, courses in the M.Ed. programs may be offered at the Oxford campus, the Tupelo Regional Center, online, or through hybrid methods. The M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is comprised of 60 credits and meets state educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. The M.Ed. in School Counseling is a 48-credit degree that meets state requirements to become a school counselor. Another online option at Ole Miss is the Educational Specialist (EdS) in Counselor Education with a specialization in Play Therapy. This two-year program is open to applicants who are already licensed as LPCs or school counselors in the state. Individuals who already have a master’s degree in a counseling-related field can also apply to the CACREP-accredited Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselor Education offered at the Oxford campus.

University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling with a hybrid format to accommodate the needs of working professionals. The degree is comprised of 48 credits and takes two years of full-time study to complete. Fall and spring courses are offered online, while summer courses are offered at the school’s main campus in Hattiesburg. Students learn a variety of foundational counseling skills as well as crisis, career, and group counseling techniques. The program includes three semesters of related field experiences in elementary, middle, and secondary school settings. Upon completion of the program, individuals are prepared to become school counselors in K-12 settings in the state.

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