Counseling Degrees and Programs in Mississippi
The state of Mississippi is home to several colleges and universities with counseling programs in four of the five major areas of practice: mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, and school counseling To begin a counseling career in Mississippi, your first step will likely be to choose a school and a counseling program. As most professional counseling careers in the state require a graduate degree in the desired area of counseling practice, all of the degree and certificate programs in Mississippi 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 complete the educational requirements necessary for professional licensure.
- There are 8 not-for-profit four-year 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 Mississippi.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in Mississippi, 0 offer an associate degree, 1 offers a bachelor’s degree, 0 offer a certificate, and 8 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- 6 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- 1 school offers a degree in marriage and family therapy.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 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Student Counseling Programs of 2022.3
- 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022.4
- Across 6 schools, 14 counseling programs are accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).2
- Across 1 school, 1 counseling program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).5
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 colleges and universities in Mississippi offering counseling programs in the five main counseling 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. To learn more about professional counseling licensure in Mississippi, read our license requirements page.
|School Name||CACREP-Accred Program2||MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|Delta State University||Yes||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||44%||$14,092|
|Jackson State University||Yes||Yes||—||Yes||Yes||—||39%||$15,477|
|Mississippi State University||Yes||Yes||—||Yes||Yes||—||60%||$16,175|
|Reformed Theological Seminary||Yes||Yes||—||—||—||—||N.Av.||N.Av.|
|University of Mississippi||Yes||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||68%||$13,528|
|University of Southern Mississippi||—||—||—||—||Yes||—||52%||$13,651|
|William Carey University||—||—||—||—||Yes||—||60%||$11,676|
Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Mississippi
US News & World Report’s Best Online M.Ed. Programs for Student Counseling 2022
- University of Mississippi (#37 tie)4
Schools in Mississippi with Counseling Degrees
Traditional Graduate Programs
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 a CACREP-accredited, 78-credit Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) program with a specialization in School Counseling designed for students who already have a master’s degree in counseling and wish to specialize further. Depending on the courses taken, the Ed.S. program can help students meet state requirements to become school counselors or acquire advanced practical and theoretical knowledge of the school counseling profession.
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 a 60-credit track that consists of 51 credit hours of coursework and 600 hours in a practical clinical setting to meet state academic requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Students will learn about research methodologies, counseling techniques, and treatment strategies. The MSEd degree is offered with a 45-credit degree track for students holding a prior graduate degree in education or a 33-credit degree track for students who hold both a graduate degree in education and an AA certificate in counseling. Depending on the courses taken, the MSEd degree can meet both LPC and school counseling educational requirements. An MS in Rehabilitation Counseling is offered as a 60-credit track with 700 hours of clinical training for students to gain hands-on experience while working towards their license. JSU also offers an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) 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 Ed.S. students must complete at least 42 credits, an internship in school counseling, and a thesis. The Ed.S. degree can be completed either on-campus or online.
Mississippi College (MC) is a Baptist institution that offers three graduate counseling degrees accredited by CACREP. Each master’s degree track is comprised of 60 credits. The Master of Science (MS) in Mental Health Counseling track 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 Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). 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 M.Ed. in School Counseling includes three experiential courses to properly train prospective counselors in handling children and adolescent clients at critical points in their academic development. Finally, 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 and/or national certification depending on the courses taken. Students who already have a master’s degree in counseling can apply to MC’s Educational Specialist (EdS) program, a 66-credit hour track that helps them work towards the LPC educational requirements.
At Mississippi State University (MSU), prospective counseling students can choose from many different counseling programs. ForClinical 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). The focus in Clinical Mental Health Counseling trains prospective counselors in diagnostic processes, treatment planning, and caseload management to well-equip them for professional clinical counseling environments. MSU’s 60-credit, CACREP-accredited MS in School Counseling meets state requirements to become a school counselor and includes a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship to prepare students to work in a classroom setting. For students who already hold a graduate degree in education or counseling, MSU also offers an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree that enables students to meet LPC coursework requirements. Individuals interested in rehabilitation counseling can complete a 48-credit MS in Rehabilitation Counseling that trains students in ethical and legal counseling strategies and procedures. For post-graduate students, a three-year, CACREP-accredited Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is available with specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, or Rehabilitation Counseling. Many students progress directly through their related MS program into one of these PhD program. 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. This certificate trains counselors in handling the unique difficulties of rehabilitation counseling for visually impaired individuals.
William Carey University (WCU) is a Christian institution offering counseling degrees at its Tradition Campus in Biloxi. There, 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, 24 credits in the area of counseling specialization, nine elective credits, three credits of supervised practicum, and six to 12 credits of supervised internship. The degree programs are designed to prepare students for careers in their respective areas of counseling specialization and provide the coursework to help students work toward state and national licensure. WCU’s counseling programs train students for counseling careers in professional, clinical, and religious care-based organizations designed to meet the needs of their community.
Online and Hybrid Programs
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. Both the M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the M.Ed. in School Counseling are comprised of 60 credit hours, 100 hours of practicum, and 600 hours of internship to meet state educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential or school counseling credentials. Ole Miss’s M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program trains students in practical problem-solving and consumer-oriented therapy to equip them for a professional career in counseling while its M.Ed. in School Counseling trains prospective counselors to meet the academic, emotional, and social needs of their future students. Another online option at Ole Miss is the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Counselor Education with a specialization in Play Therapy. This two-year, 25-credit program is open to applicants who are already licensed as LPCs or school counselors in the state. The Ed.S. program is offered in partnership with Ole Miss’s Center for Outreach and Personal Enrichment (COPE), which offers counseling services not only to students of Ole Miss but to members of the local community. 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. This program primarily serves individuals who wish to teach counseling at the university level.
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. In this program, students will 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 of Mississippi.
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