Counseling Degrees and Programs in Missouri
In Missouri, there are several colleges and universities that offer degree and certificate programs in the five major counseling categories: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. If you are planning to start a counseling career in Missouri, you will likely first need to choose a school to complete your education, as nearly all counseling careers require a degree. Many of the colleges and universities in Missouri offer counseling degrees at the graduate level because most types of counseling licensure require a master’s degree. There are a few undergraduate options in Missouri, however, that may suit students who are not ready to complete a graduate degree. Online and hybrid counseling programs are also available in Missouri, which may be ideal for students who require greater flexibility.
- There are 20 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 Missouri.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in Missouri, 0 offer an associate’s degree, 1 offers a bachelor’s degree, 1 offers a certificate, and 16 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- 2 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
- 11 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- 1 school offers a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
- 13 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
- 3 schools offer a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
- 4 counseling schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.3
- 1 school ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
- 1 school ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
- Across 8 schools, 13 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2
Comparison of Missouri Counseling Schools and Programs
Below, we have compiled the table so that you can compare the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in Missouri offering programs in the five primary 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 the steps necessary to become a counselor in Missourz1i, have a look at our license requirements page.
|MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies||Yes||Yes*||—||—||—||—||N.Av.||$15,975|
|City Vision University||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||100%||$5,004|
|Maryville University of Saint Louis||Yes||—||—||Yes*||—||—||72%||$26,540|
|Missouri Baptist University||—||Yes||—||—||Yes||—||36%||$20,863|
|Missouri State University-Springfield||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||—||54%||$15,783|
|Missouri Valley College||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||23%||$18,820|
|Northwest Missouri State University||—||—||—||—||Yes||—||49%||$12,524|
|Purdue University Global-St. Louis||—||—||—||—||—||Yes||0%||N.Av.|
|Saint Louis University||—||—||Yes||—||—||—||77%||$31,460|
|Southeast Missouri State University||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||—||49%||$12,468|
|Truman State University||—||—||—||—||Yes||—||72%||$12,351|
|University of Central Missouri||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||—||49%||$12,616|
|University of Missouri-Columbia||—||—||—||—||Yes||—||69%||$17,833|
|University of Missouri-Kansas City||—||—||—||—||Yes||—||49%||$14,521|
|University of Missouri-St Louis||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||—||52%||$9,481|
|Webster University-St. Louis||Yes||Yes*||Yes||—||Yes||—||59%||22,727|
Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Missouri
Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019
- Truman State University (#55)
- Saint Louis University (#120)
- University of Missouri (#304)
- Maryville University of St. Louis (#339)
US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019
- University of Missouri (#3 tie)
US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019
- Maryville University of St. Louis (#75 tie)
Schools in Missouri with Counseling Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
Webster University offers counseling-related degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology with an emphasis in Mental Health teaches students about the behavioral and social factors related to mental illness and is designed to prepare graduates for a variety of mental health careers, including counseling. Students must complete 128 credits, including 52 credits in the mental health core curriculum. The degree is available at the St. Louis campus and online. Webster University also offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with several concentrations. The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by CACREP and meets Missouri educational requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC); the MA in School Counseling satisfies state requirements for K-12 school counseling certification; and the MA in Couples, Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling meets state educational guidelines to become a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT).
Traditional Graduate Programs
Lincoln University is a historically black university located in Jefferson City. It offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) with three different counseling tracks: School Counseling; Community/Agency Counseling; and Addiction Counseling. Students in the M.Ed. programs complete a core curriculum, specialized counseling courses, and complete an internship. The M.Ed. in School Counseling focuses on the counseling and guidance skills needed to work with students from kindergarten through 12th grade and meets state requirements to become a school counselor. The M.Ed. in Community/Agency Counseling focuses on mental health assessment, diagnosis, and counseling techniques and meets Missouri educational requirements for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensure. Graduates of the M.Ed. in Addiction Counseling meet the coursework requirements to become a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CADC) in Missouri.
Missouri State University (MSU) offers CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) degrees in Counseling in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. The degree curriculum is comprised of 60 credits including 47 core courses and 13 specialized counseling credits. Graduates of the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling meet coursework requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license in Missouri. The MS in School Counseling satisfies state requirements for school counselors; however, students who do not have a teaching degree and are not certified teachers in Missouri must complete additional coursework in Psychology of the Exceptional Child, Teaching Methods, and Classroom Management in addition to the core counseling degree requirements. Students in MSU’s counseling programs have access to academic and experiential opportunities, such as study abroad classes to destinations such as Belgium and Argentina and work experience at the Center City Counseling Clinic.
At Northwest Missouri State University, individuals interested in a career in school counseling can complete a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in School Counseling. The degree is comprised of 45 credits and takes two years of full-time study to complete. The program has a cohort structure in which students progress through the curriculum with the same group of peers and new students are admitted in the fall term. Students learn how to provide age-appropriate counseling services in elementary or secondary school settings depending on the courses taken. Dual certification in K-12 settings is possible but requires additional coursework. Students who are not certified teachers will need to complete additional coursework to meet state requirements for school counselor licensure; however, the MSEd degree curriculum meets Missouri’s educational requirements to become a school counselor for students with a teaching degree and teacher certification.
At Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO), prospective counselors can complete CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) degrees in Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. In the MA in Mental Health Counseling degree, students complete 60 credits including courses such as Social and Cultural Aspects of Counseling and Mental Health Systems and Prevention. The MA in Mental Health Counseling meets state coursework requirements for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensure in Missouri. Students in the MA in School Counseling complete 54 credits, including 150 hours of practicum and 600 hours of supervised internship; although additional coursework in teaching theory and methods is required for students who are not certified teachers. The program meets state requirements to become a K-12 school counselor.
The University of Central Missouri (UCM) offers CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling at the Lee’s Summit and Warrensburg campuses. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit degree focused on mental health, wellness, and personal development skills and meets Missouri’s educational requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The MS in School Counseling offers Elementary School Counseling or Secondary School Counseling tracks comprised of 54 credits. Upon completion of the degree program, graduates will meet state requirements to become a school counselor in either elementary or secondary school settings in Missouri. UCM also offers an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Human Services with Professional Counseling and School Counseling tracks that build on the skills of master’s-level counseling degrees.
Online and Hybrid Programs
City Vision University is a Christian institution that offers a faith-based Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Addiction Counseling delivered fully online. The BA in Addiction Counseling is a 120-credit degree that takes four years of full-time study to complete. Courses are structured in eight-week blocks with five start dates offered throughout the year. The degree prepares students to become Certified Addiction Counselors (CACs) in Missouri. The university also offers an online 30-credit undergraduate-level Certificate in Addiction Counseling for students who don’t want to complete the degree program. Students residing in other states should check to ensure the coursework meets the educational requirements for substance abuse certification in their state.
The University of Missouri (Mizzou Online) offers a fully-online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling that is comprised of 60 credits. Students take courses in eight-week blocks and the degree takes approximately three years to complete. The degree also requires students to complete 12 credits of supervised counseling practicum in a local setting. Graduates of the M.Ed. degree will meet Missouri requirements to become a school counselor in elementary and secondary school settings from kindergarten through 12th grade. Students who are not already certified as teachers are required to take nine additional credits to meet state requirements. The University of Missouri also offers CACREP-accredited M.Ed. degrees in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the St. Louis campus; and an M.Ed. in School Counseling at the Columbia and Kansas City campuses.
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